Wellington Abbey was born
April 22, 1840, in Clarke Twp., Newcastle Dist., Durham Co., Upper Canada, and died September 23,
1901, in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI, at age 61. Buried in Byron Cemetery,
Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. He is the son of
Abbey of the Province of New York, and Mary
Louisa "Polly" Nugent of County Cavan, Ireland.
Laura Estella "Stella" Watrous was born
November 5, 1845, in Genesee Junction, Byron Twp., Monroe Co., NY, and died July 9, 1921, in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac, WI, at age
75. Buried in Byron Cemetery, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. She is the
daughter of Colonel Russell Watrous of Byron Twp., Genesee Co., NY, and Louisa Beebe of
Chesterfield, Hampshire Co., MA.
Wellington Abbey and Laura Estella
"Stella" Watrous were married
March 28, 1866, in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI.
Wellington Abbey and Laura Estella
"Stella" (Watrous) Abbey had six children:
Wellington Abbey and Laura Estella
"Stella" (Watrous) Abbey
are buried in
Byron Cemetery, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. Thanks to Find-A-Grave for making
The Byron Cemetery is located just north of the
unincorporated Village of Byron, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI
Byron Cemetery. Located in the Town of Byron,
Fond du Lac Co., WI in Section 27, reached by taking Hwy. 175 south of Fond du
Lac for a distance of about 5 miles. The cemetery is on the northern edge of the
Village of Byron on the east side of the highway. The cemetery is well kept.
Michael Shidell and family members are also buried in this cemetery.
Records show the following are buried here, left to right:
Infant, Mary L. 1868-1868; Bert, son 1872-1895; Wellington 1840-1902; Laura, his
wife 1848-1921. All markers are no longer legible, but appear to have been
recently reset (in 2003) to a proper depth. An adjacent grave marker is for
Louis A. Ferris 1810-1894, and has a veteran marker. It seems to Leigh Larson
that this is really the grave marker for Lovisa (Beebe) (Watrous) (Peoples) Ferris, the mother of Laura
Estella (Watrous) Abbey. The veteran marker actually belongs to Wellington Abbey.
Ontario was known as: "Upper Canada" from
26, 1791, to February 10, 1841;
"Canada West" from February 10, 1841, to July
1, 1867; and
"Ontario" after July 1, 1867.
Wellington Abbey was born April 22,
1840, in Clarke Twp., Newcastle Dist., Durham Co., Upper Canada. He was raised as a Baptist.
Laura Estella "Stella" Watrous
was born November 5, 1845, in Genesee Junction, Monroe Co., NY.
The 1860 U. S. Census taken on
July 23, 1860, shows Wellington Abbey (age 20) born in Canada, is a Laborer, and
is living with
the Alfred Bliss family (Farmer) in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. Census Page
10 of 35. His brother Francis Abbey and sister Sarah (Abbey) Harris are listed on Census Page 9
living in the Henry Harris household, two farms away.
The 1861 Canadian Census shows
Barney Etcher (age 51) born in England is a married Farmer, and is living in a
single story frame house in Hamilton Twp., Northumberland Co., Ontario, Canada.
Living with him is a married woman, Mary Etcher (age 45) born in Ireland. Also
living there are two unmarried people, both born in Upper Canada: Martha Etcher
(age 12); and Wellington Abbey (age 21).
Wellington Abbey ,
9 Dec 1861
Enlisted as a Corporal on 9 December 1861.
Company A, 14th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin on 9 Dec 1861.
Company A, 14th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin on 9 Oct 1865 at Mobile,
The 1870 U. S. Census taken on June
6, 1870, shows Wellington Aby (age 29) born in Canada West with real estate of
$4,000 and personal estate of $700 is a Farmer living in Byron
Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. Living with him is Laura Estelle Aby (age 24) born in New York,
who is a House Keeper. Also living there are: George Aby (age 1) born in Wisconsin;
and Orrin Aby (age 23) born in Canada West, a Farm Laborer.
The 1875 Wisconsin State Census taken on
June 1, 1875, shows Wellington Abby is the Head of Household and is living in Byron Twp., Fond
du Lac Co., WI. Living in the household: 4 Males, 2 Females.
The 1876 Centennial Directory for Fond Du Lac Co.,
WI, printed about March 20, 1876, shows Wellington Abbey (an American, married
with 5 in the family) resides on 120 acres, s w corner section 20, in Byron Twp.
The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 7, 1880,
shows Wellington Abbey (age 40) born in Canada to Canadian and Irish-born
parents is a
Farmer living in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. Living with him is his wife, Laura Abbey (age 34) born in New York to Massachusetts-born parents, who is
Keeping House. Also living there are
his children, all born in Wisconsin to Canadian and New York-born parents: George Abbey (age 11); Bert Abbey (age 7);
and Edith Abbey (age 5). Two servants are also living in the household.
The 1885 Veterans Schedule
of ex-soldiers residing in Wisconsin shows Wellington Abbey, Corporal, Co. A,
14th Regiment, Wisconsin has Post Office of South Byron.
The 1885 Wisconsin State Census taken on
June 20, 1885, shows Wellington Abbey is the Head of Household and is living in Byron Twp., Fond
du Lac Co., WI. Living in the household: 5 Males, 3 Females. Of these, 6 born in
the United States, 1 born in British America.
