Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


CARLISLE S. ABBOTT


Posterity, ever desirous of doing honor to all those who, by their lives and works, have made the world so much the better for their having toiled within it, will not soon forget the late Carlisle S. Abbott, the well-known California pioneer and the father of Harvey E. Abbott, whose biography is briefly presented elsewhere in this volume. Mr. Abbott was born on the shores of Lake Memphremagog, twelve miles north of the line between Canada and Vermont, on February 26, 1828, and he was therefore a native of Ontario, while his parents were natives of Connecticut. On March 3, 1850, he started from Beloit, Wisconsin, across the great plains to California as one of a company of twelve men, and after spending some time in the mines of Sacramento county, he located at Point Reyes, Marin county, in 1858. The country for miles and miles about was stocked with Spanish cattle and he engaged in dairying.

In 1865, however, he removed to the Salinas valley in Monterey county, and leased from David Spence two leagues of land, or about eight thousand, eight hundred and eighty-six acres, for a term of five years. Later he bought land for three dollars and fifty cents per acre, and there engaged in dairying, milking one thousand and five hundred cows a day. Salinas then consisted of a stage station, a blacksmith shop, and a saloon. This land was covered with mustard growing twelve feet high, and the place that he owned and farmed is now the site of the thriving town of Spreckels. Still later, Mr. Abbott bought twelve thousand acres of the San Lorenzo rancho, at the southern end of the valley, and carried on farming and sheepraising. In 1874, in Salinas, he built the Abbott House, which is still standing.

In 1872 Mr. Abbott was made one of the delegates to the national republican convention that nominated President Grant for his second term and in 1875 he was elected a member of the California assembly, to which he was re-elected in 1877. While thus serving his fellowmen, he also promoted the organization of the Monterey & Salinas Valley Railroad, a narrow-guage extending for twenty-eight miles from Salinas to Monterey. He really made two trips across the plains, and there was never any doubt thereafter where Carlisle Abbott wished to live.

Mr. Abbott was married, at Beloit, Wisconsin, to Miss Alice Elizabeth Merriman and they became parents of three children who are living: Harvey E. Abbott, Francis A. Abbott and Mrs. Clara Giberson. Mr. Abbott was a member of Salinas Lodge, No. 204, F. & A. M., and nowhere was he ever a more welcome guest than when among his brother Masons. He wrote a book of his life when eighty-nine years of age, and he passed away at the very advanced age of ninety-two years.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.