"The proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
June 22, 1945
*Special thanks to Abilene researcher, Nanc Scholl for adding to our list!
1. EISENHOWER PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM - 225 N. E. 4th Street
Visit the all-new exhibits at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and experience Ike and Mamie’s story in their own words.
One of Abilene’s most iconic attractions, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library,
Museum and Boyhood Home, attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Whether you’re a WWII and history enthusiast, fan of or simply exploring Kansas, the Dwight D. Eisenhower campus will leave you in awe. And don’t forget to take a selfie with the 11-foot bronze statue of General Eisenhower!
The Georgia granite base has quotations from Eisenhower's illustrious careers as President of the United States, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, General of the Army, Supreme Allied Commander of Europe, and Chief of Staff of the Army.
4. LINCOLN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SITE
Where the existing Visitor Center Stands
All of the Eisenhower boys attended Lincoln Elementary School (Grades 1-6). They then went on to Garfield for 7th & 8th grads. Lincoln Elementary School was purchased by the U.S. Government and razed in 1974. Construction of the Visitor Information Center was completed in time for its opening on July 1, 1975.
5. FIRST ABILENE HOME - 112 SE 2nd Street
6. BELLE SPRINGS CREAMERY - Cottage Street
Ike’s father, David, decided to move his family back to Abilene, from Dennison, Texas in 1892, to take a job as plant engineer at the Creamery. His sons were frequently seen hand-carrying his lunch to him from the house on 4th street, as he put in 12-16 hour work days.
Following his own high school graduation in 1909, Ike worked at the creamery as an iceman, a fireman and finally a second engineer. Before going off to West Point, Ike made “an impressive $90 per month”, with the work week being “eighty-four hours a week, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., fifty-two weeks a year.”
7. DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER MURAL - 105 NE 4th Street
8. CENTRAL SCHOOL SITE - 300 NW 7th Street
The buildings where Dwight Eisenhower and his brothers attended grades 7-12 have since been razed. The Garfield (Senior Living) now stands on the site of the Junior High School building. Directly to the east is the site of the Abilene High School building Ike graduated from in 1909. His class photo was taken on the steps, which can still be seen on the playground.
9. SEELYE MANSION - 1105 N. Buckeye Avenue
The home was featured on the History Channel’s Mysteries at the Mansion. Visitors even get to bowl on the 1905 Box Ball alley, which was purchased at the Chicago World’s Fair.
Ike Fact: Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered ice to the Seelye Mansion when he was a young boy. The Seelye sisters recounted stories of Ike as a man from the “other side of the tracks”.
10. ENGLE HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST - 102 Highland Drive
The Engle House Bed and Breakfast was the home to Jacob Engle and is on the National Register of Historic Places with connections to Abilene’s history. David Eisenhower came to Abilene KS after refrigeration school in Texas and started working for Jacob Engle at the Belle Springs Creamery where Jacob was Vice-President. Dwight D Eisenhower also worked for Jacob Engle during the summers until his appointment with West Point on June 14, 1911. Jacob Engle, President of the School Board, signed Dwight D Eisenhower’s high school diploma.
11. IKE’S PLACE - 100 NW 14th St
Ike's provides a very casual, family-oriented atmosphere while still capturing that sports feel. The menu is filled with something for everyone, from an assortment of flavored wings to juicy burgers, pasta to steaks, as well as amazing salads.
Ike Fact: Check out the historic photos and quotes from Dwight D. Eisenhower inside of the restaurant.
12. ABILENE CEMETERY - N.W. 14th Street, across from Abilene Middle School
Burial place of David Jacob Eisenhower (D: March 10, 1942) and Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower (D: September 11, 1946). Ike was noted to have visited his parents' graves during every return trip to Abilene. Pay respects to Ike’s parents.
13. MR. K’S FARMHOUSE RESTAURANT - 407 S Van Buren Street
14. EISENHOWER PARK & STADIUM - 500 Pine St.
In June 1944, this 40-acre park was dedicated to Dwight D. Eisenhower and has since been known as Eisenhower Park. It was from the park stadium on June 6, 1952, that General Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his candidacy for President.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Abilene City Park Historic District, is home to the Eisenhower Park & Rose Garden, stadium, municipal pool and playground, and the Central.
15. ROYER BAND SHELL – 500 Pine St.
The significance of this site is associated with the Abilene Municipal Band. The Band has been in existence since 1881, and played at both welcome parades for Ike, and his announcement for presidential candidacy. The original Band Shell burned down in 1989, with this one being built in 1990.
16. ABILENE’S VICTORIAN INN BED & BREAKFAST - 820 NW 3rd
17. MUD CREEK - NW 3rd Street
The Eisenhower boys and their friends made frequent fishing and swimming expeditions to this creek, whose banks were frequently swollen from heavy rains. With Ike’s assistance, a flood control project was completed in 1952.
18. SAM HELLER’S HOUSE - 214 N. Walnut Street
Eisenhower frequently entertained in this house, and other fine Abilene homes. It is believed that the decision to run for President of the United States was made in this home.
19. HOTEL SUNFLOWER - 409 N. W. 3rd Street
President Eisenhower and his family frequently stayed in suites at the Sunflower during trips to Abilene. They were photographed here, viewing the Welcoming Parade for Ike, from the Hotel balcony, in 1952.
20. DOWNTOWN ABILENE
Many of the buildings and storefronts in downtown Abilene remain from the days when Ike was a boy.
21. LITTLE IKE PARK - 324 N. Spruce Street
22. UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD DEPOT - 201 NW 2nd Street
President Eisenhower frequently traveled to and from Abilene by train, as a citizen, General and President of the United States.
Dwight D. Eisenhower departed Abilene from this site in 1911, for West Point and his future military career. At that time there was an older 3-story depot/hotel building located on the site. The official end of the Chisholm Trail, the original site of Texas Street and the Historic Post Office Block can be seen from the East portico entrance.
Following his death, his body was returned for burial at the Place of Meditation, via the Union Pacific Railroad, arriving in Abilene at this Depot.
California architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood designed Abilene's Union Pacific Railroad Depot and the matching freight depot to the West, in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The building was constructed in 1928 and passenger service began in 1929.
When the UP Railroad announced intentions to close the depot building in 1986, a community-wide campaign was launched to preserve the depot. Renovation costs were shared equally between city funds & community fund-raising efforts.
The Abilene Civic Center was officially dedicated in 1988 as a public-use facility. It has since housed hundreds of meetings, seminars, family gatherings, and more!
Offices for the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Abilene Area Chamber of Commerce are located in the west end of the building.