Francis M. Abbott, of Chanute, a retired capitalist of that city, and a veteran of the Civil war, has been a resident of Neosho county, Kansas, since 1867, and in the nearly half century that has intervened since then he has been a prominent factor in the promotion of the industrial, commercial, social, and educational life of Neosho county, where his earnest efforts to secure advancement along all those lines have made him one of the most esteemed and honored of its citizens. He was born on a farm in Brown county, Ohio, Aug. 24, 1841. His parents, John M. and Viletta (Newman) Abbott, were pioneers of Ohio and remained there until 1850, when they removed to Grant county, Indiana. That county was within the great gas field of Indiana that was later developed and on his farm were found wells from which he supplied the gas for the city of Peru, fourteen miles away. His farm and gas wells made him money and at the time of his death, in 1900, at the age of eighty, he was well-to-do. He was well known in Grant county as a man of strict integrity. In political affairs of a local nature he took an active interest and at one time served as township assessor, but otherwise did not enter politics, save to vote his sentiments. Both parents were members of the Universalist church. The mother, born in 1821, died in 1874.
Frances M. Abbott was educated in the common schools of Indiana and upon completing his education began teaching school. He taught three years in Indiana prior to his enlistment, in Company K, One Hundred and Eighteenth Indiana infantry, under Capt. W. R. Coldren. This regiment was organized during July and August, 1863, and was mustered in at Indianapolis, Sept. 16, 1863. It was sent to Kentucky and eastern Tennessee and participated in the engagements against Forrest, which finally resulted in that general's defeat. Mr. Abbott was discharged in 1864, but in 1865 reënlisted and was in service against guerrillas until September, 1865, when he received his honorable discharge. He then spent some time in travel to regain his lost health. In 1867 he came to Kansas and secured a claim on Elk creek, which claim he still owns, together with other lands he has acquired by purchase. Mr. Abbott started in life as a poor boy, but perseverance, industry, and good business judgment have won him financial success, so that today he is accounted one of the substantial men of Neosho county. He has extensive and valuable holdings, both of farm lands and city property, in Chanute, and is a director in the Neosho Valley State Bank at that place. After coming to Kansas he resumed the profession interrupted by his patriotic labors and for thirty-three years was a teacher in Neosho county, having been superintendent of the Thayer schools eight years of that period, and having spent three years in the grammar grades of the Chanute schools and one year in high school work. He has always taken an active interest in all that pertains to the greater development of Chanute and his stanch support has ever been given to every commendable movement in that direction. He served for several years as a member of the city council of Chanute and, from 1909 to 1911, served as mayor of that city. He was also trustee of Canville township one term. In politics Mr. Abbott was originally a Democrat, but in 1900 supported William McKinley for the presidency and since then has been independent in political affairs, supporting those men and measures which meet his conscientious approbation, irrespective of party. His long years of educational work made him a valuable member of the library board of Chanute, of which he was president at the time the new library building was erected. So deeply interested was Mr. Abbott in the success of the movement that he devoted a year of his time free, looking after the building.
On March 8, 1868, Mr. Abbott married Miss Sarah J., daughter of John and Nancy Loring, the former of whom spent his entire life in Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Abbott have two children: Jessie is a graduate of the Chanute High School and of the Gem City Business College, of Quincy, III.; she married Randolph T. Jones and they reside in Oklahoma City, Okla. Francis M., Jr., is a graduate of the Thayer High School and also of the Kansas State Normal School, where he completed the course with the class of 1898, now resides in Dallas, Tex., and is engaged in selling automobiles. Mr. Abbott is now practically retired, except that his large business interests require much of his attention in their management. He and his wife are believers in strict prohibition, and while they are members of no denomination they attend services regularly at the different churches of their city. Mr. Abbott is a member of the Masonic order, the Fraternal Aid Association, and the Grand Army of the Republic, and has served as commander of the Chanute post.Pages 1302-1304 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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