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MEAFORD EXPRESS (1923) - In the death of Mr. Fred Abott, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ritchie, in Toronto, on Monday morning, Meaford loses a man who was for many years an outstanding figure in the mercantile, municipal, educational and religious life of the town and another link in the chain of old and faithful public servants and worthy citizens is severed. Mr. Abbott was a victim of pernicious anemia, from which he suffered for nearly four years and which was the immediate cause of his death.
   An Englishman by birth and education, the deceased came to Canada about 45 years ago, settling at Meaford. Being a harness maker by trade, he started business at Heathcote and continued to run it until he came to work for the late James Cleland as a bookkeeper, remaining in his service for some 15 years or more. He, and Mr. Horace Manley, then formed a partnership and embarked in a general store business at Bognor, which they carried on for several years and which they finally moved to Meaford. Mr. Abbott later purchasing Mr. Manley's interest as partner and taking over the business in his own name. He continued to carry on until five years ago, when he obliged to sell out owing to ill health.
   In public affairs, Mr. Abbott took an active part before his health began to fail. He was a strong Liberal in politics, being at one time the President at the local Liberal Association. He served as Town Councillor for two or three years, during which time he was chairman of the Finance Committee, and was the opponent of Dr. Hamill in a contest for Mayoralty on one occasion, being defeated by a small majority. He was town auditor for several years as well as a trustee of the High School. He was a faithful member of the Ancient order of Foresters, discharging the duties of auditor for the Subsidiary High Court of the Order for over 35 years, or more correctly speaking, until the time of his death.
   But it was not simply as a business or public man that Mr. Abbott won for himself a conspicuous place in the affairs of the town. Though sustaining heavy financial loss by having his house and property swept away by the big freshet some years ago, he never lost courage, but immediately set to work to make good the loss by purchasing another property near Moore's Mill and beautifying the grounds with a variety of flowers and shrubbery that won the admiration and praise of every passerby. His well known love of the beautiful and picturesque in nature was seen in every flower that bloomed and every blade of grass that grew within his well-kept grounds.
   Music also had its charms for Mr. Abbott. For years he was the efficient choirmaster of Erskine Presbyterian church, giving unsparingly of his time and talent for the advancement of those under his musical leadership. He also fill the office of Deacon as a member of the Church and willingly identified himself with any cause having for its aim the moral or spiritual welfare of the community at large. The days and years of his life were spent in doing good out of the influence that he exerted in the town will live on as a fond remembrance of one, who, though dead, yet speaketh.
   Mr. Abbott's wife predeceased him four or five months ago and the grief he felt at her death is believed to have hastened his demise. He leaves three sons and one daughter: Norman, of Winnipeg; Harford of Collingwood, and Lewellyn and Mrs. Ritchie, of Toronto.
   The remains were brought to Meaford yesterday and interred in Lakeview Cemetery after an impressive service at Erskine Church.

Source: Meaford Express

Transcribed & submitted by: Donna Binsted

Contact : dbinsted at

Transcribed newspaper obituaries of Grey County residents, whether from the 1800s or 1900s are welcome for posting. Scans are not necessary as the emailed text is stylized on the web page as a reasonable approximation of the original obituary.

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