Certain historically significant townsappear often in Westerns. Abilene was one of the first great cow towns. Early in the Western period it became a rail junction and thus a destination for the great early cattle drives from Texas. Like Dodge City, Abilene symbolizes the conjunction of civilization in the east and the Western frontier. The town is usually depicted as crowded with cowboys, saloons, and saloon girls. Gunshots punctuate the night. Only the toughest of lawmen, such as Wild Bill Hickok, can tame such a town. Abilene Town (1946) and Gunfight in Abilene (1967) celebrate this great cow town of the Great Plains.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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