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 John McCue Abraham

Photo added by L. Abraham

John McCue Abraham

  • Birth 4 Feb 1840 Butler County, Ohio, USA
  • Death 6 Jul 1913 Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, Iowa, USA
  • Burial Elk City, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA
  • Memorial ID 74817421

Our sincere appreciation to Kimberly Guthmann for being so giving of her time to go to the Elk City Cemetery to take photos of the Abraham headstones. THANK YOU, our family is truly grateful.


John McCue ABRAHAM was born February 4, 1840 in a large brick house (built by his grandfather Lot ABRAHAM) which was near the road leading from Scripio to Hamilton in Butler County, Ohio. He was the seventh child of nine children born to John Lot and Sarah (née McCUE) ABRAHAM.

In the spring of 1841, John Lot and Sarah moved their family from Ohio to Iowa. They traveled in a Conestoga wagon with their family of five children: Susie, age 10; Rebecca, 9; Sarah, 5; Lot, 3; and John McCue, 1.

While living in Ohio, John Lot and Sarah suffered the loss of two daughters, Margaret, age 4, and Nancy, age 1; the girls died 1833 and 1835 respectively.

The ABRAHAMs traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio from their home in Butler County. At Cincinnati, they drove their wagon onto a steamboat which took them to Keokuk, Iowa. Upon arrival in Iowa, they began their drive to the home of friends near New London.

After carefully searching for good land with a stand of timber, John Lot ABRAHAM found the land he wanted to make into their farm and home. It was located in Section 35, Center Township in Henry County, Iowa. He immediately began work clearing part of the land, building a log house and a barn, making fence rails, plowing, and growing crops. On November 3, 1841, Sarah gave birth to their eighth child, Catherine.

During the winter of 1842/1843, John Lot became ill with "Winter Fever" and died on February 10, 1843 at the age of 36 years and 10 months. Sarah was pregnant with their ninth child, a little girl. She gave birth seven months later on September 19, 1843 and named their daughter, Margaret.

After John's death, Sarah McCUE ABRAHAM (age thirty-six) was faced with a mortgage to pay, a farm to manage, and seven children to raise without her husband. She never again married. Sarah devoted her life to her children and worked hard to ensure that they were fed, clothed, and attended school. To generate income, Sarah spent countless long hours at her loom weaving blankets, jeans, linsey, flannel, and carpet for anyone able to hire the work done. She raised flax and spun and wove that with wool from a small band of sheep she kept. Sarah made everything the children wore except their shoes.

Through her endless efforts and her children's help, the family was able to stay together and survive the lonely lean years following the death of the children's father. John Lot and Sarah's children grew into adulthood and had the opportunity to have families of their own and fulfilling lives.

In 1861, John McCue ABRAHAM's older brother Lot (confident that the family and farm would be well cared for by his brother John in his absence) made the decision to leave the family farm and join the Union Army. He fought in the American Civil War with Company D of the 4th Iowa Regiment of Cavalry Volunteers until the war ended. John remained at home managing the farm and caring for their mother and sisters.

According to family stories, both Lot and John had wanted to join the Union Army, but they knew one of them would need to stay and work on the farm and take care of the family. To settle which brother would voluntarily enlist, the young men decided to go out in a field and settle the matter with a fist fight -- whoever won would leave home and join the army while the other stayed to care for the family and work the farm until drafted into service. Both were strong and determined to win. Their determination resulted in the fight continuing for quite some time under the hot sun. It wasn't until both men were near collapse from exhaustion and dehydration that John reluctantly conceded to his older brother Lot.

John registered for the draft and was classified as Class I, and as such was subject to do military duty, but he was never drafted.

On February 5, 1865, John McCue ABRAHAM married Catharine Margaret BARTLETT in Mt. Pleasant.

His mother, Sarah, died September 7, 1872 on the ABRAHAM farm her husband, John Lot, founded, and she and the children had worked so hard to maintain and keep from foreclosure. Their farm was in the ABRAHAM family for three generations.

In the spring of 1881, John and Catharine moved from Iowa with their family to Nebraska and settled in the Elkhorn River Valley in Douglas County. Over the years that followed, their homestead grew into a successful cattle ranch of 400 acres and Nebraska became their permanent home.

John and Catharine had six sons and one daughter: Lot, Margaret "Maggie", James Willard, Charles, John E., Arthur, and Roy Clair. (Please refer to the 1898 family photo posted above. John and Catharine are shown with all their children except for John E.; he had died in 1882 at the age of seven.)

John McCue ABRAHAM was a kind-hearted man loved for his cheerfulness, kindness, and his obvious love for his family and friends.

Family Members



DIED MAY 3, 1901
DIED JULY 6, 1913





  • Created by: L. Abraham
  • Added: 12 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74817421
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John McCue Abraham (4 Feb 1840–6 Jul 1913), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74817421, citing Elk City Cemetery, Elk City, Douglas County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by L. Abraham (contributor 47495388) .