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John W. Abbott
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Birth: 1853
Illinois, USA
Death: May 31, 1909
Saline County
Kansas, USA

The Salina Daily Union
Salina, KS
31 May 1909, page 1




On Saturday He Was in the Best of Spirits -- Outlined Work for This Week.

John W. Abbott, aged 56 years, suicided [sic] this morning about 5:15 o'clock at his home, No. 911 West Spruce street, by drinking carbolic acid. Mr. Abbott had threatened to do this several times and, as far as can be learned, there was no special reason for his taking his life at this time other than that he had evidently planned to do it for some time.

Abbott was a retired farmer. He left the farm at New Cambria and went to Beloit, where he started "Abbot's Free Lance," a queer religious publication. It was issued weekly but survived only a few weeks when Abbott quit the business and moved to Salina.

Abbott was an early riser. He usually got up at 5 o'clock and sometimes even before this hour. The house in which he lived had no water supply and Abbott got water for the family at a neighbor's, George Dittersbacher [sic], No. 918 West South street.

This morning about 5 o'clock Abbott came for water as usual. There was nothing strange in his actions. He got the bucket of water and went home again.

It was just a few minutes later when Mrs. Abbott hurried over to Rittersbacher's and told him her husband had taken carbolic acid.

No One Saw Him Drink.

Abbott occupied one room in the house and his wife another. She heard him come back with the water and a few minutes later heard him breathing heavily. This did not excite any suspicions as he had often breathed in that way. Then, looking into his room, she saw him throw up an arm and the odor of carbolic acid was distinct. She knew at a glance what he had done, for he had threatened to take his life. She hastened to the Rittersbacher home for help.

Mr. Rittersbacher telephoned physicians who told Mr. Rittersbacher to give the man whisky until they got there. Mr. Rittersbacher gave him doses of whisky in large quantities, but it did no good. The acid had then almost had its full effect.

Abbott was unconscious. Doctors came and worked with him but he died in about three-quarters of an hour. He had undoubtedly suffered much agony.

He had drunk about one-half ounce of the acid. The odor of the acid pervaded the rooms and the empty bottle, which he drained, was found lying near him. He may have taken the acid in the kitchen and went to the bed room, or he may have gone back to bed first and then taken the acid. He lay in bed completely dressed. Even his hat was on his head.

Sheriff Heck and County Attorney Knittle went to the scene but there was nothing to indicated anything other than suicide.

He Acted Strangely.

For years John Abbott had acted queerly. He on several occasions threatened to kiss himself and the wife and son had watched him closely since that time. He held very queer religious views which were exploited in the Free Lance he edited. One view was that if people had souls, animals also had souls and went to a hereafter.

On one occasion some years ago, after a child had died from drinking carbolic acid, Abbott question his wife, a trained nurse, as to how the acid worked. It later occurred to her why he was asking this information.

Once before, it is said, he attempted suicide but was restrained.

Abbott was on the streets of Salina Saturday and at that time gave no intimation of any intended rash act. Mr. Abbott owns several houses in the vicinity where he lives but they were rented and he could not get them to live in himself and had to occupy a small three room house.

(Continued on Page 5.)

Saturday he stated that he soon expected to move into one of his own houses. He chatted pleasantly and it seems certain that at that time he had not planned on suicide.

But Sunday he acted queerly. He was seen by several parties walking back and forth on the Missouri Pacific tracks as though in deep thought. His appearance was so strange that many people remarked on it.

A Well Known Farmer.

John Abbott was a well known Saline county farmer. He was born in Illinois in 1853 and came to Saline county over twenty-five years ago, settlink [sic] on a farm in New Cambria. He lived there until recently, when he went to Beloit to establish the Free Lance, later moving to Salina.

A brother, George Abbott, was killed some years ago by a Union Pacific train at the Gebhart crossing. both med were good writers although John Abbott was classified as a radical.

The dead man leaves a wife and son. He also has a brother in Canton, Illinois.

Funeral services will be held at the Berg Undertaking parlors at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon probably in charge of Mrs. Abbott. The burial will be according to the dead man's wishes and his belief, often though so strange.

The body will then be shipped to Canton, Ill., for interment.
Family links: 
  Ruben W. Abbott (1884 - 1910)*
*Calculated relationship
The world was his country;
To do good his religion.

"The hero sleeping in his grave
Heeds not the malice of his foes
Nor the lies of any petty nave
Cannot disturb his sweet repose."
Shares a marker with Ruben W. Abbott.
Gypsum Hill Cemetery
Saline County
Kansas, USA
Plot: Block 9, Lot 42, Space 15
Created by: sister7a
Record added: Sep 17, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21618547
John W. Abbott
Added by: sister7a
John W. Abbott
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sarah Lee
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 Added: Jan. 16, 2013
Rest in Peace.
- Mary
 Added: Mar. 1, 2008

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