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Fayette County, Iowa  

 Biography Directory


Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa

Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of

Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County

Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago

March 1891



~Page 272~




PROF. ARTHUR P. ABBOTT, Principal of the Oelwein Normal and Commercial School, was born in Bethel Township, July 14, 1867, and is a son of Peter G. and Emily (Palmer) Abbott. His father was a native of New Hampshire, born in Concord, and is a descendant of George Abbott, one of the Pilgrim Fathers who came to this country in the 'Mayflower.' He was of the sixth generation from the founder of the family. The mother's family was also established in America at the same time. Rev. Lyman Abbott and the historian, J. C. Abbott, are of this family. The parents of our subject came to Fayette County in 1855, and settled in Bethel Township, where the father is still living. His wife died in May, 1873, and he afterwards married Mrs. Achsa Morse, a widow.


Our subject is fourth in order of birth in a family of five children, four of whom grew to mature years. He received liberal educational advantages, having supplemented his course in the public schools by study in the Iowa College of Grinnell. At the age of eighteen he had fitted himself for teaching and embarked upon that profession. He has taught in Poweshiek, Marshall, Jasper, Bremer and Fayette counties and on the 9th of September, 1890, he opened the Oelwein Normal and Commercial School, which he is now conducting. In politics he is a supporter of the Republican party and in religious belief is a Congregationalist. He holds membership in Alpha Lodge, I. O. G. T., of Alpha, Iowa, and is an intelligent, enterprising young man, who has a bright future before him. His school deserves a liberal patronage, for its Principal has won success as an educator, together with the commendation and good wishes of those who are acquainted with his methods of teaching."


Iowa Normal

"In the middle of the summer of 1890 Prof. Abbott came to Oelwein to look over the prospects of establishing a Normal School in that place; and after canvassing the town and surrounding country for about two months, came to the conclusion that enough material could be gathered to insure him in starting a school for the fall term. He accordingly rented rooms, published a circular, employed a faculty of five teachers including himself, and on the 9th of September opened the school known as the Oelwein Normal and Commercial School. Here he found things to be in very much the same state of affairs as did Fulton when the time had arrived to try his steamer. Some laughed at the idea, some hoped, and some doubted. The faculty for the great part was young and the public put but little confidence in them. The first day there were but twenty-four students to register. But as the school progressed it gave good satisfaction to its patrons and inspired confidence in those who were waiting for results. Soon the ranks began to fill up by the end of the fall term there were nearly seventy students registered. The fall term had proven to the public that it was a school of merit and one worthy of patronage. So much so that when the winter term opened a large number were ready to enter the ranks. It was during the latter part of this term that the school changed its name to the Iowa Normal, a name which was more in keeping with the ambition of its Principal. The school has chosen for its guiding star, 'Excelsior,' is rapidly pushing up the steeps of popularity, and will only stop when it has reached the heights."




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