Abilene Visit


Abilene Visit

In 1857, Abilene started as a stage coach stop.  It wasn't until 1860 that the location was actually named Abilene, Kansas. So, the story goes, the city was named by the random opening of the Bible to Luke 3:1, which describes "Lysanius tetrarch of Abilene," which translate to "city of the plains."   How appropriate!

Abilene is full history, and especially for those interested in the romantic history of the "Wild West."

In 1867, the Kansas Union Pacific railway was pushing westward to Abilene.  Here is where luck happens (recall luck is when preparation meets opportunity). Joseph McCoy, a businessman from Illinois believed that the millions of long horn cattle grazing in Texas with out a market since the civil war had concluded, could be driven north to Abilene and there shipped via train east and north.  McCoy sent his agents to Texas, and thus the Chisholm Trail born, along with the first Wild West Cow Town!

The saloons, dancers, bar fights, gunslingers and gamblers, and Wild West Marshals soon followed, including Abilene’s most famous Marshal, "Wild Bill Hickok."  Old Abilene cow town is still well maintained, and includes a recent service project from the local Rotary club.

Abilene is of course the boyhood home of Kansas' most famous citizen, 5 star general, Planner of D-day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The museum, library, and Chapel, remain the standard by which all other Presidential libraries are judged.

The Lebold and Seelye mansions are a great take.  The downtown has to be the "antique capital of Kansas."  And don't forget to eat the best fried chicken in the state at the "Brookville Inn."

I have never seen so many grain bins in one city, and I have seen a lot of grain bins!!

And, don't let me forget to mention the National Greyhound Hall of Fame!

Investment manager Bryce Koehn leads the Rotary cub of Abilene this year.  One of my wife's and my dearest Rotarian friends and mentors, Past District Governor Mack Teasley and wife Inge were also present to greet us.  For years, I have watched how Mack and Inge carry themselves, knowing they were true Rotary leaders with a passion for service.  Mack has successfully led our district foundation now for several years.

Bryce gave me a wonderful tour of the many Service projects the Rotary club has done in Abilene. As well as the afore mentioned Cow town project, we visited a local garden that included a storage shed built by Rotarians, and stopped by the food bank to make a contribution.

This years Abilene Rotary golf tournament raised over $30,000 for local charities including: Kids in Crisis, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and Food for Kids weekend back pack for needy children.)

Abilene has 39 Paul Harris fellows in their lauded Rotary history.

Rotary club of Abilene, thank you for all your SERVICE and for all you do in your community.  You make me so very proud to be a Rotarian!