Cedar County, Iowa

Source: Historical and Biographical Record of Southern California, pgs. 1263-1264.

      Among the architects and builders whose attainments have redounded to the credit of Southern California, none is more securely launched in the public esteem than Calvin W. Abbott, formerly one of the principal upbuilders of Pasadena, and now one of the creative forces of Long Beach. Preceded by his well earned reputation he came to this town in March of 1901, and although the intervening time has been relatively short, has abundantly substantiated prevailing expectations, as evidenced particularly in the Friendsí Church and the Bowyer Hotel.
      In his ancestral affiliations Mr. Abbott is fortunate, for among those bearing his name patriotism has played a conspicuous part, as well as the high moral courage and devotion to principle as lived and taught by the Society of Friends. The emigrating forefathers came from England, and evidently settled in the south, and some of their number carried muskets upon the gory battlefields of the Revolution. The paternal grandfather, John, was born in Georgia, and settled near West Milton, Miami County, Ohio, in 1817. He was a farmer by occupation, and in 1854 removed to Marshall County, Iowa, where terminated his useful and industrious life. While in Ohio he joined the Society of Friends, a faith to which his children and grandchildren have since adhered.
      On the farm developed by the grandfather near West Milton, Miami County, Ohio, Calvin W. Abbott was born January 21, 1840, and there also his father, Samuel, was born. The elder Abbott was reared in Ohio, and in 1852 removed to West Branch, Cedar County, Iowa, near Springdale, where he lived until his retirement.
      In 1884 he came to Pasadena, Cal., and died while on a visit to his son in Trinidad, Colo., three years ago.
      He also was a member of the Society of Friends.
      He married Rebecca Miles, a native of Miami county, Ohio, and daughter of William Miles, born in South Carolina. In 1857 he began to learn the rudiments of architecture and building at West Branch, Iowa, and in 1860 started out on his own responsibility as a contracting architect and builder. In 1874 he embarked upon an ambitious planing mill enterprise at Muscatine, Iowa, and for five years did a large business in cutting lumber, making sash, doors and other acquisitions to buildings.
      In West Branch, Iowa Mr. Abbott married Harriett Kirk, a native of Randolph County, Ind., and of this union there have been four children, three of whom are living. Everetta is now the wife of Mr. Keys, of Los Angeles, manager for the Westinghouse Electric system; Lenwood is agent of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company at Bakersfield; and Lillian is the wife of Albert Smith, of Berkeley, Cal. Albert Francis was a shoe merchant, and died in Pasadena at the age of twenty-five years. Mr. Abbott is a member of the Society of Friends, and is nationally and locally a Prohibitionist.

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