The 1890 Veterans Schedule shows
Wellington Abbey is living in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac. Co., WI.
The 1895 Wisconsin State Census taken on
June 20, 1895, shows Wm. Abby is the Head of Household living in Byron Twp., Fond
du Lac Co., WI. Living in the household: 4 Males, 1 Female. Of these, 4 born in
the United States, 1 born in British America.
The 1895 Veterans Schedule shows Wellington Abby was a
Corporal in Co. A, 14th Wisconsin and is living in South Byron, Byron Twp., Fond
du Lac Co., WI.
The 1900 U. S. Census taken on June 19, 1900,
shows Wellington Abbey (age 59) born April 1841 in English Canada
to Canadian and Irish-born parents and having emigrated in 1848 and a
Naturalized citizen is a
Farmer owning his own farm free of a mortgage and is living in Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. Living with him is his wife
of 34 years, Estella L. Abbey (age 44) born November 1855 in New York to Scottish
and Massachusetts-born parents, with 3 of the 6 children born to her still alive,
who does Housekeeping. Also living there is his unmarried son, Louis R. Abbey (age 18) born May 1882 in Wisconsin
to Canadian and New York-born parents, a Farm Laborer. An unmarried Farm
Laborer Servant also lives in the household.
In the fall of 1900 or
1901 Wellington Abbey retired to the City of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI.
Abbey died September 23, 1901, in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI, at age 61. Buried in Byron Cemetery, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI.
The 1905 Wisconsin State Census taken on
June 1, 1905, shows George Abbey (age 35) born in Wisconsin to Canadian and United
States-born parents is a Traveling Man renting his home in the 16th Ward, City
of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI. Living with him is his wife, Regina Abbey
(age 30) born in Wisconsin to New Brunswick-born parents. Also living there are
his two children, both born in Wisconsin to United States-born parents: Beatrice Abbey (age
3); and Thomas Abbey (age 1-1/12). Also living there is
George's widowed mother; Stella Abbey (age 60).
A Boarder also lives in the household.
The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April
25, 1910, shows George W. Abbey (age 40) born in Wisconsin to English Canadian
and New York-born parents is a Commercial Candy Salesman renting his home and is living
at 1 Boyle Place, 16th Ward, City of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI. Living
with him is his wife of 10 years, Regina Abbey (age 34) born in Wisconsin to
English Canadian-born parents, with all 4 of the children born to her still
alive. Also living there are his four children, all born in Wisconsin to
Wisconsin-born parents: Beatrice Abbey (age 8); Thomas
Abbey (age 5); Donald
Abbey (age 3); and George Abbey (age 3/12). Also living there is his widowed
mother, Estella Abbey (age 64) born in New York to Massachusetts-born parents,
with 3 of the 5 children born to her still alive. A Boarder also lives in the
The 1920 U.S. Census taken on January 11,
shows George Abbey (age 47) born in Wisconsin to English Canadian and New
York-born parents is a Commercial Traveler of Candy and owns his own home
free of a mortgage and is living at 35 Olcott
Street, 12th Ward, City of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI. Living with him is his wife, Regina Abbey (age 42)
born in Wisconsin to English Canadian-born parents. Also living there are his
unmarried children, all born in Wisconsin to Wisconsin-born parents: Beatrice Abbey (age 19); Thomas Abbey (age 15); Donald Abbey (age 13); George
Abbey (age 9);
Harold Abbey (age 8); and Gordon Abbey (age 2). Also living there is George's
widowed mother, Estella Abbey (age 75) born in New York to Massachusetts and
Laura Estella "Stella" (Watrous)
Abbey died July 9, 1921, in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI, at age 75. Buried
in Byron Cemetery, Byron Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI.
This is a picture of the Watrous daughters. They are believed to
be: back row - Juliette and Mary Jane; front row - Laura Estella, Isabelle Maria
and Martha Jane.
History of Fond
du Lac County, Wisconsin, Western Historical Company, Chicago, IL 1880
WELLINGTON ABBY, Sec. 20, P.O.
Byron; born in Canada West in 1840; son of Mary and Abner Abby, a carpenter and
joiner and farmer; he was educated in the public schools; in the year 1850, went
to Sheboygan Co., Wis., and, in 1852, came to Fond du Lac Co.; from that time he
lived part of the time in Canada and part in this country, until 1861, when he
joined Co. A, 14th W. V. I., and went to war and served through the entire war;
was mustered out in 1865. Married in Byron, in the spring of 1866, to Estella
L., daughter of Louisa and Russell Watrous, a carpenter and joiner living in
Oakfield. He owns 120 acres of land, valued at $50 per acre. They have three
children---George W., Burt and Edith M. Mr. A. is politically a Greenbacker.
Picture from: 1889
Biographical Album of Fond du Lac Co., WI
Portrait and Biographical
Album of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, Acme Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois
WELLINGTON ABBEY, a general farmer and
stock raiser, residing on section 20, in the town of Byron, was born in Port
Hope, Canada, on the 22d day of April, 1840, and is a son of Nathaniel A. and
Mary (Neugent) Abbey. The paternal grandparents of our subject were natives of
Dutchess County, N. Y., but shortly after the Revolutionary War removed to
Canada, where Nathaniel Abbey was born.
