Abram Lennington Small, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Abram Lennington Small

DR. ABRAM LENNINGTON SMALL is a nurseryman and gardener residing on Eighth Avenue in the city of Kankakee. For forty-two years he has been a resident of this county and well deserves representation in its history, as he has been an important factor in its growth and prosperity. He is a native of Indiana, born in Wayne County on the 5th of September, 1830, a son of John and May (Lennington) Small. The father was a native of Virginia and was reared to manhood in that State. When a young ruan he emigrated to Indiana, where he was married. He first settled in Wayne County, then a vast wilderness, and opened up a farm there. He afterward removed to Michigan City and was one of the first settlers of the place. After a residence there of four years he went to Door Prairie, near which place he located upon a farm, where he engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death in 1857. He was a man of excellent reputation, straightforward and honorable in all his dealings, and was a worthy citizen of his adopted State. His wife survived him only a few years.

Dr. Small is the second child of his father's family, which consisted of seven sons and four daughters, who grew to maturity. Only eight of these are now living. The Doctor spent his boyhood days in Indiana, where he had the advantages of the public schools. Until reaching manhood he assisted his father in his farm work and then, determining to follow the study of medicine, lie entered the office of Dr. Standiford and remained with him for some time. He next went to La Porte, Ind., and took a course in the La Porte Medical College. He came to Illinois in the winter of 1850, and located at Wilmington, where he engaged in practice before completing his collegiate course. In the winter of 1861, he went to Chicago and became a student in the Rush Medical College, from which he graduated the following year. Previous to this, however, he had practiced for about two years in Rockville, Kankakee County. It was in the fall of 1855 that he purchased land and gave his attention for some time to the nursery business. The city of Kankakee then numbered not more than three hundred people and Dr. Small was one of the first settlers of the place. He bought unimproved land and settled on the south side of the river, and this has since been his home. Ever since coming to this county he has been actively engaged in the nursery business, being one of the first to follow that occupation in this section of the country. For the past few years he has almost exclusively devoted himself to the raising of rhubarb and asparagus for the Chicago markets. He now has planted some twenty-five acres in rhubarb and seven in asparagus. He is a believer in special branches of agriculture as well as of medicine, and that he has been wise in his choice has been shown by his marked success.

In Porter County, Ind., on the 17th of November, 1853, Dr. Small was united in marriage with Miss Calista J. Currier, who was born in New Hampshire but was reared to womanhood and educated in Porter County. She is a daughter of John Currier, one of Porter County's first and honored settlers. Six children have blessed the union of Doctor and Mrs. Small, five of whom are now living. Mary died at the age of seventeen; Susie received a superior education and is an artist in Chicago; John is a well-known lawyer of Kankakee; Lennington is married and is engaged in the nursery business in this county; Calista, after receiving good educational advantages, became a teacher in the Kankakee schools, where she was very successful as an instructor, but now lives in Danville, Ill., being the wife of Prof. W. L. Pince; Mabel is still at home. Since the organization of the Republican party, Dr. Small has been one of its stanch supporters and previous to that time was an old-line Whig, his first ballot having been cast for Hon. Henry Clay. He has never been an aspirant for official positions, though taking an active part in local politics. He is a firm friend to our public school system and served as a member of the Board of Education for a number of years. Socially he is a member of the Masonic; lodge and is a Knight Templar of that order, with which he has been connected for the past thirty years. He has been a resident of this county for forty-two years and is numbered among its honored pioneers. During his long residence here he has witnessed vast changes. The county, which was then almost uninhabited and a wilderness, is now one of the best developed and enterprising counties in the State. Personally, the Doctor is a man of upright character and has won the respect of all with whom he has come in contact by his many manly and worthy qualities.

Source: Lake City Publishing Company. 1898. Portrait and Biographical Record of Kankakee County, Illinois. Chicago, Illinois: Lake City Publishing Company. 736 p.
Page(s) in Source: 323-324

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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