Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

Emma Abbott 1850 ~ 1891


Emma Abbott

Born in Chicago in 1850. Her father being a music teacher encouraged her musical gift and gave her lessons on the guitar and in singing. At the age of thirteen she taught the guitar with success. Her education was acquired in the public schools of Peoria, Illinois. At sixteen she joined the Lombard Concert Company of Chicago and traveled with them through Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, but at the end of the tour found herself friendless and moneyless. She then undertook a tour by herself and with a guitar she started out alone and gave concerts in Michigan and other states finally reaching New York City, where she gave concerts in the hotel parlors to meet her expenses, but she failed to gain any notice and returned to Chicago discouraged by her failure.

She gave a concert in Toledo, Ohio, to recuperate her fortune, and at this concert as a guest was Clara Louise Kellogg, who, recognizing Miss Abbott's merit, gave her money enough to go to New York with a letter to Professor Errani. In 1870 she began her lessons. Under this noted teacher and filled an engagement to sing in the choir of Dr. Chapin's church, for which she received fifteen hundred dollars a year.

In 1872, the congregation of this church raised ten thousand dollars to send her to Europe. She went to Milan and studied with San Giovanni, afterwards to Paris and studied under Wartel, also with Delle Sadie, making a successful debut, and during her stay had gained the friendship of Baroness Rothschild. She married Eugene Wetherell, who was a member of Dr. Chapin's church, and had followed her to Europe, where they were secretly married. On her return to the United States in 1876, she organized an opera company with C D. Hess, appearing in the famous role of Marguerite at the Park Theatre in Brooklyn, New York. She gained in public admiration constantly and ultimately amassed a large fortune. She is among the first famous American singers, and we can well be proud of her as a woman and an artist. She died in Ogden Utah, January 4, 1891.

Women of America

Source: The Part Taken by Women in American History, By Mrs. John A. Logan, Published by The Perry-Nalle Publishing Company, Wilmington, Delaware, 1912.


Please Come back Soon!!

This page was last updated Monday, 02-Feb-2015 20:10:51 EST

Copyright August 2011 - 2019The American History and Genealogy Project.
Enjoy the work of our webmasters, provide a link, do not copy their work.