The mother of our subject was a native of
County Cavan, Ireland, and in early life emigrated to Canada, where she became
acquainted with and married Mr. Abbey. Unto them was born a family of seven
children, five sons and two daughters. Isaac, the eldest, enlisted in the Union
service during the late war, as a member of the 14th Wisconsin Infantry, and
with the exception of the battle of Tupelo, participated in every engagement
with his regiment until the close of the war. He had escaped death or injury
from rebel bullets, but on the 9th of October, 1865, the day on which the
regiment was discharged, he died from disease caused by the hardships and
exposure incident to army life. His death occurred in Mobile, Ala., and he was
laid to rest in the National Cemetery near that city. Wellington, of this
sketch, is the second in order of birth. Orin, a retired farmer, now residing in
Belleview, Kan., was also a valiant soldier during the late war, having served
in the navy for one year, and as a member of the 38th Wisconsin Infantry for two
years. Frank, when but fifteen years of age, responded to the country's call for
troops, enlisting in the ranks of the 38th Wisconsin Infantry, in which he
served two years, and is now residing in Beaver Crossing, Neb. Abner is engaged
in farming near Grand Forks, Dak. Elizabeth is now deceased. She had prepared to
make a visit to our subject, when she was foully murdered. She was at that time
residing near Port Hope, Canada. It was known that she had money in the bank,
and the assassin probably supposed that she had some about her person. For three
months after her disappearance no clue was found to the mystery, nor could any
trace of her be found. At the end of that time the body was one day discovered,
sitting erect against a step, and on examination it was found that a bullet had
penetrated her heart. Sarah Ann became the wife of John Harris, and they now
reside near Sauk Rapids, Minn. The children were all born in Port Hope, Canada.
Nathaniel Abbey, the father of the family,
was a carpenter by trade, but in connection with that business followed the
occupation of farming. His death occurred in the month of March, 1849, and he
was buried in the old cemetery near where he resided. He was a man of a quiet
and retiring disposition, but received the respect of all who knew him. His wife
survived him for many years. After the death of her husband she became a
resident of Wisconsin, locating in Sheboygan County, where she purchased a
claim, which had been entered by a Mr. Grant.
For two years she made her home upon that
farm, when, selling her interest to her deceased husband's brother, with her son
Abner, she returned to Canada, where the remainder of her days were passed. She
was a devoted member of the Baptist Church, and was beloved by all who knew her.
She died at her home in Millbrook, Ontario, Canada, in 1888, and was laid to
rest in the burying ground in that city.
The subject of this sketch spent his early
life in his native land. His father dying when he was but nine years old, and
there being five younger children in the family, he was early thrown upon his
own resources, and is truly a self-made man. When but fifteen years of age he
began earning his own livelihood, and from that time has been dependent upon his
own efforts. Of a hopeful and energetic disposition, he never gave way to the
trials and difficulties with which he was surrounded, but pressed steadily
forward to the end. His educational advantages were necessarily very limited,
but possessing a retentive memory and an observing eye, he has largely
supplemented the knowledge acquired from text books in his early years. Much of
his leisure time has been spent in study, and in his home will be found a good
library, together with many of the leading periodicals and papers. Few men are
better informed on the issues of the day, or have a more extensive knowledge of
the general affairs of the country. With the family Mr. Abbey left his native
land, and in 1849 removed to Sheboygan County, Wis., where he resided until
becoming a resident of Fond du Lac County in 1851. The greater part of his life
has here since been passed, and he has been prominently identified with the
history and progress of the community. Leigh Larson note: The Abbey family is
not listed in the 1850 U. S. Census for Sheboygan Co., WI.
At the age of fifteen years he began
working as a farm hand, and also engaged in various other occupations in order
to earn a livelihood. In 1851, the family returned to Canada, but Mr. Abbey
remained a resident of Fond du Lac until the fall of 1859, when he visited his
mother in his native country. The succeeding two years were spent at her home,
but in the meantime he had watched with growing interest the preparations for
war, which were steadily carried forward in the South. Returning to Wisconsin,
on the 9th day of December, 1861, he could no longer withstand the desire to
enlist, and offered his services to the country. He was assigned to Company A,
of the 14th Regiment of Wisconsin Infantry, and passed the winter in camp. In
March, 1862, the regiment was ordered to the front, and on arriving at the seat
of war participated in the last day's battle of Shiloh. The gallant 14th
captured the flag of the 17th Mississippi Regiment the day before the battle of
Tupelo. They next participated in the battle of Tupelo, where a rebel ball
passed through the hat of our subject. At the battle of Pittsburg Landing the
regiment did effective service, then proceeded to Cornith, and after the
engagement at that place, continued on to Vicksburg. In the siege against that
city they made a desperate attack on the rebel works. During the thickest of the
fight our subject saw his cousin, Charles Abbey, lying wounded upon the field,
his feet toward the fort. Hastening to his side, he ascertained that a ball had
passed through his right thigh. With a view of making him more comfortable, and
if at all possible procure assistance, he raised him up, but just at that moment
a ball, undoubtedly aimed at Wellington, struck Charles and pierced his heart.
