PORTRAIT & BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF TAZEWELL & MASON COUNTIES, ILLINOIS, 1894
WILLIAM ABBOTT. Notable among the valuable farms of Mason County is that situated on section 23, Lynchburg Township, and owned and operated by the subject of this sketch. While the land is devoted mainly to the raising of cereals, considerable attention is also paid to stock-raising, and upon the farm are to be seen a number of full-blooded Jersey cattle and Chester White hogs. The residence, erected by Mr. Abbott at a cost of $2,000, is a two-story structure, 16x24 feet in dimensions, with an "L" 20x20. The other buildings are substantial, adapted to their varied uses; the barn, 50x30 feet, was built at a cost of $800, and is one of the best in the locality. Everything about the place indicates the energetic disposition and excellent judgment of the owner.
Our subject is of English parentage and descent. His father, Henry Abbott, who was born in that country February 1, 1829, came to America in 1842 and settled in Cass County, Ill., near Virginia, which place he reached with his wife and two children and $5 in cash. For three years he worked at the shoemaker's trade in that place after which he came to Mason County and bought an eight-acre tract near Fairview Church, in Lynchburg Township. Six years later he settled upon the farm now owned by our subject, and to his original purchase of two hundred acres, in a few months added eighty acres. He did not, however, give his personal attention to the cultivation of this tract, but removing to Logan County, bought three hundred and twenty acres, and for some years engaged in farming there. Retiring from active business in 1876, he bought a residence in Lincoln, Ill., and there he still makes his home. His landed possessions now aggregate six hundred and twenty acres in Mason County, eight hundred acres in Logan County, and eight hundred in Champaign County, Ill., the entire amount being under cultivation, with the exception of one hundred acres of timber land.
The lady with whom Henry Abbott was united in marriage in England bore the maiden name of Martha A. Keen, and was the daughter of English parents, who lived and died in that country. There were seven children in that family, all but one of whom still survive. William is the eldest, and the others are, Mrs. Alice Fletcher, of Sterling, Ill.; Mrs. Nancy Campbell, of South Dakota; J. B., a resident of Mason City, Ill.; James, living in Logan County; and Mrs. Mary E. Pegram, whose home is in Lincoln, this state. All the children are married and have children.
The first six years of the life of our subject were passed in Lancashire (sic), England, where he was born October 3, 1838. Thence he came with his parents to the United States, where he grew to manhood in Illinois. At the age of twenty-four he married Miss Sarah J., daughter of Robert McIntosh, of England, who was born November 4, 1820, and in early life worked at the weaver's trade. In 1847 he emigrated to America, landing in Philadelphia, where he spent three years. Upon sending for his family to join him, he settled in New Bedford, Mass., but after a year there, he went to New Hampshire, where he engaged in farming for seven years. In 1856 he removed westward to Illinois, and coming to Mason County, bought eighty acres in Lynchburg Township. Afterward he added ninety-five acres to his estate, and at the time of his death, April 9, 1888, he was numbered among the prosperous citizens of his community. His wife was a daughter of Thomas Thornley, of England.
Immediately following his marriage, January 1, 1863, Mr. Abbott settled in Lynchburg Township, where he purchased from his father one hundred and sixty acres. Five years later he bought another quarter-section, upon which he engaged in tilling the soil for five years. As it was thought that a change would benefit his wife, who was in poor health, he went to Logan County, where he resided for seven years. Since then he has made his home on section 23, Lynchburg Township. He cultivates four hundred acres, and superintends the management of his father's property in Mason County.
Politically, Mr. Abbott is a Republican. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Church and prominent workers in the Sunday-school, Mrs. Abbott being at the present time Vice-Presidetn of the Township Sunday-school Association. They are parents of nine children; two are deceased, Mrs. Alice A. Winters, who was born October 7, 1863, and died April 24, 1889, leaving two children that are now in Iowa; and Louisa E., who was born Novenber 18, 1869, and died August 5, 1878. The other children are: Mary E., who married Mr. Daniel, and has three children; Pernecia, an accomplished young lady, who attended the Jacksonville Female College for one year; Henry A. and Dora J., who are graduates of the Mason County schools; Gracie, William R. and Elmer R., who are students in the home schools.
Submitted by Betty Doremus