As a young boy traveled with his family from Ohio to Wisconsin. There he grew up working on his father's farm. He married Lillian Jennings and established his own farm in Viroqua. After the loss of three of their children the family moved to McMinnville, Tennessee where he continued to farm. Due to health issues with some of their surviving children the Abbey family relocated to California. He homesteaded property in Apple Valley. In 1925 he helped to found the First Christian Church in Victorville where he was one of the original two elders. He died at his daughter Carol's home.