Theophilus C. Abbot (b. 1826 d. 1892)
State Agricultural College
Theophilus Capen Abbot was born on April 29, 1826, in Vassaboro, Maine, and spent his early life in Augusta, Maine. At the age of fifteen he entered Colby University (later Colby College) at Waterville, Maine. He graduated in 1845 and received his A.M. degree from Colby four years later.
After receiving the A.M. degree, Abbot taught in Vermont, at the Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine, at Colby University, in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and at the Union School in Ann Arbor. In 1858, Abbot accepted the Professorship of English Literature at the State Agricultural College. He also served as the treasurer of the college in 1860, and as secretary pro tempore of the State Board of Agriculture in 1861 and 1862.
On July 5, 1860, Abbot married Sarah Merrylees, a teacher at the Union School in Ann Arbor. Sarah (b. May 2, 1828; d. August 22, 1911) and Theophilus Abbot had two children: Mary Monat (b. January 10, 1863; d. March 20, 1903) and Joseph Rodney (b. March 30, 1865).
The State Board of Agriculture elected Abbot president of the college in December, 1862. Abbot assumed an active role in the administration of the college during his twenty-two years as president while continuing to teach. In 1866, he became Professor of Mental Philosophy and Logic, and four years later received a LL.D. degree from the University of Michigan. He resigned the presidency in 1885, but remained at the college as a professor until his retirement in 1889. Abbot died on November 7, 1892.