Mr. Abbey lifted him to his feet, and in his arms, amid the hiss of balls, and
the heart-rendering screams of the wounded and dying, the brave soldier drew his
last breath, and his spirit returned to Him who gave it. Victory was achieved,
but the awful price was the lives of such brave men, who fell by the thousands.
After the last sad rites were performed and the body of his loved cousin was
consigned to its resting place, Mr. Abbey with a sad heart rejoined his
regiment. After the siege of Vicksburg, with his comrades he participated in the
battle of Holly Springs, where the supplies of the army were captured. They then
embarked on vessels, and proceeded down the Mississippi River, where they
secured a large quantity of cotton, and then continued on their way to
Milliken's Bend, where the regiment was engaged in cutting a canal. Joining
McPherson's corps they marched to Vicksburg, and thence to Nachez, where for
some time they served as Provost Guard. Later they returned to Vicksburg again.
The term of service of the regiment had then expired, but with nearly all of his
comrades, Mr. Abbey re-enlisted, and was allowed to return home on a veteran
furlough of thirty days. At the expiration of that time the members of the
regiment again met at Vicksburg, and later proceeded on the Red River expedition
under Gen. A. J. Smith, in which they captured Ft. Duressa. Unable to guard the
place they blew up the magazine, and burst the cannon, pieces flying in every
direction. When the work of destruction had been accomplished, the forces again
embarked in boats with the intention of proceeding further on, but the news of
Bank's defeat reaching them, they returned to Alexandria, where the rebels
undertook to drive back the boats. They were unsuccessful. Gen. Green, their
commander, having his head blown off in the encounter. In all the engagements of
the Red River expedition the 14th Wisconsin Regiment nobly did its duty,
and at Alexandria fought night and day. Returning to Memphis, the forces then
proceeded against Gen. Forest, and after successfully accomplishing their task,
that of routing the army, they went up White River to Little Rock, following
Price through Arkansas. They marched on to Cape Girardeau, a distance of 365
miles, where they took boats and proceeded up the river to Jefferson City, and
from there to Warrensburg, by rail. They next took part in the campaign against
Hood, and later continued on to Eastport and Corinth, where they embarked,
sailing down the Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi rivers to Vicksburg and New
Orleans. From Dauphin Island they crossed the bay to Fish River, and on by land
to Spanish Fort. Foe eleven days they besieged the fort, which at length
surrendered, when the forces were ordered to Montgomery, Ala. While in that city
the news was received of the assassination of President Lincoln. The feeling of
sadness and horror which pervaded the army at that time can better be imagined
described. The regiment received its discharge at Mobile, Ala., Oct. 9, 1865. On
the morning of that day Mr. Abbey laid to rest his brother, who was also his
comrade during all the long years of service. He then turned his weary face
homeward, and at length reached Fond du Lac County. His term of service
continued almost through four years, during which time he was never known to
shirk any task, but was always found at his post, faithful to the duty imposed
On his return Mr. Abbey turned his
attention to agricultural pursuits, purchasing a farm in the town of Byron, near
The first settlement in the town of Byron was in the year
1839; John Case and Oscar Pier, Patrick Kelley and William Stewart, selected a
position and commenced the improvement of a neighborhood a little east of the
middle of the north line of the town. Their location embraced a desirable
variety of rich prairie, warm and fertile oak openings, and a beautiful grove of
forest timber, with a small brook flowing through it. John Parsons, arriving
direct from England, located upon a lot about a mile farther west. James Balson
and Samuel Butler settled in this neighborhood in the fall of 1842. In the
summer of 1844, John Potts, with his wife and four children, removed from the
State of New York to Mound Prairie, in Byron. He set up crotches, upon which he
laid long poles. He used prairie grass for a covering to this rude structure,
and hung up blankets for its sides. Here he and his family were domiciled until
he could build a house, obtaining hands from about ten miles distant to assist
in rolling up the logs. Another settlement was soon after commenced by Hiram
Merriam, Jabez C. Clemens and Jonas C. Reynolds, the last mentioned arriving in
These pioneers on Mound Prairie, were, many of them,
nearly destitute of capital when they arrived at their new homes. They were
able, however, to purchase some cows, which were then very cheap in Illinois.
They put their cows together for a team; broke up the prairie land, and planted
corn on the sod in the spring. They realized a good harvest, and, although they
met with some inconveniences, felt they were getting rich. In 1845, Messrs.
Bullock, Churchill and Roan settled in the southeasterly part of the town, and
in the month following, Sumner Sweet and Joseph Nightingale came into the same
neighborhood. They were joined the same season by several others. Rev. Mr.
Vaughn and some friends from the county of Genesee, N. Y., settled near
Oakfield, and formed what was called the "Genesee neighborhood."
The early settlers in Byron shared in all the privations
and difficulties so common in new countries. They raised grain in abundance, but
found it very difficult to get it ground; the few mills in this region were
small and could not supply the demand. For several years the settlers went to
Watertown, a distance of forty miles, to get their grinding done. The roads were
bad, and they had to wait several days to get their grists. Mr. Vaughn once sent
his son to mill, and told him to wait for his "grinding ;" he was gone ten days.
Mr. Reynolds once paid $14.50 for the milling of twenty bushels, and did not
think it more than an average cost.
