J.S. Abbey, the subject of this sketch, came to Cloud county in 1877, and settled in Summit township where he is familiar with each feature of progress made during his existence there. Mr. Abbey's experiences have been varied and numerous. He is a very interesting narrator of "war romance" and takes great pride in relating them. He and his excellent wife have proved themselves to be people essential to the success and prosperity of the vicinity in which they reside.They are foremost in every worthy cause or enterprise that tends to the advancement of their community.
Mr. Abbey was a native of Lake county, Ohio, President Garfield's birthplace, born in 1839. He is a son of William and Sarah (Wallace) Abbey. His father was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1807. His mother was also born on English soil. Her birth was in 1803. They were the parents of two sons at the time they crossed the water, the eldest of whom died while enroute to America and was buried at sea. They emgrated to America and settled on a farm in Lake county, Ohio. In 1841, they emigrated to Nebraska, and settled at Salem where he died in 1881. Of the family of eight children there are but four living, one sister in Fairmont, Nebraska and one in Warren, Illinois and a brother in Falls City, Nebraska.
Mr. Abbey had just attained his majority when the call for men to protect the stars and stripes was made and he was among the first to respond. He hastily repaired to Chicago, where he enlisted in Company A, Fourth Illinois Cavalry, in 1861, serving three years and three months. His company won honors and distinction as General Grant's escort. They joined his forces at Cairo, remaining with him until Vicksburg was taken, and then went to Meridian, Mississippi and back to Vicksburg and up the Red river with General A.J. Smith. They were on detached service the greater part of the three years. President Garfield was on General Rosecran's staff and Mr. Abbey was one of the orderlies who carried despatches from Grant to Rosecrans. Mr. Abbey was at Holly Springs, Mississippi when General Forrest marched in. Mr. Abbey experienced a wild and dangerous ride of seventy-five miles. He started just as old "Sol" was sinking to rest and arrived at the pickets of General Sherman's ranks just as the sun arose above the horizon. He demanded an audience with General Grant but was refused until he could prove his identity, and then was made the hero of the hour, for he was prostrated from fatigue and the excitement occasioned by meeting a band of guerrillas twelve miles out from General Grant's quarters, who began a fusilade of firing on sight, but the brave orderly put the spurs to his horse - a fine animal of the French-Canadian breed and as they pursued him the twelve miles the bullets whizzed near and all around him, but he kept running and gained the pickets unharmed but completely overcome physically.
After the war Mr. Abbey returned to his home, married and settled on a farm in Nebraska near Salem, where he lived until coming to Kansas in 1877, when he bought the J.F. Stevens homestead, one of the oldest claims in the township. The improvements have all been made by Mr. Abbey.
Mrs. Abbey was Miss N.L. Tisdal, a daughter of Thomas A. Tisdal, who was a drover in an extensive way in a time when shipping facilities were very different from the present age. The Tisdals were early settlers in Connecticut from Scotland. The original name which she has on a receipt dated 1806, is Antisdal, but was changed during her grandfather's time to Tisdal.
Peres Antisdal of Scotland came across the water early in the last century. He was stolen when twelve years old by a family of wealthy people and brought to America. They settled at Norwich, Connecticut where he married Mary Armstrong. She died in the year 1808, and lacked but one week of having lived a century. Phoebe Tisdal, Mrs. Abbey's great-grandmother attended her funeral. She also lived to be almost a centenarian. The children of Peres and Mary, were Plimens, Lawrence, Silas and Dorcas. Plimens married, lived and died at Willington, Connecticut. His son Chester, moved to Ohio, where he died at middle age, leaving three sons, Lucien, James and Martin, who lived in St. Joseph, Michigan, where their families still reside. Silas Antisdal, a brother of Plimens (Mrs. Abbey's great-grandfather) lived at Willington, Connecticut, and with his wife Betluah, and their sons, Curtis and Silas and one daughter, Betluah, emigrated to what was then called New Connecticut, the western reserve of Ohio, where they bought land and when Buffalo, New York was their nearest milling point.
This was in the beginning of the war of 1812, and they endured many hardships on the way. It was a great undertaking to make such a journey in those days as northern Ohio, now so densely settled was then one vast forest. The roads were made by blazing trees. They emigrated into this country with two wagons, one drawn by horses and the other by oxen. Upon reaching Lake Erie, they traveled over the ice to their destination, Madison, Ohio. It required the entire winter to make the journey from Connecticut.
Silas Antisdal died September 13, 1817, and his wife in 1824. They were both buried at Madison, Ohio, where there is a large cemetery about half of whose dead are Mrs. Abbey's ancestors. They had nine children. Mrs. Abbey's grandfather was the eldest child. Curtis Antisdal, who changed the name to Tisdal, came to Ohio with his father. He was born in 1779. He was married in 1800, and he with his wife, Sarah Parker, lived at Willington, Connecticut and removed to Ohio in 1812, where he died in 1837, and his wife in 1865. Both he buried in the cemetery at Madison, Ohio.
Mrs. Abbey's father, Thomas, was one of their seven children born at Willington, Connecticut, September 13, 1809, and was married to Marie Stowe of Astabula, Ohio, in 1833. She died March 24, 1837, leaving one child, Harriet, wife of J.W. Leverett of Griesel, Missouri, where they are both retired from a career as educators. In May, of 1842, Thomas Tisdal was married to Lois Day Gill, who died ten years later at the age of thirty-three years leaving five daughters, all of whom are living. Mrs. Abbey's father was a prominent man of Lake county, Ohio; bought cattle from all over the country and drove them through to New York and other eastern cities. Mrs. Abbey was his favorite child, often accompanying him on his trips. His pet name for her was "Moses." He died October 5, 1852, of consumption, and the wife and mother died twenty-nine days later. The daughters are Nancy Louise (Mrs. Abbey), who was educated in the Willoughby College, Ohio, and was a teacher for six years: Mary Elizabeth, wife of D.L. Wyman of Paynesville, Ohio; Sarah Parker, widow of H.C. Jennings, of Salem, Nebraska; Phoebe Ellen, widow of H.Q. Storer and Emma Lois, wife of J.J. Watchter, a merchant of Verdon, Nebraska.
To Mr. and Mrs. Abbey have been born five children: Don Wyman, married Clara Coen and they are the parents of four children, two of whom are living: Fred Almond aged nine and Oscar Tisdal, aged three. He is a prosperous farmer of Summit township. Sarah Lois, wife of C.A. DeLong, an extensive farmer of Osborne county, where he owns four hundred acres of land. They are the parents of two children; Myrtle Leola, aged seven, and Jessie May, aged one and one-half years. William Herman Abbey, the second son, is a giant in proportion, standing six feet, six inches, in height. He is a postal clerk on the Missouri Pacific Railroad from Atchison to Stockton, is married to Myrtle E. Kingston and resides in Atchison. Fred Wallace, married Ida Belle Thompson and they are the parents of two children, Howard Soule and Walter Wallace, aged four, and one and one-half years, respectively. Jessie Ellen is the wife of Byron Wheeler, a farmer living near Concordia. They are the parents of one child, an infant, Ruby Margurite. Both of these daughters, Jessie Ellen and Sarah Lois, are talented in music and intellectual women.
Mr. Abbey is a staunch Republican. He is a member of the Scottsvile Grand Army of the Republic. The Abbeys are members, ardent workers and pillars of the Summit Free Baptist church organization, which owes much of its prosperity to their ardent interest. They have a neat and commodious farm residence where this estimable couple will in all probability spend their declining years.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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