Compiled with the help of Janice Donley
Charles Abbott (1823-1911) was born on Valentine’s Day in Saxe-Coburg, Prussia, Germany. His name was originally Carl Abicht, but it was anglicized after he arrived in America at the age of 12 with his parents-Augustus and Rosa (Ott) Abicht-and his four siblings. (Augustus and Rosa had four more children after arriving in the States.) Family history says the voyage from Europe took six weeks, and the family then walked and rode wagons from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. It would seem the family left Europe for political, not economic, reasons as they had money to purchase land upon arriving in America.
Charles originally purchased land adjacent to his brother Christian’s farm (next to Jesse McCully‘s farm) in what is now the Beverly Road area. Sometime between 1886 and 1910, however, Charles moved to what is now the Beadling/Upper St. Clair area (see picture below) where he ran a prosperous farm of more than 140 acres (located around the present day site of Kane Hospital and Kelso Road) and owned additional property known as “the Fryer farm,” at the foot of Bower Hill Road originally owned by William and Annie (Middleswort) Fryer. Charles married Magdalena Hedrick (1830-1910), a native of France. In 1897, Beadling was described as “a very unhandy place to reach” by an investigator for the U.S. Pension Department who was assigned to interview Charles about his younger brother, Henry.
Charles Abbott owned 102 acres of farmland in the Beadling
area, which, well before the turn of 20th century, was known primarily as a coal mining town. The people in the picture are unidentified, but may very well have lived near the Abbott family.
On September 27, 1856, Charles petitioned for citizenship at the U.S. District Court of the United States, in the Western District of Pennsylvania. Renouncing his allegiance to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, he signed his name as Charles Augustus Abicht. The signature below comes from that document
Charles and Magdalena, both members of MLUP Church, had 13 children: Wilhelmina (“Meenie”), Louise, Henry H. (died age 29), Caroline, Rosann, Sophia, Louis, Alexander, John, William, Charles F. (died age 32), James H., and Lawrence Boyd (Lawrence is supposedly buried here, but there is no marker). When Charles died, he left the Fryer farm property to Lawrence Boyd, Alexander and John; James H. received 37 acres of the home farm.
It is interesting to note that Charles used his German first name of “Carl” but his anglicized last name of Abbott on his grave marker and on his will.
According to the Abbott family, Wilhelmina “went west in a wagon train” when she married Jacob Bolinger in 1867 and they moved to Cheney, Kansas. Wilhelmina died there in 1913.
The badly worn grave of Carolina Abbott, who died at age 6, may be the daughter of August and Caroline Abbott, who in the 1860 census were listed as having a year old daughter. August was Charles Abbott’s brother.