The subject of this biography is Leslie E. Abbott, proprietor of the Concordia Steam Laundry, and successor to Abbott Brothers, having purchased the interest of R.J. Abbott in 1901. This enterprise is one of Concordia's most successful industries, both from a financial view and from the character of its work. In February, 1896, Robert J. and Leslie E. Abbott purchased the machinery of the Barons House laundry and removed it to a building on West Sixth stree.[sic] In 1898 they erected a commodious stone, building on Fifth street, near Washington, forty-four by seventy feet in dimensions, with a basement in the rear. They had grown out of their quarters on Fifth street, and when they established their new plant the facilities were increased about one-half. But a short time had elapsed, however, when their growing trade called for another increase of capacity and an addition was built, new and modern machinery added and among other improvements a cistern of five hundred barrels' capacity - a very important feature, because this enables them to exclude the use of chemicals or acids. The plant is thoroughly equipped for the highest grade of laundry work. Their service is uniform in excellence and approaches perfection as nearly as can be done by experts operating the latest improved machinery. A large portion of their trade comes from the outside. They receive shipments of laundry bundles regularly from many of the surrounding towns, and also draw trade from the country districts. The annual cash receipts of this progressive business exceeds ten thousand dollars. They employ about one dozen people.
Mr. Abbott is a native of Hamilton county Kentucky, but when a youth his parents emigrated to Ottawa county, Kansas, and settled on a farm near Delphos, where they lived until coming to Concordia in 1889, eight years later. Mr. Abbott began his career as a printer and after working in various offices at Bennington, Minneapolis and Concordia, he engaged in the laundry business, being prompted because of the growing need of that enterprise in the city. Prior to venturing into business for himself he had been manager of the Barons House laundry for about three years, which was the means of rendering him competent to assume the responsibility of a plant of his own, as he had gained five years of experience, having worked in the laundry two years before assuming the management.
Mr. Abbott was married in 1892 to Miss May Scott, a daughter of W.C. Scott, and a sister of M.D. Scott, of the enterprising firm of Scott & Lintz. They are the parents of one child, a little son, born in November, 1893. Politically Mr. Abbott has followed in the footsteps of his father and is a Democrat. He is a member of the Concordia encampment of Odd Fellows. Mr. Abbott has one of the most pleasant cottage homes in the city, situated on Washington street near Eighth. Mr. Abbott has invested much of the proceeds of the business in the improvement and equipment of the plant and with the precedence he has gained it is doubtful if another laundry could establish a trade in the city.
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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