Abilene Texas was established by cattlemen as a stock shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway in 1881. The city was named after Abilene, Kansas, the original endpoint for the Chisholm Trail. Those cattlemen weren’t very imaginative.
This area of Texas was once inhabited by the Jumano Indians, who were pushed out by the more hostile Apache Indians, who were pushed out in 1724 by the even more hostile Comanche Indians.
The Spanish had been in this area since 1530, looking for the 7 cities of gold, which, obviously, they did not find. In the early 1800’s the Spanish government encouraged non-Spanish settlers to come to this region to create a buffer against the constant Comanche raids. Early Texas organizers, like Stephen F. Austin, were given large land grants which they used to offer free land as an enticement for Americans from the east and European Immigrants to come settle.
The area was vast and lacked an organized government, resulting in conflict between new settlers and people loyal to the Spanish government, in addition to the Indian conflict. To help protect the settlers, Stephen F. Austin formed the Texas Rangers. These conflicts ultimately let to the Texas war for independence from Mexico in 1836.
We went to the Texas Frontier Museum were we were guided by holograms (called Spirit Guides) through the museum.
This Comanche Chief’s shield was found buried with him. It contains 3 women’s scalps.
Do you recognize this stagecoach?
It was used in the movies Hombre, Three Amigos, The Cherokee Kid, and the TV show Little House on the Prairie.
Times were tough then. When you finally came to a town, you might use their community toothbrush.
Lubbock, Texas to Abilene, Texas: 176.0 miles
3 hours 31 minutes
11.8 MPG (we are going south, so it is all downhill)