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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


Great Plains Theatre

"Kansas' premier professional theatre company", is housed in the Great Plains Theatre, a 100

Abilene, KS Theatres


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

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

Herington Historical Museum

The Herington Historical Museum features photos of the town's history and artifacts from the community's earliest days. Learn about the history of area clubs and organizations and study church history.

Herington, KS Museums

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

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

Russell Stover Factory Outlet

10,000-square-foot factory outlet store, has a video that plays all the time, to show you how the candy is made.

Abilene, KS Factory Outlets

The Heritage Center Museums

The Museum depicts life on the plains during the American pioneer movement & westward expansion periods. Exhibits include Indians, pioneers, railroad, agriculture, Victorian and cowtown eras.

Abilene, KS Museums

Father Padilla Historical Marker

FATHER JUAN DE PADILLA & QUIVIRA In 1540 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado marched north from Mexico with 300 Spaniards in search of "The Seven Golden Cities of Cibola."

Herington, KS Historical Markers

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

Explore Dickinson County