The town marshal of Abilene in 1870 was Tom "Big Bear" Smith, who was murdered and decapitated on November 2. He wounded one of his two murderers, who were caught and served a life term. His successor was famed lawman Wild Bill Hickock in 1871.
Although barbed wire was invented in France in 1860 and a double-wire version was invented in and patented by the inventor in 1865, it wan't until 1873, when four large-scale firms in the US began to turn it out, that the wire became widely accessible.
Although born on October 14, 1890, in Denison, Texas, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, commander in chief of allied forces in western Europe during World War II, considered Abilene, Kansas, to be his hometown. He grew up in Abilene.