Alvin Eugene Abbey

Alvin Eugene "Albin" Abbey was born December 12, 1874, in Wisconsin, and died May 24, 1942, at Willmar State Hospital, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN, at age 67. Buried in Oak Knoll Cemetery, Plot Protestant Grave 293, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN. He is the son of Isaac Abbey of Hope Twp., Durham Co., Upper Canada, and Mary L. Allen of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI. Never married.


Ontario was known as: "Upper Canada" from December 26, 1791, to February 10, 1841; "Canada West" from February 10, 1841, to July 1, 1867; and "Ontario" after July 1, 1867.

Alvin Eugene "Albin" Abbey is buried in Oak Knoll Cemetery, Plot Protestant Grave 293, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN.

The 1870 U. S. Census taken on June 4, 1870, shows Phebe Abbie (age 44) is living in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI, as the head of household with $600 value of real estate (keeping house and born in Canada West), along with her five living children: Lucinda Abbie (age 22) keeping house, Isaac Abbie (age 20) farm laborer, William Abbie (age 17) farm laborer, Mary Jane Abbie (age 10) at school, and Charles Washington Abbie (age 8) at school. All children were born in Canada West, except for Charles Washington being born in Wisconsin. 

Isaac "Ike" Abbey and Mary L. Allen were married December 21, 1873, in Lamartine Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI.

Alvin Eugene "Albin" Abbey was born December 12, 1874, in Wisconsin.

The 1880 U.S. Census taken on June 19, 1880, shows Isack Abbey (age 30) born in Canada to Canadian and English-born parents is a Furnace Worker living in Williamstown Twp., Dodge Co., WI. Living with him are his wife Mary Abbey (age 22) born in Wisconsin to New York parents, as well as their children Alvin Abbey (age 5), Cora Abbey (age 4), and William Abbey (age 5/12). All the children were born in Wisconsin.

The 1895 Minnesota State Census taken on June 15, 1895, shows Alvin Abby (age 20) is residing in the farmer Peter Hanson's Household, and is living in Moscow Twp., Freeborn Co., MN.

The 1895 Wisconsin State Census taken on June 20, 1895, shows Isaac Abbey is the Head of Household living in Sherry Twp., Wood Co., WI. There are a total of 2 Males and 2 Females in the household, all were born in the United States. 

The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 26, 1900, shows Alvin Abbey (age 25) born December, 1874, in Wisconsin to English Canadian-born parents, is an unmarried Woodsman, and is Boarding in the Village of Hibbing, Stuntz Twp., Saint Louis Co., MN.

The Chippewa Herald-Telegram, Chippewa Falls, Chippewa Co., Co., WI, Tuesday, September 18, 1917

SPLENDID CHANCE FOR NEW BEGINNER, 160 acres located in Ontonagon County, Mich., first class land in every respect, some timber, balance easily cleared, price and terms very reasonable. Also 160 to exchange for merchandise. Wm. Abbey, 802 Cumming Ave., Superior, Wis.


The WWI Draft Registration Report dated September 12, 1918, shows William Russell Abbey (age 38) born January 9, 1880, is unmarried and Farming for Rudolf Carl Schmidt in Topaz, Ontonagon Co., MI. He has medium height, medium build, blue eyes and light hair. His nearest relative is Isaac Abbey, 921 N. 5th, Superior, WI.

The WWI Draft Registration Report dated September 6, 1918, shows Alvin Eugene Abbey, born December 12, 1874, Medium Height, Medium Build, Blue Eyes, and Sandy Hair, works as a Laborer for Char. Harrington in Clyde, Cavalier Co., ND. His closest relative is Isac Abbey, living at N. 5th St., Superior, Douglas Co., WI. It appears that someone else filled out the record and Alvin signed it.


The WWI Draft Registration Report dated September 6, 1918, shows Alvin Eugene Abbey (age 44) born December 12, 1874, is employed by Chas. Harrington, Clyde, Cavalier Co., ND.

