Grant approved for the Abbott Library Fund

Grant approved for the Abbott Library Fund

At the recent Wood River Community Centennial Foundation meeting the Board reviewed a grant request from the Maltman Library for two HP Stream Notebook computers for public use. The computers will help with the growing need at the library and in the summer when school is out. The grant request for $538.65 was approved with the funds from the Abbott Library Fund.

The Abbott Library Fund was one of the first named funds established with the foundation, to honor the memories of Roscoe, Sabra, and Hazel Abbott.

Sabra and Rosco were children of Marcus and Carrie Abbott. Both were born on the Abbott homestead about four miles south of town, (Bryan and Susie Powell’s home.)

Sabra and Roscoe first attended school in District #63, which was established in 1879 on a corner of the Abbott homestead, but they brought a lifelong love of books from home. Their parents had been school teachers and letters between Roscoe and Sabra and their parents were full of references to books being read or recommended to each other. They continued their education at Wood River High School, Sabra graduating in the seventh graduating class of 1897, giving the “Oration of Valedictory” on “Exercise”. Roscoe graduated in 1904 giving the Valedictory on “Abraham Lincoln.” They next attended Grand Island Baptist College, Sabra graduating in 1902.

Sabra went on to teach at Abbott, Shelton, was principal at Chadron, Fairbury, and Geneva before going on to Washington D.C. to study Library Science at the Carnegie Library from 1911 to 1913. She returned to Wood River in 1914 where she taught at Wood River High School, was principal for a time and later became superintendent from 1924 to 1928 when she stopped her formal teaching, At that time she became librarian of the Wood River public library, continuing in that capacity, with a few brief interruptions until 1965.

Roscoe attended Grand Island Baptist College from 1904 to 1906, continuing at the University of Nebraska, and graduated from there in 1910. He later did graduate work at the Universities of Nebraska, Colorado, Chicago and Minnesota. He returned to the Wood River farm, but in 1916 his health forced him to change. He returned to the University to teach Chemistry. After retirement he taught at Wesleyan before returning to the University. He completed 54 years of teaching to his beloved students.

Both Sabra and Roscoe loved children which is evident by their choice of profession. A quote attributed to Roscoe but described both was “that a person’s life should be a useful and productive one” and their lives were a testament to that belief.

Their legacies continue as their fund supports the Wood River Maltman Library. (As a side note, the benefactor of the Maltman Library, Ward Maltman was a cousin to Sabra and Roscoe.)