Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Brief Look at Abilene's Historic Buildings: the Dwight D. Eisenhower Boyhood Home

The Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum recently featured the exhibit City on the Plains: A Look at Abilene Architecture. The following is a brief look at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Boyhood Home. (Photograph courtesy of the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum.)

This simple Victorian cottage was built in 1887 by Ephriam Ellis, who was a school teacher in the community. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s grandfather, Jacob, purchased the home five years later. It was later deeded to Dwight’s uncle, Abraham Lincoln Eisenhower. Abraham decided to move west in 1898, and offered the home to David and Ida, parents of Dwight and five other boys that grew up in the house.

Bill Jeffcoat took this photograph and used the image for a postcard to be sold to Abilene tourists in the 1940s.  Ida Eisenhower was still living in the home at the time.  When Jeffcoat arrived to the home, he noticed that Ida was sweeping the front porch.  When she saw that Jeffcoat was setting up a camera to take a picture of her home, she dropped her broom and rushed inside the house.  If you look at this image closely, you can notice Ida's broom leaning against the right side of the porch.

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