The United Telephone Company, which is now Sprint, was formed in Abilene by C. L. Brown. In 1922, Brown required employees to save 10% of their income for retirement.
Dwight David Eisenhower, 34 President of the United States, spent his childhood in Abilene, Kansas and is buried on the site of his Presidential Library, Museum, & Boyhood Home. Eisenhower was born in Denison Texas but spent his childhood in Abilene. His boyhood home is located in its original spot on the Eisenhower Campus.
Abilene played a key role in the transport of cattle from Texas to U. S. markets. The Chisholm Trail was 1000 miles long, ending in Abilene, Kansas. The cattle were then loaded on railcars and taken to markets throughout the U. S.
The first white child in Dickinson County was born in a dugout located where the Lebold Mansion stands today. Timothy & Elizabeth Hersey settled in Abilene, choosing the name of the city after a verse in the bible, “Abilene”, meaning city of the plains.
Tom Smith was the first U. S. Marshal killed in the line of duty in the U. S. He enforced the no-gun law in Abilene and is buried at the Abilene Cemetery.
Dr. A. B. Seelye created a patent-medicine company in Abilene, covering 14 mid-western states and carrying over 100 products. His home was built in 1905 and still holds its original furnishings today.
Dickinson County raises more greyhound dogs than anywhere in the world. Abilene is known at the Greyhound Capital of the World. The National Greyhound Association headquarters are located west of the city. The Greyhound Hall of Fame tells the story of the greyhound canine and the racing industry.
T. C. Henry was Abilene’s first Mayor. He introduced wheat to the state of Kansas by secretly planting 5,000 acres. When he saw that it was a successful wheat crop, he introduced the seed to others. At one time, Henry owned thousands of acres between Abilene and Enterprise.
C. W. Parker began his carousel business in Abilene. He became fascinated with carousels when he came across one while on a walk with his young daughter. After purchasing multiple rides for her, Parker decided the amusement business would be a good venture. He bought his first carousel and soon after, began designing and building his own. He moved his company from Abilene to Leavenworth, Kansas after the city fathers declined giving him incentives to expand his business in Abilene.
Marshal Wild Bill Hickok was the most famous marshal of Abilene. He left Abilene after accidently shooting a friend. He settled in Deadwood, South Dakota, where he was killed.
Great Plains Theatre is the only live professional theatre between Kansas City and Denver. GPT is located in the 135+ year old Presbyterian Church and offers live productions and movies.
The World’s Largest Spur, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is located at the rodeo grounds in Eisenhower Park. The spur stands over 27 feet tall and weighs 2,000 pounds.