The 1920 U. S. Census taken on January 25, 1920, shows Alvin E. Abbey (age 45) born in Wisconsin to Canadian and Pennsylvania-born parents, is an unmarried Lumber Camp Laborer, and is living in a Lumber Camp west of Calderwood, Interior Twp., Ontonagon Co., MI.

On May 4, 1931, Albin E. Abbey was arrested in Hibbing, St. Louis Co., MN.

By 1935, Alvin Eugene Abbey was already living at Willmar State Hospital, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN.

The 1940 U. S. Census taken on April 8, 1940, shows Albin Abbey (age 65) born in Wisconsin, and 5 years ago was living in the Same House, and with 6 years of School, is an unmarried Patient, and is living at Willmar State Hospital, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN.

Alvin Eugene "Albin" Abbey died May 24, 1942, at Willmar State Hospital, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN, at age 67. Buried in Oak Knoll Cemetery, Willmar State Hospital, Willmar Twp., Kandiyohi Co., MN.
Name: Albin Abbey
Gender: Male
Burial Date:
Burial Place:
Death Date: 24 May 1942
Death Place: Willmar, Kandiyohi, Minnesota
Age: 67
Birth Date: 1875
Marital Status:
Spouse's Name:
Father's Name: Isaac Abbey
Father's Birthplace:
Mother's Name: Mary Allen
Mother's Birthplace:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: B02554-2
System Origin: Minnesota-EASy
Source Film Number: 2243454
Reference Number: 6812
Collection: Minnesota Deaths and Burials, 1835-1990

Willmar State Hospital
Oak Knoll Cemetery

The Willmar State Hospital Cemetery, now known as Oak Knoll Cemetery, has served Willmar State Hospital for many years--since December of 1926 at which time one, Alma Marsh, was buried. The services have continued until the most recent interment in June of 1973, a Mr. Victor Berdan. Now to think back, the Willmar State Hospital was established in 1907, when the property of N. Tallman was acquired for the establishment of an inebriate residential farm. First patients came to Willmar State Hospital in December of 1912. In 1917, it was adjusted to include the services for the mentally ill. In examining history, it shows that the Tallman farm was the initial purchase by the state. Until 1921, there were several smaller parcels of land purchased. The land that we are most interested in is that west of now Highway 71 and County Road 90 immediately south of its juncture at Swan Lake. It is my understanding that about 1923 a Mr. Sampson was manager of the farming functions here at Willmar State Hospital. Either by formal training or by avocation, he was a surveyor. Records show that he re-surveyed the land of all of the State Hospital properties. More specifically, he laid out on a formal basis what is currently the Oak Knoll Cemetery establishing plots in units of 10 with the appropriate dividers and cart ways. The cemetery itself overlooks Swan Lake and the area is quite grassy with a pleasant oak grove. The cemetery was divided into an area primarily for those of the Catholic faith and the balance for Protestant faith in general. Thus far, 675 lots have been used in the Protestant area and 194 in the Catholic area, constituting a total of 869 burial sites. The cemetery itself was expanded in about 1962 for the third addition. The current usage of the cemetery is held in abeyance even though space still does exist. It is a contemporary philosophy that families and counties are responsible for the disposition of the deceased. Public funds and contractual arrangements for funeral arrangements are quite common now and we have not had a burial here since June of 1973. The presumption is that in the event of a devastating economic situaion, we might be called upon to continue its use.

Hospital farming was ceased in the early 1960s. Land was deeded to the City of Willmar on the north of the campus itself. To the west side of Highway 71, the title to the farm land, with the exception of the cemetery properties, was transferred to the Department of Transportation, ostensibly for a rest area for the highway system and possibly a roadside park arrangement overlooking Swan Lake. The cemetery is expected to be under the custody of Willmar State Hospital and/or the State of Minnesota indefinitely.

Lester E. Johnson
January, 1979