Abilene (ăbˈĭlēn) [key]. 1 City (1990 pop. 6,242), seat of Dickinson co., central Kans., on the Smoky Hill River; inc. 1869. It was (1867–71) a railhead for a large cattle-raising region extending SW into Texas. Millions of cattle followed the Chisholm Trail into the cow town's stockyards prior to shipment. "Wild Bill"Hickok was Abilene's marshal for a time. The city, a still shipping point for a wheat and cattle region, has feed and flour mills. Abilene was the boyhood home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower; the Eisenhower Center includes his old family homestead, a museum, the Eisenhower Library, and his grave. 2 City (1990 pop. 106,654), seat of Taylor co., W central Tex.; inc. 1882. Buffalo hunters first settled there; the town, which was founded in 1881 with the coming of the railroad, was named after Abilene, Kans. Abilene grew as a shipping point for cattle ranches and has become the financial, commercial, and educational center of a large part of W Texas. The city's diversified manufactures include electronic, aircraft, and missile components; oil-field and agricultural equipment; food and dairy products; clothing; metals; and musical instruments. Livestock (cattle, sheep, and poultry); agriculture (cotton, wheat, sorghum, and hay); and minerals (oil, natural gas, caliche, sand, gravel, and clays) are important to the area's economy. Regional petroleum industry headquarters are in Abilene, and Hardin-Simmons Univ., Abilene Christian Univ., and McMurry College are there.
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