30 June 2010

Fred T. Abel: a Good Old Pipe Smokin' Rebel

F. T. Abel (1844-1909)
Fred T. Abel was born in Georgia to German parents Henry and Elizabeth Abel. Just a month after his eighteenth birthday, on 17 May 1862, Fred joined Captain George A. Dure's company in the Jackson Artillery, Massenburg Battery, Confederate States Army.


Fred survived the war and surrendered with his unit at Citronelle, Alabama 4 May 1865.


Fred was listed in the 1870 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census along with his first wife Camilla. His occupation was policeman. Camilla died 19 March 1878. Some time later, Fred married Rebecca G. Holloway.

Fred T. Abel was quite prominent in Macon. His name was often found in the local paper. One article stated Fred was "of a German extraction" and loved his pipe. "For thirty years he never missed a day that he did not smoke his pipe, and that meant that he smoked it all day...He enjoyed his smoke and smoke he would." However, a few weeks after the death of an old friend and neighbor, Fred laid the pipe down and never smoked again. Fred was also described as a "good old Rebel."

I found two instances where Fred was thrown from his buggy by spooked horses. He was bruised but OK both times.

In the 1880's, Fred and his brother William were owners of "fertile swamp land below the city." Other articles detailing swamp land owners' crops stated oats were often grown in these lands. The brothers sold their land in 1887. Around 1890, Fred was named park keeper of what I believe is now Central City Park. The paper described the park as being located in the "swamp lands," and these lands were located below Cherry street in downtown. He readied the field when the Brooklyn and Philadelphia clubs came here to play a major league baseball game. Fred was also a volunteer fireman.

Fred died 11 September 1909. His funeral was held at his late residence of Log Cabin Heights two days later. He was laid to rest in the Eglantine Section of Rose Hill Cemetery near his first wife. Fred's second wife Rebecca was buried there as well, after her death on 14 April 1932.

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