Stylized Sunflower

Abilene

Stylized Sunflower
 
        Abilene, 20 miles ahead, was a cowtown of major importance in the history of the American West. During 1867-1871 much of the town was a mixture of bawling Longhorn cattle and cowhands up from Texas - with numerous, more worldly two-legged critters in supporting occupations. Abilene's most respected early lawman was Thomas J. Smith, who was killed by a half-crazed settler in 1870. James B. "Wild Bill" Hickok, city marshal in 1871, contributed to the town's bloody history by engaging rowdy Phil Coe in a blazing gun battle at eight feet.
 
        President Dwight D. Eisenhower lived in Abilene from 1891 to 1911. The Eisenhower Home and Museum, the Presidential Library and Chapel, help to make Abilene a major attraction for visitors from all over the world.
 
        Thirteen miles west of this marker is an exit for Detroit. This little town was an 1870 county-seat rival of Abilene. The Western News, Detroit's newspaper, bitterly charged that Abilene was run "by Vagabonds, Ruffians, Fancy Women, Rot Gut Whiskey and Gamblers." Apparently the voters liked what was there, for Abilene triumphed!
 
        Milford reservoir is five miles north of this marker.

Erected by State Historical Society & State Highway Commission

Marker text sent by Robert Walter, Pittsburg, KS

Franklin County  
The following marker is located on I-70, westbound rest area, milepost 294
Geary County
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February 15, 2003 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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