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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
Peter Green Abbott
It is gratifying to be able to trace one’s ancestry to a remote period, especially so if we find among them only people of the highest honor and industry, as is the case in tracing the genealogy of Peter Green Abbott, a representative citizen of Fayette county, who was born in Concord, New Hampshire, February 14, 1830. He is the son of Reuben and Hannah (Abbott) Abbott. The son, brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all named Reuben. In Concord, New Hampshire, there were four generations in one house, all named Reuben Abbott. Two of the daughters of the oldest brothers of Peter G. Abbott still live in the old home, an historic New England place; this is the home where the great-grandfather settled when he came there from Andover, Massachusetts. He was descended both through his father and mother from George Abbott, who came over from England in 1620 in the “Mayflower,” and who located at Plymouth, where the family remained through several generations or until the subject’s great-grandfather, Reuben Abbott, moved north before the commencement of the American Revolution and located at Concord, New Hampshire. The subject’s paternal grandfather, Reuben Abbott, and his maternal grandfather, Daniel Abbott, were both in the Revolutionary war, going into the patriot army from New Hampshire. They are buried within a quarter of a mile of each other. Daniel Abbott was taken prisoner by the Indians, who took him to Canada. Just how he escaped is not clear, one version saying that he was exchanged, another that he borrowed skates of the Indians and acting as though entirely unskilled in their use, until a proper opportunity presented itself, when he dashed away and made good his escape.
The old Abbott home mentioned above was built prior to the Revolution and the present members of the Abbott family living therein take a delight in keeping it as nearly as possible in its original picturesque style, the old brick ovens, used for cooking purposes before the invention of stoves, and many heirlooms and relics of a bygone generation are to be seen.
Peter G. Abbott grew up on the farm and worked there until he was twenty-five years of age. In 1855 he joined his brother, Ezra, in Clayton county, Iowa, whither he had gone some years previous, and who is now living in Cumberland, Wisconsin. Henry, another brother, is living at Leroy, Kansas. Peter G. remained with Ezra Abbott from May, 1855, until December of that year, the latter’s home having been near Carter’s Grove, eight miles east of Clermont. In December, 1855, Peter G. Abbott came to Bethel township, Fayette county, and bought an eighty-acre tract in section 9, when the surrounding country was all a wild and unbroken prairie; but before purchasing the tract mentioned he rented land for a short time and, being a good worker, soon had a start.
On September 7, 1856, Peter G. Abbott married Emily, the daughter of Martin and Harriett (Hunt) Palmer, who came to Fayette county, Iowa, with her mother and stepfather, Davis Kidder, in the spring of 1855, her father having died when she was young. Her family on both side of the house were highly respected and well known in their respective communities, being people of the highest honor and integrity and always pleasant to meet.
About five years after his marriage Mr. Abbott sold his first farm and bought one hundred and sixty acres in section 8, buying at first only forty acres, which he added to as he prospered, forty acres, then eighty acres. He raised enough colts to pay for the last eighty acres, having formerly raised a great many horses and his stock was always of a high grade and easily marketed. He has lived on his present place for a period of forty-seven years, having resided in Bethel township longer than any one now living here, being the oldest settler of the same. When he came the vicinity was decidedly wild and virgin prairie was overrun by wolves, deer and small game. He has lived to see the township develop from its wild state to its present far-advanced stage of improvement, playing well his part in the great transformation, here being only about fifteen families in the township when he came here.
The following children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Peter G. Abbott: Almida Josephine married Charles Dickens, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work; Reuben Martin married Ruth Graves and lives in Oelwein, he being employed by the Chicago Great Western railroad; they have three girls and one son, Esther Lorena, Julia, Ada Clare, and Reuben Merle; their oldest child, Esther, married Eugene Borland and has three children, Ida Ruth, Vernon Eugene, and an infant; Julia married Charles Brownell and lives in Scott township, near Stanley; Justin Palmer Abbott, who lives near Brushie, South Dakota, on government land; Arthur Platts Abbott married Etta Freeman and four children have been born to them, three of whom are living, two girls and one boy, George Deigle, who died when eight years of age, Arthur Green, Mary Emma and Sybil. Arthur Platt Abbott is employed by a company organized to push an invention of his own. Walter Henry Abbott died when ten months old. Henry Walter Abbott, the youngest child, married Etta Schoonover and lives on the farm adjoining his father on the north, owning one hundred and sixty acres, half of which lies in section 8 and the other half in section 9. He has two children, Clarence Weston and Edith Belle.
Mrs. Peter G. Abbott passed to her rest on May 11, 1873, and Mr. Abbott was again married, his second union taking place in Chickasaw county, Iowa, in November, 1879, when he espoused Achsah (Oatman) , widow of Thomas Moss and daughter of Simon Oatman. She was born in Ontario county, New York, and came to Iowa in 1854, with her aunt, with whom she resided until her marriage with the subject. Her aunt, Mrs. S. M. Crandall, widow of J. B. Crandall, died October 7, 1909, lacking less than three months of reaching the age of one hundred years.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Abbott are members of the Congregational church. In early life Mr. Abbott was active in the Republican party and he was formerly a Whig, then allied himself with the Know-Nothing party. He was a delegate to county conventions and was elected to the office of justice of the peace, assessor, township clerk, township treasurer and school director. For many years he has refused to run for offices, although often nominated for them without his knowledge or consent. This is an indication that he is held in the highest esteem by his fellow men and that he gave the utmost satisfaction in his former official capacities.
~transcribed by Tom and Sharon Dorland
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