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RG5403.AM:  John H. Abbot, 1856?-

Correspondence:  1887-1898

Big Springs, Deuell County, Neb.:  Merchant, farmer

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


John H. Abbot was born and raised in Massachusetts. He came to Nebraska where from 1879-1883 he was a druggist in Osceola. Here he married Jessie L. Gunnell, May 16, 1883. After selling the drugstore, the couple moved to Big Springs, Nebraska, to homestead. John Abbot and Walter Kimball were proprietors of the business Abbot and Kimball General Merchandise in Big Springs, and Abbot was also a farmer. He was involved in politics and in establishing irrigation in this area.


This collection is comprised of correspondence, 1887-1898, written by John H. Abbot to his sister Lucy Amelia Abbot Stevens (referred to as Amy in the letters), and to her husband Samuel D. Stevens. John also wrote incidental letters to George Abbot(?). Letters written by Abbot’s wife, Jessie L. Abbot, and daughter, Amy Abbot are also part of the collection.

John Abbot wrote descriptions of his observations of life around him. Topics include family; business and farming; economic and social life in Big Springs; what he was reading; weather conditions and their effects on business and farming; local, county, and state politics; establishing irrigation in his district; and his part in the selection of the county seat in 1889 for the newly established Deuel County.


RG2351.PH – see photo 081:2-3 for a photo of the “John H. Abbot Druggist” establishment.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1887

  2. Correspondence, 1888, Jan.-Apr.

  3. Correspondence, 1888, May-Dec.

  4. Correspondence, 1889, Jan.-June

  5. Correspondence, 1889, July-Dec.

  6. Correspondence, 1890

  7. Correspondence, 1891

  8. Correspondence, 1892

  9. Correspondence, 1893-1894

  10. Correspondence, 1895

  11. Correspondence, 1896

  12. Correspondence, 1897-1898


Subject headings:

Abbot & Kimball (Big Springs, Neb.)

Abbot, Amy

Abbot, Jesse L. Gunnell

Abbot, John H., 1856?-

Abbot family

Big Springs (Neb.) — History

Big Springs (Neb.) — Social life and customs

Deuel County (Neb.) — History

Droughts — Nebraska

Farming — Nebraska — Deuel County

Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska — Deuel County

Irrigation — Nebraska

Kimball, Walter

Local Irrigation Association (Big Springs, Neb.)

Pioneers — Nebraska — Deuel County

Politics — Nebraska

Stevens, Lucy Amelia Abbot


MJR/kfk   10-24-2002

Revised 10-28-2009   TMM