Byron was organized in 1846. William Stewart was elected
Chairman, and Orrin Morris, at whose house the first election was held, Town
Clerk. Its boundary lines were run by Mullett & Brink during the first quarter
of 1834 and the second quarter of 1835. Hiram Burnham ran out the sections and
quarter-sections in the third quarter of the last-mentioned year. The town has
for its territory the whole of Township 14 north, in Range 17 east, of the
Government survey. It contains 23,122 & 67/100 acres of land. The town is
bounded on the north by Fond du Lac; on the east by Eden; on the south by Lomira,
in Dodge County; and on the west by Oakfield. The face of the country, before
improvements began, presented a pleasing variety of prairie, oak openings, marsh
and timber land, undulated with gentle ascents and declivities. There is,
however, one bold elevation where " the ridge passes through the town, which, in
several places, breaks out with a rugged front. Springs and brooks are frequent,
but not as abundant in this as in some of the other towns of the county. The
springs furnish some of the headwaters of the east branch of Fond du Lac River.
The southern part of Fond du Lac Prairie stretches into Byron. Mound Prairie,
near the center of the town, is more elevated, lying above the ridge. The soil
is generally fertile and easy of tillage, the more elevated part of the town
being dry and warm.
The first birth which occurred in Byron was that of Eliza,
daughter of William Stewart, about the last of the year 1840. The first school
taught was in the summer of 1843, in Mr. Butlers corn-barn, by Miss Mary Butler,
afterward Mrs. F. Tallmadge. The first death was that of a German woman, in the
summer of 1845. She came into the house of Joseph Nightingale - was greatly
distressed; said she had just drunk heartily at the cold spring near by; lay
down on a bench and immediately expired. Her name or place of residence was
never learned. The first religious societies formed in Byron were Baptists,
Methodists and Wesleyans. At the first town election, held April 7, 1846, it was
voted that the officers chosen serve gratis. There were 34 votes polled - 18 in
favor of a State government and 16 against it. At the second election, held
April 6, 1847, a motion to allow Orrin Morris $16.50 for stationery as Town
Clerk was lost, as was also a motion to allow C. P. Phelps $10 for serving as
Assessor. At this election, 43 votes were cast against and 26 in favor of
license; 43 in favor of, and 71 against the Constitution, and 43 in favor of and
33 against equal suffrage. Patrick Kelley and his family, who settled in Byron
in September, 1839, were the first Irish to make Fond du Lac County a permanent
home. The first German in Byron was Phillip Bodemar. The first schoolhouse was
erected at the expense of five men, in 1841, on land donated by Patrick Kelley.
The first preaching in the town was in this schoolhouse. The "Ledge" passes
through Byron, on which, in Sections 20 and 29, is located the M. E.
camp-ground, not far from the Narrow-Gauge Railway. In the vicinity of this
camp-ground are many interesting natural curiosities, in the line of mighty
masses of rent limestone and winding passage-ways into the "Ledge." Very large
and cold springs are also found near this spot.
A few months later he was united in marriage with Miss
Laura Estella Watrous, the wedding ceremony taking place on the 28th day of
March, 1866. The young couple began their domestic life upon the farm first
purchased, and there made their home until 1873, when Mr. Abbey sold out and
purchased 120 acres of land on section 20, Byron Township. He has since extended
the boundaries of his farm, until it now comprises 485 acres, all under a high
state of cultivation. It is one of the best farms in the township: the barns and
outbuildings are models of convenience, the stock which he raises is all of good
grades, and the many improvements which he has made are both useful and
ornamental. He is industrious, and his home with its entire surroundings is
characterized by neatness and regularity.
Five children have been born of the union
of Mr. and Mrs. Abbey, the eldest of whom died in infancy: George W., who was
born April 26, 1868, is now engaged as a traveling salesman for the firm of
Boyle Bros., of Fond du Lac; Albert A. was born June 9, 1872; Edith, Aug. 10,
1874; and Lewis R., the youngest, May 9, 1882. In his social relations Mr. Abbey
is a member of the G. A. R., belonging to the local post of Fond du Lac.
Politically, he is a Republican, and a strong advocate of prohibition
principles. He gives of his means, and supports by his influence, all
enterprises which are calculated to be of public benefit, and is ranked among
the best citizens of the county. None are held in higher regard in the community
than Wellington Abbey, who has so long and prominently been identified with its
Reprinted from the Abbe-Abbey History by
Wellington Abbey, son of Nathaniel and
Mary (Nugent) Abbey, born in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada, April 22. 1840; died in
Fond du Lac, WI, September 23, 1901. As his father died when he was but a child,
he was early thrown upon his own resources and from the time he was fifteen he
was dependent upon his own efforts. While his early education was limited, he
became a well-informed man due to his retentive memory and his constant habits
of study. In his home were always found the leading papers and periodicals and a
well-equipped library. With the family, he came from Canada to Sheboygan, WI,
in 1849. In 1851, his mother with the other children returned to Canada and
Wellington removed to Fond du Lac Co., where he afterward resided with the
exception of two years, 1859 to 1861, which he spent with his mother in Canada.
