Item #16000116 A. H./ THOMAS KIRBY, J. A./ LOUIS C. WISE, CO, publisher.

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Uncommonly Attractive Real Estate Promotional Map A Very Early Galveston Imprint
[Galveston, c. 1885]

Abilene, Texas.  KIRBY, A. H./ THOMAS, J. A./ LOUIS C. WISE & CO. (publisher) [Galveston: c. 1885] Map of Abilene.  22 ¾ x 25 inches. Lithograph.  Fine condition.                 

An unusually elegant example of a promotional city plan and possibly the earliest printed plan of Abilene.  It was also among the earliest maps printed by lithography in Texas.  In its crisp, highly orderly presentation of real estate available for purchase, this work provides an interesting contrast to popular images of the “Wild West” that Abilene was a part of.  A pristine example of a scarce map.

The plan’s exceptional detail makes it an important historical source.  In addition to the numerous, numbered, subdivided lots, it shows creeks, the Texas & Pacific Railroad and an index to the many subdivisions. Dozens of land owners are identified, along with street names, public buildings, and other information.

The plan likely appeared not long after Abilene’s incorporation in January of 1883.  The town was founded by the joint efforts of cattlemen and the Texas & Pacific Railway.  The refined appearance of the plan reflects the grand ambitions for the town as the “Future Great City of West Texas,” as it was styled in railroad promotions.  It was apparently named after the Kansas cattle town, perhaps to invoke that town’s importance in the cattle industry.  Properties sold briskly in Abilene’s early years, and its population grew rapidly reaching over 9000 two decades after incorporation.

Major Louis C. Wise was one of the earliest residents of Abilene.  He visited the area before the town was established and returned to dominate its real estate business after it was founded.  The map was published by Clarke & Courts, on what is believed to have been the oldest lithographic printing press in the State of Texas.  In 1877, the two printers brought the first lithograph press in the state to Galveston.


Price: $1,750.00

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