ROBERT T. ABBOTT was born in Salem, New Jersey on March 21, 1869 to Benjamin P. Abbott and his wife, the former Beulah Horner. The family moved to the Wrightsville section of Stockton Township, what is now Camden, in the 1870s. The 1880 Census shows the family consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Abbott, Robert, and his younger siblings William, Flora, and Estella. Another sister, Beulah, born in 1876, had died before the end of the following year. Two more Abbott children were born in the 1880s, James Griffee Abbott and Emma Abbott. The Abbotts made their home at the corner of 24th and Federal Streets in the 1880s. Benjamin Abbott was in business as a commission merchant. By 1885, Robert T. Abbott was working for his father as a clerk.
Benjamin Abbott was active politically in Stockton Township and had served as a committeeman and as the town’s treasurer. Stockton reincorporated as the Town of Stockton, in 1894 and William Abbott served as Town Clerk in the years leading up to Camden’s annexation on Stockton.
On August 28, 1891 Robert T. Abbott married Margarette Schuck. She was the daughter of Ludwig Schuck, who operated liquor serving establishments at South 5th and Mickle Streets and at 23rd and Federal Streets in the 1880s and early 1890s, and sister of Charles Schuck, who had a 30 year long career as a newspaperman in Camden. A daughter, Edna was born in 1892. The 1892-1893 Camden City Directory shows the Abbotts at 17 North 23rd Street. 1893 saw them at 2602 Federal Street The 1894-1895 edition shows them at 36 North 25th Street. 1896 showed a move to 2650 Federal Street. Robert Abbott worked in these years as a motorman for the Camden Horse Railroad.
Became a Policeman
On June 9, 1896, Robert T. Abbott was appointed a policeman in the Town of Stockton. In May of 1898 he was named Chief of Stockton’s Police Department and when Stockton was annexed by Camden in 1899, Robert T. Abbott was appointed to the Camden Police Department. The Abbotts lived at 114 North 24th Street in 1897 and 1898. They had moved to 116 North 24th Street by 1899, where they stayed until 1902.
Son Robert Benjamin Abbott had arrived in 1898, sadly, he died in November of 1899. Robert T. Abbott’s mother had died early in that year. Father Benjamin P. Abbott passed in 1903. Robert and Margarette Abbott were blessed with another daughter, Mabel, who was born in 1903. The Abbots were living at 2808 Federal Street that year. 1904 and 1905 found the family at 19 Church Street. 1906 saw them at 2602 Federal Street, and in 1907 and 1908 they were at 47 North 26th Street. In 1909 they were listed at 49 North 26th Street, where they appear to have stayed until 1912. These were difficult years for Robert Abbott, as his beloved wife had fallen victim to tuberculosis. The disease took her on December 12, 1910.
When the 1913 City Directory was compiled, Robert Abbott and his daughters had moved took to 119 North 23rd Street, where they stayed until 1921, when Robert T. Abbott retired.
On January 1, 1918 Robert T. Abbott was promoted to Sergeant. He served with the Camden Police Department until 1921, when he retired. Most of his time in service was spent in East Camden. Robert T. Abbott had a summer home at Wildwood Villas, and it appears that after leaving the police department, he spent mush of his time there. He does not appear in Camden directories after 1921.
Robert T. Abbott passed away on February 7, 1939 at West Jersey Hospital after a weeks illness. He was survived by his daughters, his brothers William and James and sisters Mrs. Emma Jakaway and Mrs. Florence Pennock. William Abbott had served on Camden’s Board of Education after Stockton had been annexed, and James was working as janitor of Woodrow Wilson High School when Robert T. Abbott died.