Transcript:Indiana, United States. Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties/A/Abbott, Joseph


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Joseph Abbott (p 933)

When a man thoroughly enjoys and is interested in his line of employment, success is almost certain to come to him; and he who not only is not afraid to work, but is best contented when he is actively occupied, is the one who is undoubtedly on the highway leading to prosperity. In the experience of Joseph Abbott, of Springfield Township, Franklin County, this fact is clearly seen, and it is largely to this that he owes his present goodly fortune.

He is one of the native sons of this township, born October 26, 1840, his parents being John and Eliza (Smith) Abbott. The father, who was of Scotch-Irish descent, was born in Pennsylvania, and accompanied his parents to Butler County, Ohio, when he was young. He was the only one of his parents' children who lived past infancy, and he was carefully trained for his future career as an agriculturist. He was not fond of farming, however, and when he reached his seventeenth year he went to Cincinnati and began serving a five years apprenticeship to the tailor's trade. Afterward he followed that calling successfully for about twenty years, and while a resident of the city married and had two children. His wife and little ones having died, he removed to Franklin County in 1830, bought a small farm, with a few acres cleared and a log cabin on the place, and with characteristic energy he set to work to improve and cultivate this homestead, which in time became one of the best in that locality. He raised and fed live stock, and as prosperity smiled upon him he increased the dimensions of his farm until, at his death, he possessed a valuable estate. He was not a politician, but was concerned in the success of the Democratic Party, to which he gave his earnest support. Religiously he was identified with the Methodist Church, and led a sincere, worthy Christian life. Soon after coming to this county he married again, but his wife died within a few years, and their two children, Seldon and Mahala, died unmarried after arriving at maturity. For a third wife he chose Eliza Smith, who was born in Butler County, Ohio, the only daughter of James Smith, of Pennsylvania, who late in the last century settled on the Ohio frontier in Butler County, and there pursued the blacksmith's trade, in connection with farming. His wife survived him many years, and died at the home of our subject when quite aged. Her eldest son, John D., died in Butler County, and the other sons are James, William and Joseph. John and Eliza (Smith) Abbott became the parents of four children, namely: Joseph; Elizabeth, who died when young; John D., who manages the old homestead in this township, and James, who died unmarried. The mother departed this life in 1856, and several years afterward the father married Margaret Combs. She is deceased, as is Mr. Abbott also, he having been summoned to his reward in 1884.

Joseph Abbott, of this sketch, received a common school education and early mastered the details of agriculture. He resided on the old homestead for several years subsequently to his marriage, in 1862, and then purchased the farm where he is now living. Here he has made all the improvements, putting in a great deal of tiling, clearing some of the land, and placing all under good cultivation. He lives in a substantial two-story frame house, and has all of the barns and other farm buildings necessary for the accommodation of his live stock, farm products and machinery. In addition to this place he owns a valuable farm on the state line, about three and a half miles west of Reily, Ohio, and has other property which would command a high price if placed in the market. Formerly he bought, shipped and handled live stock extensively, but is now practically retired, as he has amassed a competency. A few years ago he removed to College Corner, where he built a house and barn and beautified a place for a home, but he soon tired of the narrow life of the town, and returned to the country and his accustomed pursuits.

In 1862 Mr. Abbott married Eleanor Van Ausdall, who was born in Butler County, in 1841. Her parents, George and Hannah Van Ausdall, were natives of Pennsylvania, and came west with their respective families, in their youth. They were married in Butler County, and began housekeeping in a small cabin, around which a few acres had been cleared. After a number of years had rolled away, the forest had been leveled, and a fine farm had been developed, his children grown to maturity and gone from the home, the father sold his property, and spent his last years at the home of a daughter, in Mount Carmel. He died about 1876, and was survived by his wife, who entered the silent land in 1884. They were faithful members of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Abbott had nine brothers and sisters, namely: Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson; Mrs. Mary J. Laird; John and Margaret, who died when young; Garrett, a farmer; Joseph, of Decatur County; Hannah, who died in childhood; Mrs. Martha Wehr; and George W., of Rush County.

Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Abbott, namely: Florence J., who is the wife of Perry Appleton; George W., a farmer of this township; John E., also engaged in farming in this vicinity; Loretta, wife of C. Stinger, a farmer of this locality; Ellis S., who is assisting his father in the work of the homestead; and Clarence W., who was born October 17, 1886. Religiously Mr. and Mrs. Abbott and family are identified with the Methodist Church.