Biography of George W. Abbott

George W. Abbott, born on October 10, 1858, in Sandwich, Carroll County, New Hampshire, was the son of Lyman and Sarah W. Abbott. He pursued his education at Phillips Academy in Exeter, New Hampshire. At twenty, Abbott moved to Colorado as a secretary for a mining expert before relocating to McIntosh County, North Dakota, in 1882, where he was the first superintendent of schools and postmaster. In 1887, he moved to Minneapolis and later to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he became general manager of the Union Savings Association. Abbott married Mary G. Quinlan in 1896, and they had four children.

George W. Abbott was born in Sandwich, Carroll county, New Hampshire, October 10, 1858, being a son of Lyman and Sarah W. Abbott, who are now dead, the father having devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. The subject was reared under the vigorous discipline of the old homestead farm in New England, and after completing a course of study in the high school of his native place he continued his studies in famous old Phillips Academy, at Exeter, New Hampshire. At the age of twenty years he set forth to seek his fortunes in the west, coming to Colorado as secretary for a mining expert, and he continued to reside in that state until 1882, when he took up his residence in the territory of Dakota. He located in what is now McIntosh county, North Dakota, having assisted in the organization of the county and having been its first superintendent of schools, as was he also its first postmaster, the office being located in the frontier hamlet of Ashley, now a thriving town. He there conducted a general merchandise business and operated a cattle ranch. In 1887 Mr. Abbott disposed of his interests there and removed to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was engaged in the furniture and hardware business until 1891, when he came to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and became the general manager of the Co-operative Loan and Savings Association of this city, retaining this incumbency until September, 1894, when he resigned. He then effected the organization of the Union Savings Association, to the promotion of whose interests he has since devoted his attention, in the capacity of general manager, as well as secretary and treasurer. He has exceptional initiative and administrative ability, is sincere and straightforward, and his reputation as a business man has done much to further the building up of the magnificent enterprise with which he is thus identified. In 1891, at Minneapolis, he was elected vice-president of the International Building & Loan League, which represents a paid-in capital of about six hundred million dollars, and of this office he remained in tenure until 1894. The deputy public examiner in the state department of banking and finance wrote of the corporation of which Mr. Abbott is manager in the following words of endorsement, in 1902: “The examination of the Union Savings Association, conducted by this department, shows a most satisfactory condition of affairs. It is impossible for me to go into details at this time, but you certainly have an institution which you may well be proud of.” A further and more personal endorsement is that given under date of April 15, 1903, by Ed. D. Lewis, cashier of the Farmers & Merchants’ Bank of Worthing, this state, this being a sample of many other commendations received by the association: “I hereby certify that I became a member of the Union Savings Association of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in December, 1896, and paid as dues three hundred and sixty dollars, and received a draft for five hundred dollars, making me thirteen percent per annum on the investment. I am well satisfied with the treatment given me by the association.” December 14, 1903, Samuel T. Johnson, public examiner and superintendent of banks for the state of Minnesota, wrote as follows: “I believe the Union Savings Association of Sioux Falls to be solvent, and honorably conducted.” In 1902 the Colton State Bank, at Colton, Minnehaha county, was organized, and of this institution Mr. Abbott has been president from its inception.

In politics Mr. Abbott gives his allegiance to the Republican party, and fraternally he is a prominent and appreciative member of the Masonic order, being affiliated with the following bodies of the same: Minnehaha Lodge, No. 5, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Sioux Chapter No. 2, Royal Arch Masons, of which he is king at the time of this writing; Cyrene Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar, of which he is past eminent commander; and El Riad Temple, Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, of which he is potentate and representative to the imperial council of the order. He and his wife are prominent and zealous members of the First Congregational church, in Sioux Falls, of whose board of trustees he is a member, having been chairman of the board for five years.

On the 1st of June, 1896, Mr. Abbott was united in marriage to Miss Mary G. Quinlan, of Cleveland, Ohio, and they have four children, George L., Gladys, Annie Josephine and John Wesley.


Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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