Returning to Wisconsin, he enlisted
December 9, 1861, in Company A, 14th Wisconsin Infantry. After a winter in camp,
the regiment was ordered to the front and participated in the last day of the
Battle of Shiloh. The day before the Battle of Tupelo the 14th captured the flag
of the 17th Mississippi Regiment, and participated in that battle, when a bullet
passed through Mr. Abbey's hat. The regiment rendered effective service at the
Battle of Pittsburg, then proceeded to Corinth and on to the Siege of Vicksburg.
During the thickest of the fight, Mr. Abbey saw his cousin, Charles Abbey, lying
wounded, a ball having passed through his right thigh. He raised him up in an
effort to relieve him, and just at that moment a ball, undoubtedly aimed at
Wellington, struck Charles and pierced him through the heart.
After the Siege of Vicksburg, the regiment
was in the Battle of Holly Springs, then embarked down the Mississippi where
they assisted in the capture of a quantity of cotton and in digging a canal.
They then saw service at Vicksburg and Natchez, and, after a furlough of thirty
days, nearly all re-enlisted and proceeded on the Red River Expedition. During
the rest of the war they were engaged in Arkansas and other states in the South
and were in Montgomery when the news of Lincoln's assassination reached them.
They were discharged at Mobile, AL, October 9, 1865, and after burying his
brother Isaac, who died that very day, Wellington returned to Fond du Lac, and
purchased a farm in Byron, which, with additions, became one of the best farms
in the township.
Mr. Abbey was a member of the G. A. R. and a
strong advocate of prohibition principles. In the fall of 1901 he retired to
Fond du Lac. He was buried in the cemetery near the little country church in
Byron, where he had already erected a monument to his children who had died
Married in Fond du Lac Co., March 28,
1866, Laura Estella Watrous, who survived him.
38. (*) Russell Watrous,
born February 14, 1807 in Wallingford, New Haven County, CT;
died November 09, 1849 in Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI.
He was the son of 76. (Unknown) Watrous and 77. (Unknown) Unknown (Watrous). He married 39. (*) Lovisa BEEBE March
25, 1833 in Le Roy, Genesee County, NY.
39. (*) Lovisa BEEBE, born January 13, 1809 in Chesterfield, Hampshire County,
died Abt. 1895.
She was the daughter of 78. (*) Richard BEEBE and 79. (*)
Notes for (*) Russell Watrous:
(This is a map of the area around Wallingford, CT.)
(His parents may be Russell Watrous and Lydia Webb, m 5/28/1808, Saybrook,
Middlesex, CT (in GLG database); must confirm. Must also determine whether this
Russell Watrous relates to the Benjamin Waterhouse family tree (in database).
He may have met his wife, Lovisa, through her brother, Abner, who was also a
carpenter and joiner.
A household was listed in the 1840 Census in Byron Township, Genessee County,
NY, that is believed to have been his. The head of household was listed as
"Russell Waters" and his household consisted on 1 male, age 20-30 (Russell, 33);
2 females, age under 5 (Isabel, 1, and Mary Jane, 3); 1 female, age 5-10 (Martha
Jane, 6); and 1 female, age 20-30 (Lovisa, 31).
More About (*) Russell Watrous:
Census: 1840, Byron Township, Genesee County, NY
Occupation: Aft. 1830, Le Roy, Genesee County, NY; Occupation: carpenter, joiner
and cabinet maker
Notes for (*) Lovisa BEEBE:
Her given name is sometimes listed as "Louisa,", but most often as Lovisa
(for example, in the 1880 Census). The latter is probably correct because a
daughter of her sister Isabel had the middle name of Lovisa.
This is a picture of her daughters. They are believed to be: back row--Juliette
and Mary Jane; front row--Laura Estella, Isabelle Maria and Martha Jane.
Her name was listed as "Louisa Watters" and she and her daughters Martha and
Mary Jane were living with her brother Abner and his family. It is not known
where her other daughters, Isabelle and Laura, were living. Juliette was
living in Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, with the family of Elija D.
The household also included "Larys A. Watrous," a male, age 4, that was
listed with Lovisa's children; it is not known who he was, but she is
reported to have had a son, Lemuel.
She was listed in the household of her third husband, William J. Ferris, as
well as William's son Francis and his family.
Census: 1880, Tomah, Monroe County, WI
Marriage Notes for Russell Watrous and Lovisa
(They may have married in Hampshire County, MA.)
Ruth Johnson's research notes that, after her husband died, "She was widowed
with five daughters. She placed each of the girls except the baby in a different
home as a housegirl in a well-to-do home. She worked as a cook and took the baby
to work with her. Several of the girls married sons in the families where they
were placed. Her name may have been Louisa instead of Lovisa."
(Date of birth and parents names per George Watrous, email@example.com.)
Children of Russell Watrous and Lovisa BEEBE are:
Martha Jane WATROUS, born December 28, 1833 in Byron, Genesee County, NY;
died March 29, 1919 in LaGrange Township, Monroe County, WI; married (*)
Samuel Hiram GRISWOLD October 31, 1851 in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County,
born August 26, 1836 in Byron, Genesee County, NY;
died Aft. November 1909;
married William Moore Allen June 08, 1856 in Byron Township, Fond du Lac
born September 16, 1831 in Lockport, Niagara County, NY;
died February 11, 1877 in Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, WI.
