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Posted By: Peggy Webster Volunteer (email)
Date: 4/17/2014 at 19:12:11

By Karen Abbott

John Elmer Abbott, the son of Benjamin Franklin and Eliza S. (Bish) Abbott, was born December 18, 1885, in Grover Township, Adair County, Iowa. Sarah Agnes Gray, the daughter of Hugh Jr. and Nancy H. (Knouf) Gray, was born January 3, 1909, and to this union were born nine children.

Thelma Ellen (November 9, 1910), married Homer Ridler on August 26, 1935. They had five children, Lloyd, Gail, Margaret, Virginia and Evelyn.

Hugh Franklin (May 21, 1912) married Violet Boswell on July 26, 1935. They had three sons, Gerald, Duane and Cleo.

Velta Nancy (November 7, 1913) married Floyd Price May 1, 1935. They had one daughter, Velta Marie.

Dorthea Elma (March 1, 1915) married Elton Berry February 2, 1934. They had four children, Eugene, Marvin, William "Billy" and Joyce.

Roland John (March 4, 1917) married Lorrene Ingraham July 7, 1936. They had three children, Ronald, Connie and Bonnie.

Lucile Agnes (September 15, 1919) married Everard Stark December 12, 1937. They had one son, Larry.

Wayne Elmer (April 5, 1922) married Ruth Bolger April 5, 1942. They had two children, Jayne and Jerry.

Verl Gale (May 18, 1924) married Alnora Christensen March 31, 1946. They had three children, Yvonne, Genevive and Dean.

Earl Dale (May 18, 1924) married Helen Hall June 4, 1949. They had three daughters, Karen, Nanette and Lisa.

J. Elmer and Sarah started on the farm that was to be in the family for over 140 years. In 1918 they moved to a farm in Union County, and in 1935 they moved to an 80-acre farm five miles north of Greenfield that Sarah's father had owned. Their home had a nice sized kitchen where many happy family meals were served. Sarah loved serving family meals and Elmer loved to play croquet with the children and grandchildren. The player piano in the parlor was fascinating for the grandchildren.

Elmer grew sorghum and built a vat to process it. They used it as syrup and also made good gingerbread and ginger cookies. When the boys came home from school, they would have bread, butter and sorghum. Sometimes they strung the sorghum across the silverware drawer, which was upsetting to Sarah.

Elmer's father, Benjamin, once went to visit his sister in Oklahoma and he took sick with typhoid. Elmer went to nurse him back to health. He was good at nursing people and made sure that if a doctor gave medicine, it was taken.

Sarah would stay up and sew for her family by lamplight after they were safely in bed. She made clothing from flour, sugar and feed sacks, as well as material ordered from Sears & Roebuck. She also took pride in a nice white laundry dancing on the line. Sarah made most of her own soap in an iron boiler using lye, grease and water.

As of 2001, there has been an Abbott family reunion on the second Sunday in August for 80 years. People always looked forward to Sarah's burnt sugar cake at the reunion.

J. Elmer died July 7, 1966, and Sarah died on January 12, 1973. They are both buried at Grove Cemetery north of Greenfield.

Transcribed from Adair County Iowa Sesquicentennial Edition 1851-2001
Pages 185-186


Adair Biographies maintained by Carlyss Noland.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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