Biography of Wilson J. Abbott


Abbott, Wilson J., Buffalo, is a great-grandson of Ephraim and Elizabeth Abbott, who who came from Abbottsford, England, to Springfield, Mass., in the early part of the 17th century. Samuel Abbott, son of Ephraim, was born in Springfield, and in 1806 removed to Homer, Cortland county, N. Y., where he was accidentally killed at the raising of his house (still standing) about 1810. His children were Asa, Ephrairn, Joseph, Nathan, Lucy, Sally, Polly, Tabitha, and Mariah. Ephraim settled on a farm in Broome county, Joseph became a merchant in Salina (now Syracuse), and Asa and Nathan succeeded to the homestead, buying off the other heirs. Nathan Abbott, born in Springfield, Mass., married Nancy J. Bowen at Homer, Cortland county, and died there in August, 1854, aged seventy years. He held several local offices, but spent much of his time in Syracuse, and was one of the builders of the old Syracuse House and other structures. His wife died in June. 1880. aged ninety-two. Her parents, Samuel and Martha Bowen, both natives of Hartford, Conn., settled on a farm in De Ruyter, Madison county, N. Y. Her paternal grandparents, Joseph and Thankful Bowen, came from England to Hartford, Conn., about 1730. Samuel Bowen's Sons were Hiram Bowen, a merchant in Salina, N. Y.; Daniel Bowen, a millwright in Green Bay, Wis.; and Moses Bowen, a farmer of Steuben county, N. Y. Nathan and Nancy J. (Bowen) Abbott had eight children: Sylvester, who was killed in a mill in Homer; Lewis L., a merchant of Clinton, Iowa; Wilson J., of Buffalo; George A., who resides on. the homestead; Sarah L., widow of Daniel J. Durand; Mary L. (Mrs. Henry E. Meeds), deceased; Jennette E. (deceased), who married Joseph A. Hunting, formerly principal of Alfred Seminary in Allegany county and now principal of a similar institution in Walton, Iowa; and Amelia A. (Mrs. Edward F. Watts), deceased. Wilson J. Abbott was born at Homer, N. Y., June 17, 1832, was educated in the public schools and Homer Academy, and in 1850 went to Syracuse as a clerk in the grocery store of Ames & King. Two years later he bought them out and continued the business until 1859, when he entered the wholesale grocery house of Henry Swift & Co., 118 Broadway, New York city. After four years he became associated with Francis M. Babcock & Brother at 32 Water street, and six years later he went with James S. Sturgess & Brother, sugar importers on South street, with whom he remained eight years. In 1877 he engaged in the wholesale grocery business for himself in New York and so continued for six years, when be returned to the homestead in Homer. In 1887 he removed to Buffalo, where he has since been the general agent of the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. He is a lifelong Republican and a member of the Buffalo Republican League.

Our County and its people
A descriptive work on Erie County, New York
Edited by: Truman C. White
The Boston History Company, Publishes 1898


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