In the early 1870s, Abilene, KS, was the top cattle town in American. Cowboys drove thousands of cattle up from Texas to the stockyards, from where they’d be shipped by train back east. It’s a heritage that Abilene celebrates today in a number of ways—attracting visitors, not cows.
That’s one reason Abilene is #3 among True West Magazine’s 2017 Top Western Towns. Deadwood, SD won the top honor. They will be featured in the February 2017 issue, on newsstands now.
“Abilene is a wonderful community with a rich history, quality attractions, unique businesses and wonderful people,” Julie Roller, Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau director said. “We are excited to add this recognition to Abilene’s list of accolades.”
From Joseph McCoy to James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, Old Abilene Town and the Dickinson County Heritage Center, Abilene’s cowboy roots run strong. The 2016 Trails, Rails and Tales celebration reconnected visitors and residents alike with the days of the cowboy by herding longhorn cattle through town and onto rail cars.
“Abilene is one of the great names of the Old West, a place where so much happened,” explains True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. “Local people haven’t forgotten that history, the characters and events that made this town what it is today. Just as important, they’ve made efforts to preserve and share that history. Abilene is a Top True Western Town.”
This is the twelfth year True West has presented this annual award. Editors base their selection on criteria demonstrating how each town has preserved its history through old buildings, museums and other institutions, events, and promotions of historic resources.
Story from True West Magazine