|Birth: ||Jul. 20, 1842|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jul. 4, 1915|
The name of Abbott is an old and familiar one in Whiteside county, for from its very earliest history representatives of the family have been closely identified with its agricultural development and progress. The gentleman whose name introduces this record was for many years identified with that field of activity, but his labors in former years now enable him to live retired, although he still retains his residence on his fine farm of two hundred and seventy acres, situated in Garden Plain township, this place constituting the old family homestead.
Albert T. Abbott was born in Chautauqua county, New York, July 20, 1842, a son of Clark and Betsy Crouch Abbott, native of New Hampshire and New York, respectively. The family was founded in America by thirteen brothers, who emigrated to this country from Scotland prior to the time that this country was engaged in the struggle for independence. Landing in New York city, they there separated, establishing their homes in various sections of the New England states. Most of the brothers engaged in farming and several of them served in the American army in the war for independence. However, Moses Abbott, the grandfather of our subject, was a cripple and was therefore incapacitated for service. His family numbered several children, but there is record of but five, these being: Moses, who served in the Mexican war; Clark; John; Relief, who married a Mr. Cook; and Nora. The father of this family died in Vermont.
Clark Abbott, the father of our subject, was born and reared in New Hampshire. In 1843, hoping to enjoy better advantages in the west, he made his way to Illinois, settling near Aurora, where he made his home until 1852, in which year he took up his abode in Whiteside county, taking up government land in Ustick township. At the time he settled in this locality there were but three other settlers in the township, these being Oliver Baker, Henry I. Burt and Aaron Ives. Here a long, strenuous task presented itself to him, but he met it with a steady, unwavering resolution. Wild game was still plentiful in this district and wolves frequently came in the dooryard. The houses, too, were very crude, being built by driving posts into the ground and covering them with slabs or clapboards on the outside, while in the winter a similar wall was made on the inside, the space between the boards being filled with dirt in order that the inmates might be better protected from the cold. The roof of the house was also made of clapboards and many times members of the family who were sleeping in the attic have wakened in the morning to find several inches of snow on the bed. The father soon developed his farm of one hundred and fifty acres and each year gathered good crops, for the soil was made rich and productive through the care and labor he bestowed upon it. The family had to endure many hardships and inconveniences during the pioneer epoch of the section of the state, the nearest milling point being at Jacobstown, in the northern portion of the county. The trip was made with ox teams, the journey requiring a day, and often upon reaching the mill one would have to wait a week in order to get his feed ground into bread stuff, this being the only milling place for a great area of country. In 1861 the loyalty and patriotism of Mr. Abbott was displayed when he organized a company for service in the Civil war, this being known as Company F, of the Ninety-third Illinois Regiment. He did not go to the front, however, as his son enlisted and his services were needed on the home farm and in the care of the wife and children. He continued to cultivate this property until 1868 and during this time took and active interest in public office. At various times he served as city marshal, being in the office about ten years, while for several terms he served as deputy sheriff and as constable. His death occurred in 1882, and thus the county lost one of its most valued and honored pioneer citizens, for from the time of his settlement here he had been known as a most industrious and useful man, whose probity was an unquestioned element in his career, and many times his energy was at the service of his community.
Clark Abbott was three times married. He was first married in the east to Miss Betsy Crouch, a native of New York, who died in 1845, two years after coming to this state. The children of that marriage, five in number, all lived to maturity, these being: Mariam, the deceased wife of Abner Ustick; Olive, the widow of John Johnson; Llewellyn, deceased; Leland, who served in the Civil war as a member of Company F, Ninety-third Illinois Infantry, and is now deceased; and Albert T., whose name introduces this record. The second wife of Mr. Abbott bore the name of Sarah Moore and by this marriage there was one daughter, Helen, who died of diptheria, this being the first case of that disease in the county where death resulted. Mr. Abbot was married a third time to Mrs. Mary Wilson, nee Cocks, by whom he had a son and daughter: Clark, and Mary, the wife of Ollie Penoyer, a resident of Quincy, Illinois.
Albert T. Abbott was but a year old when he was brought from the east to Illinois and was a lad of eleven years at the time the removal was made to Whiteside county, so that he is thoroughly familiar with all the pioneer conditions that here existed at the time the family home was established in Ustick township. He shared with the other members of the household in all the hardships and privations incident to the development of a farm in a wild and unsettled district and acquired his education in a log schoolhouse in the neighborhood, the methods of instruction being equally as primitive as the building in which his studies were pursued. He assisted the father in the work of the home farm until 1861, when, the Civil war having been inaugurated, he displayed his loyalty by offering his services to the government and at the age of nineteen years became a member of Company F, Ninety-third Illinois Volunteer Regiment, serving in the Seventy-fifth Corps. He participated in the battles of Vicksburg, Raymond and Jackson, Mississippi, and engaged in many other skirmishes and battles of lesser importance. After the surrender of Vicksburg, his regiment was attached to the Seventeenth Corps and he was engaged in the Atlanta campaign and was with Sherman on his celebrated march to the sea. From Raleigh, North Carolina, the regiment marched to Washington, D. C., and from the latter place went to Louisville, Kentucky, thence making their way to Chicago, where Mr. Abbott was mustered out on the 5th of July, 1865, his term of service covering two years, eleven months and some days.
It was on the following day that Mr. Abbott returned to his home in Whiteside county and resumed his labors on the home farm. After two years, however, he established a home of his own by his marriage, in 1867, to Miss Eliza Wilson, a daughter of Mrs. Mary Wilson, nee Cocks, who became the third wife of Clark Abbott, the father of our subject. The young couple took up their abode upon a farm and in 1873 Mr. Abbott purchased the old homestead farm, comprising one hundred and fifty acres, for which he paid thirty-five dollars per acre. As the years passed and he prospered in his undertakings he added to his original holdings until his place now embraces two hundred and seventy acres, located in Garden Plain township. In his farm labor he has followed the most progressive and modern methods, so that his land is among the richest and most productive in Whiteside county, today being worth at least one hundred dollars per acre. For many years he was actively engaged in carrying on agricultural pursuits, but through his energy and careful management he has acquired a competence that now enables him to spend the evening of his days in honorable retirement, although he still maintains his residence on the old home farm.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Abbott was blessed with two sons and a daughter: Louis, a resident of Garden Plains township; Lee, who is engaged in merchandising in Garden Plain; and Inez, the wife of Harry Bitler, who is engaged in farming at Albany. The wife and mother passed away in 1882. She was highly respected by all who knew her and her many friends and neighbors felt the deepest loss when she was called to from this life. Mr. Abbott's political views endorse the principles and policy of the democratic party and he has been called by the vote of his fellow townsmen to fill various public offices, having served as road commissioner for twenty-nine years, while for nine years he served as assessor of his township, his official duties having been discharged with the same promptness and fidelity that he displays in the management of his private business affairs. Having the pioneer conditions of this section of the state. He has seen the country developed into one of the foremost districts of this great state and through struggle and adversity has made his way to the front until today, crowned with a comfortable competence he stands in the same relation to his fellowmen as he did in his early years when struggling for a livelihood, recognizing and appreciating honest purpose and genuine worth and rating the individual by his merits and not by his possessions. Today at the age of sixty-six years he lives a contented and happy life and enjoys the rest which he so well deserves.
Contributed by Amy Anderson from the History Of Whiteside County
Eliza J Wilson Abbott (____ - 1878)*
Louis Theodore Abbott (1870 - 1924)*
Inez E Abbott Bitler (1877 - 1925)*
Garden Plain Cemetery
Created by: Paula
Record added: Aug 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20781781
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