Frontier Texas is a history museum, gift shop and the official visitor center for Abilene and the Texas Forts Trail Region. Now Showing "Blood & Treasure on the Frontier"

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Our hours are: Monday-Saturday 9:00am-6:00pm (last showing at 4:30pm) and Sunday 1:00pm-5:00pm (last showing at 4:00)

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This month in Texas history

Date: July 26, 1870

On this day, rancher Charles Goodnight married his sweetheart Mary Ann (Molly) Dyer. The two first met at Fort Belknap about 1864. Goodnight, a veteran cattleman, helped blaze the Goodnight-Loving Trail in 1866. His wife Molly, orphaned in the 1850s, had worked as a schoolteacher to support her younger brothers. After their wedding, the couple settled on a ranch in Colorado for a few years before moving to the Palo Duro Canyon to help establish the JA Ranch. Charles managed the ranch, trailed cattle, and continued to upgrade the herds while Molly made a home on the solitary plains near the canyon. Her husband invented a two-horned sidesaddle so that she could more easily ride on the ranch. Though the couple had no children of their own, she became the “Mother of the Panhandle” to countless ranch hands. Her care for orphaned buffaloes encouraged her husband to establish a domestic buffalo herd. In later years the ranching couple supported numerous schools, churches, and other organizations, and they established Goodnight College in 1898.

Explore this exhibit: A Wild Land

13,000 Years of cultures smashed by the forces of this region

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