Abilene’s Oldest Businesses That Began in 1881 are Still Going Today
Abilene was first established by cattlemen that were looking to set up a shipping point for their cattle on the Texas and Pacific Railroad system. Landowner, cattleman, and Abilene founder Capt. Claiborne Walker (Clabe) Merchant is responsible for naming Abilene, Texas after Abilene, Kansas, the end of the Chisholm Trail.
On March 15th, 1881, Merchant, and other cattlemen and businessmen began auctioning off the property and lots in what is now downtown Abilene. The Abilene Standard Reporter was the first business to buy a lot and start printing handbills.
It’s interesting how Abilene’s first businesses got started as one business and then begun fulfilling the different needs of this little start-up town known as Abilene, Texas. In June 1881 the ‘Abilene Standard Reporter’ was established by Charles Gilbert and in January, 1882 Mr. Gilbert added ‘Abilene Printing’ forming one company.
From that day forth Abilene Printing was the operator of Abilene Standard Reporter known today as the Abilene Reporter-News, newspaper. From that day forth Abilene Printing continued providing its commercial printing services to Abilene and West Texas as well as being the Abilene reporter, delivering the latest news and information to West Texas.
In 1924 the new owner George Anderson separated the two businesses turning one into the ‘Abilene Reporter’ the daily newspaper and the other into Abilene Printing and Stationery Company and the two have remained two separate entities ever since.
Both businesses are still operating and thriving successfully today, 140 years later. If you visit Abilene Printing and Stationery in downtown Abilene, they can take care of your business printing needs, and also provide all sorts of furniture and equipment to outfit any business office. The Abilene Reporter-News is still keeping West Texas informed on all the latest news.