Notes for Mary Jane WATROUS:
(She was still living in November 1909; this picture of her was taken at a
Thanksgiving dinner at the home of her sister Martha Jane in Tomah.)
Her household consisted of Mary Jane and her children William, Minnie and
She was a widow, and the census indicated that she had 4 children, of whom 2
were still living. Living with her was a 15-year-old grandson, but his name
is not legible.
More About Mary Jane WATROUS:
Census: 1850, Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI
Notes for William Moore Allen:
His household consisted of William, age 38, born in NY; his wife, Mary Jane,
age 33, born in NY; their son William Alph, age 13, born in Wisconsin; their
daughter, Minnie Maria, age 9, born in Wisconsin; and their son Frank, age
3, born in Wisconsin. William's occupation was "farmer."
His household consisted of William, Mary Jane and their son William, age 3.
More About William Moore Allen:
Census: 1870, Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, WI
born January 04, 1839 in Byron, Genesee County, NY;
died June 08, 1912 in Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI;
married IX Nathaniel Phelps July 29, 1854 in Byron Township, Fond du Lac
born March 12, 1827 in Goshen, Hampshire County, MA;
died February 10, 1902 in Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI.
Notes for Isabelle Maria WATROUS:
(She was not listed with her mother and siblings in the 1850 Census.)
(This is a picture of her, her husband, and their children.)
in the Avoca Cemetery.
Her household consisted of herself and her daughter, Elsie, age 21. The
census indicated that she had 7 children, of whom 6 were still living. In
the 1900 Census, it listed Elsie as a granddaughter, so Isabelle may have
adopted her after Elsie's mother died.
More About Isabelle Maria WATROUS:
Burial: Fond du Lac County, WI
Census: 1900, Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI
Notes for IX Nathaniel Phelps:
(According to the 1900 Census, his parents were both born in Massachusetts.)
(The 1880 Census for Byron Township lists an Augustus Phelps, age 60 so born
in 1820, and a Mary Phelps Bush, age 57 so born in 1823; both were born in
Massachusetts, with parents born there as well. They were probably a brother
and sister of Nathaniel.)
He died of "hepatic carcinoma."
His household consisted of Nathaniel, his wife Isabel, and their children
Cora and Fred and their granddaughter Elsie. It indicates that they had been
married for 44 years and had 6 children, of which all 6 were still living.
His household consisted of Nathaniel, age 32; his wife Isabel, age 22; their
daughter Ellen, age 3; their daughter Julia, age 1; and Henry McClain, a
His household consisted of Nathaniel, his wife Isabel, and their children
Julia, Elmer, Cora, Flora and Frederick.
His household consisted of Nathaniel, his wife Isabel, and their children
Ellen, Julia, Elmer, Cora and Flora.
More About IX Nathaniel Phelps:
Burial: Avoca, Iowa County, WI
Census: 1900, Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI
Marriage Notes for Isabelle WATROUS and Nathaniel Phelps:
(Their marriage date may have been 20 July 1855.)
From The History of Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin in 1887, found in the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin Public Library and compiled by the Western Historical
Company, p. 1022:
"Nathaniel Phelps, farmer; Secs. 20 and 29; P.O. Byron; owns 1031 acres;
probable value, $65 per acre. Born in Goshen, Mass., in 1826; son of
Nathaniel and Sarah Phelps; his father was by occupation a farmer; the
subject of this sketch was educated in the common schools of his native
place, and was brought up on a farm; he came to Wisconsin in 1852, and
located in Byron, where he has remained ever since. He was married, in July,
1854, to Isabel, daughter of Louisa and Russell Watrous, the latter a
carpenter and joiner living in Oakfield; they have had six children—Ellen M.
(now married), Juliet B., Elmer N., Cora L., Flora E. and Fred R. They are
members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church; politically, Mr. Phelps is a
born June 07, 1843 in Byron, Genesee County, NY;
died November 21, 1924 in Rhinelander, Oneida County, WI;
married Edward Bruce Crofoot November 21, 1861 in Fond du Lac County, WI;
born October 09, 1842 in Kaukana, Brown County, WI;
died September 04, 1904 in Rhinelander, Oneida County, WI.
Notes for Juliette Arabelle Watrous:
(Her given name may have been "Julia.") (She was not listed with her mother
and siblings in the 1850 or 1860 Census.)
(This is a map of Byron Township, NY.)
She was living with her son Charles and his family.
She was listed as "Juliet Watters, " age 6, born in NY, and was living with
the family of Elijah D. Warner.
More About Juliette Arabelle Watrous:
Census: 1920, Rhinelander, Oneida County, WI
Notes for Edward Bruce Crofoot:
REMARKS: He was raised on a farm in east central Wisconsin. At age 18 he
enlisted in the First Wisconsin Infantry on 17 April 1861. He re-enlisted at
least once and served under Gen. Patterson in the Shenandoah Valley. He
again re-enlisted 15 Aug 1862 In Co. A of the 32nd Wisconsin Volunteer
Infantry. He served as First Sgt.,2nd Lt., and 1st Lt. He served under
Gen. Sherman on Shermans March to the Sea, and was wounded in action near
Atlanta. He conducted a dairy business near Fond Du Lac, Wis. and the lumber
business in Marathon County.
