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Dickinson County, KS

Dickinson CountyHorace Greeley made the statement, "it takes three log houses to make a city in Kansas, but they begin calling it a city as soon as they stake the lots."


During Dickinson county's early years, three log houses were adequate to create a town. A small simple structure or two were given a name, a corner of which was set apart as a post office. In many instances a limited inventory of staple tiems were stocked for sale to the sparse public. Quite often, the local blacksmith shapened plow shears and shod horses for his neighbors. Numberous such "towns" have disappeared without a trace and lie buried with the hopes of the promoters.


Dickinson county has no pre-Territorial history, as the first settlement that took place on Chapman Creek in 1855, and was made by a family named Lenon. Dickinson county, like most all other counties in Kansas, away from the bank of the Missouri River, suffered under that erroneous impression that it was a country unfit for human habitation, and as a consequence, settlers came in very slowly. At the time the county was organized, in 1857, there was not over a half dozen families in the county. The county was named after Daniel S. Dickinson, United States Senator from New York.


At that time, prior, and for some time following, the wide valley of the Smoky and the extensive level plains of the prairie formed the choice hunting grounds of the various Indian tribes located to the north, south, east and west of what is now Dickinson County. The country abounded in deer, elk, buffalo, antelope and all other kinds of wild game, and even for years after white settlement commenced, these kings of the prairie roamed the plains of Dickinson County in countless numbers.


Abilene established its reputation early as center for the cattle business where a railhead was established that shipped cattle herded up the western cattle trails from Texas to the eastern buyers. Although the cattle shipping monopoly ceased in 1871 when railroads extended south, the businesses built up during the ten years of booming trade continued to keep Abilene a top retail center in the county. Today, antiques and historical museums and collections make Abilene an interesting community to explore.


Herington and Enterprise welcome you to explore the history of their communities, as well, which developed from those similar "log cabin" towns, and have managed to grow into choice areas to visit and maybe "stake your claim!"

Explore Dickinson County


C.W. Parker Carousel

This antique carousel is a National Landmark and was built in Abilene by C.W. Parker c. 1901. The carousel is a track-operated machine consisting of 24 hand-carved horses and 4 chariots on a 50

Abilene, KS Landmarks

Old Abilene Town

Can Can Girls & Gunfighters - Weekends May - October

Abilene, KS Historic Towns

Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum & Boyhood Home

Built by the Eisenhower Foundation, with funds raised through public gifts, the Eisenhower Museum is constructed of Kansas limestone. Originally dedicated on Veterans Day, 1954, the Museum was built to house the materials and objects related to Dwight D. Eisenhower's life. It contains over 30,000

Abilene, KS Museums

Carnegie Library

The Herington Library built in 1918 is one of the original libraries built by funds contributed by Andrew Carnegie that is still operating as a library. In 1897, 10 years after Herington, Kansas was founded, the Women'

Herington, KS Carnegie Libraries

Seelye Mansion and Museum

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the twenty-five room Georgian mansion was built in 1905 by A.B. Seelye, a patent medicine entrepreneur. Museum depicts turn-of-the-century medicine business.

Winner of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture!!

Abilene, KS Famous Homes

Heritage Park

A pocket park in downtown Herington is lined with engraved bricks of individuals and businesses and memorial bricks. The area is used to rest, entertain and to inform.

Herington, KS



Abilene Civic Center

The restored 1928 U.P. Depot is home to the Kansas Visitor Information Center and 150 person meeting room.

History Of The Abilene Civic Center

California architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed Abilene'

Abilene, KS Historic Buildings

Fairgrounds Park

Fairgrounds Park, at the community's south end, has a miniature train for children to ride on summer evenings, along with baseball diamonds, playground, picnicking, and tennis courts. Nearby is the Railroad Museum, located in a historic baggage car.

Herington, KS Recreation

St. John's Catholic Church

St. John's Catholic church built in 1908

Herington, KS Historic Churches

Explore Dickinson County