Dwight David Eisenhower was born in the small Texas town of Denison, on October 14, 1890. Though the citizens of the United States had removed the Native Americans from the land west of the Mississippi, much of this area, a vast subcontinent, remained unsettled. The country was barely a century old. Its populace was well under one hundred million. Much needed to be done. The prediction of President Thomas Jefferson that Americans would require many generations to move into and cultivate the lands of the American West had proved correct.
Shortly after Eisenhower's birth, his father, David, moved his family to Abilene, Kansas. They had moved to Texas from near Abilene so that David could take a railroad job; times were hard, and he had needed to do it. Once back in Abilene, the Eisenhowers moved first into a small, wooden house across the Union Pacific Railroad tracks on the less-prosperous south side of town, then to a square, two-story house, also on the south side, that could barely accommodate what became a family of eight—mother, father, and six sons. It was here that the young Eisenhower grew to manhood.
During this period, religion was the foundation of most people's upbringing on the farms and in the villages of smalltown America, and the Eisenhower family was of the German Brethren in Christ, a sect of the Mennonites popularly known as the River Brethren because they held river baptisms. Dwight's