He moved to Rhinelander Wis.in 1885 as foreman of the Brown Brothers mill
and yards. In 1892 he supervised the building of a mill in Choate, Ontonagon
Co. Michigan. At this time he homesteaded land on what is now the West Side
of Rhinelander. Portions of the original home still are located on Hwy. K as
you enter the city. Here he also conducted a dairy business and also spent
some time as superintendent of lumber mills in Choate, Ontonagon Cty.
He was married in November of 1861 to Juliet A. Watrous and they had three
children; Elsie B., Charles S., and Alta A.
He was a Royal Arch Mason and the Second Master of the Masonic Lodge
ofRhinelander Wis. He was a charter member of the Rhinelander Lodge #242. He
was also a member of the I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows), and
the G.A.R ( Grand Army of the Republic).
He attended the Methodist Church and was the First President of the
Rhinelander School Board and also a member of the County Board, and a strong
He died when he fell in the canal above the papermill. His body was found
near the chain slip used for conveying the timber from the canal to the
mill-evidently he fell in and drowned.
Crofoot, Edward B.
Land Records: AL, AR, FL, LA, MI, MN, OH, WI, 1790-1907
TOWNSHIP: 36 N
RANGE: 8 E
His wife was listed as a widow in the 1920 Census.
in the Civil War in the 1st Wisconsin Infantry. His great-grandson, Edward
Crofoot, has a sword and several military artifacts owned by Edward.
More About Edward Bruce Crofoot:
Census: 1850, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, WI
Military: Abt. 1860
Marriage Notes for Juliette Watrous and Edward Crofoot:
(They were not listed in Byron or Oakfield Townships, Fond du Lac County,
where her sisters lived, during the 1870 Census.)
They moved to Rhinelander from Kewaskum, Washington County, WI, in 1885.
Estella "Estelle" Watrous,
born November 05, 1845 in Genesee Junction, Monroe County, NY;
died July 09, 1921 in Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, WI;
married Wellington Abbey March 28, 1866 in Byron Township, Fond du Lac
born April 22, 1840 in Port Hope, Ontario, Canada;
died September 23, 1901 in Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, WI.
Notes for Laura Estella "Estelle" Watrous:
(This is a map of Genesee Junction, NY. This birth place, from the Twing
Internet source, may be in error. Her older siblings were born in Byron,
Genesee County, NY, and she probably was as well.)
(She was not listed with her mother and siblings in the 1850 or 1860
She was listed as "Laura Estelle."
(She could not be found in Byron Township or Oakfield in the 1910 or 1920
More About Laura Estella "Estelle" Watrous:
Census: 1880, Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, WI
Notes for Wellington Abbey:
He was a laborer at the farm of Alfred Bliss.
His household consisted of Wellington, his wife Laura, and their children
George, Bert and Edith, as well as two servants.
His household consisted of Wellington, his wife Laura, their son George, and
Orrin Abbey, age 23, a "farm laborer" born in Canada. Orrin was very
possibly a brother of Wellington.
His household consisted of Wellington, his wife Laura, their son "Louis" and
More About Wellington Abbey:
Census: 1860, Byron Township, Fond du Lac County, WI
born Abt. 1846 in New York
Notes for Lemuel A. Watrous:
His name appears to be listed as "Larys A." in the 1850 Census record.
(He was not listed in Oakfield or Byron Townships, Fond du Lac County, in
the 1870 Census.)
More About Lemuel A. Watrous:
Census: 1850, Oakfield, Fond du Lac County, WI
Obituary: Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin: Isabel M. (Watrous) PHELPS
Daily Commonwealth, June 10, 1912
Isabel M. Phelps Dies At Oakfield
Came to Fond du Lac County at Age of Seven Years
Isabel M. Phelps, widow of Nathaniel Phelps and a pioneer resident of Fond du Lac county, died at her home in Oakfield at 10 o'clock Saturday morning, after an illness of several months. Isabel Maria Watrous was born in the town of Byron, Genessee county, N.Y.,
Jan. 4, 1839. In 1846, when she was seven years of age, the family came to Wisconsin residing in the town of Byron, in the vicinity of Genessee. She was married in 1855 to Nathaniel Phelps, who death occurred ten years ago. The greater part of their life, with the exception of four years which were passed in Fond du Lac, was spent on their farm in Byron, until they went to Oakfield to reside about fifteen years ago. Both became members of the Wesleyan Methodist church during their early married life, to which faith the remained constant until the end. Six children remain to survive their loss. Four daughters, Mrs. C. B. Culver, Mrs. Geo. H. Taylor, Mrs. E. W. McKnight, and Elsie, two sons, Elmer and Fred, all of Oakfield. Four sisters, Mrs. Martha Griswold, of Tomah, Wis., Mrs. Mary J. Allen, Oshkosh, Mrs. Juliette Crofoot, Rhinelander, and Mrs. Estella Abbey, Fond du Lac. One daughter, Mrs. Cora Olds, passed away three years ago. The funeral will be held Tuesday morning at 10:30 o'clock at the residence and at 11 o'clock at the M.E. church, Rev. Sabin Halsey officiating, with interment at Avoca cemetery.
Submitted by Kathy Grace, <firstname.lastname@example.org> July 2004
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