The Abbott Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Our grandparents, Jacob W. and Elizabeth Abbott, lived in Chapman, Nebraska, in 1877, and both passed away at Chapman. They lived in the last house in the block, northwest part of town, block west of School #9.

Jacob was born in Miami County, Ohio, February 14, 1845, son of Aaron and Elizabeth (Collins) Abbott, the eldest of seven children. Grandpa’s father died in the Army in March, 1863. His mother died in Merrick County in 1885; buried in Central City Cemetery.

When two years old, Mr. Abbott went with his parents to Indiana, and in 1855 moved to Iowa, where he received his education; he later engaged in farming.

August 18, 1862, Jacob enlisted in Company “C”, Nineteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, serving until close of war. He received his discharge July 10, 1865, in Davenport, Iowa. He remained in Iowa and farmed. On January 1, 1873, he married Elizabeth Taylor.

In the fall of 1877, the Abbotts, with three children, came to Chapman, remaining three months, then went to Kansas where they homesteaded 160 acres. In the fall of 1880 they returned to Merrick County, living at Chapman. In 1907 Mr. Abbott purchased a farm west of Chapman. For several years he operated a threshing machine, and was indirectly interested in meat market business. They moved into town.

Mr. and Mrs. Abbott had eleven children. Eight were born at Chapman: Mrs. Wilson (Ida) Bishop (deceased), Allan (deceased) farmed east of town; Mrs. Doug (Kizzie) Scott, is 103 years old and living in Grand Island; Dave (deceased) moved to Lisco, Nebraska and later to Priest River, Idaho; Blanchard (deceased) moved to Broadwater, Nebraska; Mrs. Chauncey (Ina) McCormick lives in Cairo, Nebraska; John and Grace died in early years; Mrs. Ed (Juanita) Powers lives on farm at Cairo, Nebraska; Melbourn (deceased) lived with parents and worked as mail hauler for government, carrying mail bags to and from trains to post office.

Our father, Platte (deceased), had four children: Platte, Jr., and Arnold (both deceased), Alma and Orville living in Grand Island.

Platte married Marie Stratman from Lockwood, farming there and later moving to Central City and Chapman. After farming at Chapman, they later moved into town and purchased the Fairmont Cream Station from Earl Cavenger, located in the IOOF Hall. Daddy ran the cream station until health prevented him from carrying on the business. He passed away June 4, 1928.

In 1949, we moved to Grand Island, where Alma, Orville and Arnold were working for the Union Pacific Railroad Co. Our mother passed away March 7, 1977. Brother Platte passed away September 14, 1964, and Arnold on March 18, 1977.

Uncle Herman Taylor, brother to Grandma Abbott, lived in Chapman for several years.

Grandpa and Grandma Abbott were among the early settlers of Merrick County and had passed through all the hardships and discouragements incidental to frontier life, including the 1888 blizzard.

Submitted by Alma and Orville Abbott.


Persinger, C. E., A History of Merrick County, Nebraska: From “the Beginning” to 1895, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1981.

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