Biographical Sketch of George O. Abbott

George O. Abbott was born on the 6th day of April 1867 at West Branch Iowa. He removed from Iowa to Newton Kansas with his parents in 1873, shortly after the building of the A. T. & S. F. Railroad through that western frontier town.

He moved with his parents from Newton to Barclay where he assisted his father in attempting to wring a living from a farm which had a soil so poor it would not grow half a crop of weeds.

He then went with his parents to Sterling, Kansas, where he attended public school and studied music, but spent his leisure hours in a machine shop as he early developed a strong inclination to become a mechanic and machinist.

He moved with his parents to Lyons, Kansas, and later to Garden City Kansas, where he learned the carpenter's trade under the able direction of his grand father, Thomas Barrington, and other building firms. He however was never satisfied until he secured a job as a wiper in the Round House at Dodge City Kansas, working for the A. T. & S. F. Railroad Company. He was promoted to Fireman on the road until the celebrated A. R. U. strike in 1893, when he with the regular firemen joined that ill fated strike, which concluded his connection with that Road.

He then went to Beaumont Texas and took a position as Fireman on Buffalo Jones' Railroad which was planned to run a railroad from the Gulf to Canada but which never succeeded in building say a hundred miles of road before its promoters ran into financial trouble.

He was married to Hattie Ridenour at Dodge City Kansas in 1892 but who died in 1894.

Thereafter he married Virginia Kimmons in Alvin Texas on March 31, 1898 and they removed again to Garden City Kansas where he was employed for a number of years by D. R. Menke in the construction and operation of the telephone and electric lighting system of that town after it had emerged from its boom days and had settled down to become a thrifty western town.

After the irrigation systems had failed through lack of water in the Arkansas River, caused by its consumption in Colorado, the sub-irrigation system from the underflow was developed to the stage when the growing of sugar beets became profitable, whereupon the American Beet Sugar Company built the large refinery which consumes all beets grown in that territory and George Abbott was given the position of engineer of the machinery, which also included the operation of a locomotive on the company Rail Road, the Garden City Western, which gathers the beet crop from the surrounding country. This position he has continued to hold until the present time.


[Notes: (1) There is some confusion here as to when George received training in carpentry from his grandfather, Thomas Barrington, as the latter never lived in Garden City. A more likely location is Barclay, KS, where both grandfather Thomas and uncle Calvin W. Abbott, also a builder, were both living prior to George's remove to Garden City; (2) I do not know the source of this document. -- B. B. A.]