By Amy (Abbott) Buck
Written in 1980 and published in The History of Iosco County, Michigan, 1981
My father, Eben Farnsworth
Abbott 1844-l929, next to youngest in family of Anson and Huldah Collins Abbott,
was born in Pierpont, N.Y. Soon thereafter the family moved to Thamesford, Ontario.
There he spent his boyhood, receiving a good education in the public schools.
In the l86O's, they moved to Michigan, to be nearer the married children living
on farms near Saginaw and Midland.
When crossing Lake Huron, a fierce storm was encountered. To lighten the ship,
the captain ordered the freight thrown overboard. Eventually, he made it safely
to port in Bay City.
Eben and younger brother Lucius were not on the boat, however. With the help of
the farm dog, they were driving the cattle from their old home, crossing into
Michigan at Port Huron. With their own cattle they had two steers that a neighbor
was sending to his brother in Michigan for a yoke of oxen. Nights they stayed
at farms along the route.
Soon after reaching their destination, Eben met Samuel Chilson, of Plainfield
who told of the wonderful opportunity to secure a home in the plains region of
In October of 1866, he took up a homestead north of Gordon Creek. The light soil
proved unsuitable for farming, however, and one by one the entire plains community
moved to better farmland.
After his father's death in 1876, Eben, with his mother moved to the pioneer community
later known as Wilber. There he circulated a petition to have Wilber Township
organized. This was accomplished in 1878, taking one township from Plainfield
and one from Au Sable.
In 1886 he married Alice Jennie Falls 1862-1950, daughter of Melvin and Amanda
Hobson Falls. This couple raised nine children, teaching them by precept and example:
honesty, thrift, the joy of sharing, selfworth and the dignity of honest labor.
Alice, a skillful, ingenious homemaker, was a born nurse. Good judgment coupled
with use of home remedies and herbs made a doctor's services seldom required.
Both Eben and Alice were sensitive to the needs of others; hospitality was the
key-note of their home.
In various ways Eben supplemented the farm income; he operated a horse-powered
hay-baler. In partnership with William Phelps, he was engaged in lumbering several
winters. He also carried mail with horse and buggy from E. Tawas to the Wilber
Active in community affairs, he held offices of public trust at different times.
The children were:
Walter H. Abbott 1887-1977 pioneered in Saskatchewan. Married Jennie Thomas -
six surviving children: Eben, Josephine, Donald, Ann, Larry and Roland - seventeen
grandchildren. All reside in the Canadian Northwest.
Elizabeth (Beth) F. Abbott 1888 - married Alfred Simmons. Two children: Harold
died in infancy; Alice married Richard Dorff - two children. Live in Tawas.
Eugene F. Abbott 1890-1931 took upon himself the responsibilities and hard work
of the farm when his father was no longer able - death resulted from a ruptured
Edna M. Abbott 1893-197O taught Country school, married Alfred Boomer - one son
Clifford, works at construction. Married Barbara Bonnell - six children.
Hollis E. Abbott 1895- farmer, married Inez Becker. Three living children. Ruth
died in infancy. Morris (Joe) married Thelma Phelps; Donald, Janet Benson; and
Ray, Beatrice Clark. Each couple had two children. Ray lives in Tawas - is a builder,
son Darrell works with him. Donald is with the Forestry.
Amy M. Abbott. 1899- an elementary teacher, married Robert Buck five children:
Wilfred, in computer programming, and Virginia nee Miller have two children; Leon,
minister of the gospel, married Geraldine Young - had four children; Hazel married
Ralph Graves, well-driller. They live in Hale - three children, son David also
lives in Hale and drills wells. Alton and Helen nee Jarman, missionaries to Liberia,
West Africa - four children; Carol, elementary teacher, married James Belson,
truckdriver - two daughters, live in Whittemore.
Harvey C. Abbott 1901-1974 married Peggy Pogue - four children. Dorcas died when
young; Neil and Caroline nee Schrieber had three children. Their daughter Brenda
Hughes lives in Tawas. Arthur married Marcy Blake - one son. Jack lives in Iosco
County, married Sharon Phillips - three children.
Alton G. Abbott 1903-1975 married Alice Rollin. Four children: Lloyd and JoAnn
nee Ahren - one child; Dolores and husband Frank Jarrell - three children; Maynard
married Dinah Ness- three daughters; Richard married Barbara Maloncon - two daughters.
Both Maynard and Richard follow the bui1ding trade and live in the county.
Jennie Helen Abbott 1906- married carpenter Bertram Harris - four children. Gene
and Alene nee Newberry had eight children; Norman married Shirley Gunther, two
Sons. He retired from the U.S. Army after twenty years - both he and Gene work
at carpentry. Thomas 1933-1977, married Shirley Warner - six children. Daughter
Mary is a teacher in the county. Francis died in adolescence.
Front Row l to r: Mrs. Abbott, Jennie, Mr. Abbott, Alton, and Edna
Back Row l to r: Amy, Hollis, Eugene, Beth, and Harvey