Ref:"History of Hall County, Nebraska," pub. 1920 by Buechler, Barr, & Stough.
HON. OTHMAN A. ABBOTT.-A member of one of the oldest American families, an honored veteran of the Civil War, an exmember of the Nebraska Senate, first lieutenant-governor of this state, and a leading member of the legal profession, Hon. Othman A. Abbott occupies a distinguished place among his fellow-men and is justly accounted one of the foremost of Grand Island's distinguished citizens. He was born September 19, 1842, at Hatley, County Stanstead, Quebec, Canada, a son of Abiel B. and Sarah (Young) Abbott, and is directly descended from ancestors who came from England to America as early as 1643. In that year they settled at Andover, Massachusetts, where the old Abbott homestead is one of the famous landmarks of the country, and after two and three-quarters centuries, still remains in the hands of the same family. This family has contributed many brilliant and distinguished men and women to the professions, not the least of whom is Othman A. Abbott, of Grand Island.
From the home in Canada, where the family had temporarily resided, the parents of Judge Abbott removed to DeKalb County, Illinois, and there the youth divided his time between work on the home farm and attendance at the local schools, including the high school at Belvidere. He was still residing there at the outbreak of the Civil War, and in 1861 enlisted in Company I, Ninth Illinois Cavalry, beginning a military career which lasted four years, three months and twenty-nine days, which was crowded with feats of courage, soldierly conduct and absolute fidelity to duty. His early military experiences included participation in the battles of General Curtis' campaign in Missouri and Arkansas, and subsequently his regiment was assigned to the guarding of the Memphis & Charlestown Railway. He was wounded in the right arm at Pontotoc, Mississippi, and was subsequently with General Thomas at Nashville, at which battle he received his second wound, a gun-shot through the left side. His gallantry and valor had earned recognition even before this, and February 23, 1865 he was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant, his advancement to the rank of first lieutenant coming May 23d following. His record throughout the long period of his service was one filled with brave and daring deeds.
While in the army he found time from his duties to commence the study of law, and after receiving his honorable discharge, upon his return to Belvidere he entered the office of Ira M. Moore, where he spent two more years in preparation. He was duly admitted to the bar in 1867, and not long thereafter came to Nebraska selecting Grand Island as his home, a community in which he was destined to establish a name and reputation far beyond that of many contemporaries. His legal acumen and ability soon brought him to the forefront among the younger lawyers of his day, and as he took an interest and active part in republican party politics, in 1871 he was elected as a member of the Constitutional Convention. The following year he was chosen to complete an unexpired term in the State Senate, and in 1875 he was again elected a member of the Constitutional Convention. By this time he had become a figure of state-wide reputation, and in 1876 was elected as the first lieutenant-governor of Nebraska, in which office he discharged his duties with dignity and distinguished ability. He has also served as county attorney of Hall County, and numerous other honors have come to him in recognition of his great abilities and splendid personal qualities. For a number of years past he has devoted himself exclusively to the practicing of law, and he is ranked among the most capable members of his profession in his part of the state.
Judge Abbott married, February 9, 1873, Miss Elizabeth M. Griffin, of Sycamore, Illinois, a woman in every way qualified to be the helpmate of so capable a man. She is a graduate of Rockford (Illinois) College, and a woman of marked intellectuality and literary ability, who has been president of the Grand Island Library Board since its organization. Four children have been born to Judge and Mrs. Abbott: Othman A. Jr., a court reporter; Edith, a writer and educator of Chicago, and one of the heads of the School of Civics and Philanthropy under the Sage and Carnegie foundations, holding chairs in civics and philanthropy at the University of Chicago, one of whose several books, "Women in Industry," has been favorably received by press and public; Grace, recently an advisor for the War Labor Policy Board, at Washington, D. C. She is a graduate of the College at Grand Island and of the State University, and for many years was superintendent of the League for the Protection of Immigrants established and maintained by wealthy Chicago people. Later she was appointed as assistant of Miss Lathrop to enforce the child labor law, afterward held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States, and is now under employment of War Labor Board in connection with her labor in children's bureau. Miss Abbott was sent to Europe by the government with Miss Lathrop and is still in Europe but expects to return soon; and Arthur G., a graduate of the University of Chicago, class of 1906, who after several years of law practice at Chicago is now a prominent member of the Grand Island bar.
Mrs. Abbott is a member of the Unitarian church. The Judge is a Scottish Rite Mason and belongs to the Loyal Legion and the Grand Army of the Republic. He is a firm supporter of the principles of the Republican Party.
[Note:There is an Edith Abbott Memorial Library and a Grace Abbott Park in Grand Island, Hall Co., NE.]