Micro Stream Radio - Preservation Oaks

EP011 Kansas Dickinson County Historical Society - Austin Anders

February 14, 2022

In this episode, Sean Thomas meets with Austin Anders and Andrew Pankratz, from the Dickinson County Historical Society in Abilene, Kansas.

Austin and Andrew were so kind in spending time with us. They are very focused and dedicated to sharing Dickinson County history! 

It’s clear that the Dickinson County Historical Society is very well managed and truly one of our nation’s Preservation Oaks! Dickinson County residents and members of the Society are very lucky to have such a dedicated and professional team managing the Society! When you visit the Heritage center, you’re getting three museums in one!  There are some great benefits when you become a member. Visit, Join, and Donate to the Dickinson County Historical Society today.

Some highlights from this episode:

  • The number one priority of the Society at this time is a building expansion to use as an event venue for the county. Please donate to this important milestone. They are also looking to expand their educational programs and expand their agricultural artifact storage area. Of course, the society can always use help with donations for general maintenance and upkeep.
  • Austin related a couple of ghost stories. First is a gory ghost story regarding the local golf course and the 2nd about a grave monument at the local cemetery.
  • We learn about Abilene Kansas history as a Cow Town at the end of the thousand-mile Chisholm trail, as well as its famous Sheriffs Tom Smith and Wild Bill Hickock. You find out how Wild Bill shot the wrong man and left Abilene not long after!
  • We learn how the citizens of Abilene shut down the cattle trade in the city so they could realize a more civil town vs. a wild cow town!
  • We find out how Abilene got its name from the bible.
  • Due to Covid, attendance at the Heritage Center is down impacting Society funding. Please plan a visit, donate, and join the Dickinson County Historical Society today!
  • We chatted about President Dwight Eisenhauer who grew up in Abilene and Dickinson County. His boyhood home and Presidential Library are in Abilene.
  • We review the history of Dickinson County.
  • Surprisingly, Abilene is known as the “Greyhound Capital of the World”. Listen to find out why!
  • Austin and Andrew review several of the Society’s annual events in Dickinson County.
  • Austin and Andrew review how the Society works with children throughout the County.
  • Austin related a story about pioneer living and the snake that crawled out of the bed.
  • Andrew related the history of A.B. Seelye who made patent medicine in the county.
  • Andrew related the history of C. L. Brown and the beginnings of Sprint telephone company.
  • The Society has a research library and will help people trace their family lineage.
  • There was an amusement park that C. L. Brown ran in the county where a huge number of people took their summer entertainment and relaxation.
  • We chatted about the W. C. Parker Carousel from 1901 that’s located on the Society’s grounds. A beautiful mechanism that no one produces anymore.
  • Austin and Andrew relay how they got started preserving and sharing history. With Andrew, sharing and preserving history runs in his family!
  • We learn about election irregularities that occurred in Dickinson County.
  • Austin provides more details about the 18 buildings located on the Society property. Well worth a visit to see them all!
  • The Society’s Heritage Center has a gift shop where they sell historical books about the area and there’s old fashioned stick candy available for the kids!

If you’re a listener in the area the society serves, OR if you’re a listener researching ancestors in the community the society serves and you’re not already a member, please consider joining and supporting the society! 

Just to review one last time the contact information for the Dickinson County Historical Society. To connect with the Society, their address is:

Dickinson County Historical Society
412 S. Campbell St.
Abilene, KS 67410
Dickinson County Historical Society and Museum | Facebook


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