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Abbott Sisters Day: a Nebraska 150 Celebration
April 19, 2017 @ 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
The Grand Island Public Library has been celebrating Abbott Sisters Day since 2002. This 150th year of Nebraska statehood, a special celebration will be held on Sunday, March 19 from 1:30 – 4 pm at the library, 211 North Washington Street, Grand Island. The public is invited to this open house with a program scheduled for 2 pm.
Proclaimed statewide, Abbott Sisters Day is an integral part of this community’s Abbott Sisters Project. The goal of both efforts is to raise public awareness of the lives and achievements of Edith and Grace Abbott, natives of Grand Island, who achieved international renown as educators, social reformers, and authors. We celebrate so that these important women may continue to influence policy on children’s and immigrants’ issues and so that their story may serve as an inspiration to future generations.
Joining the library in this celebration are the Hall County Historical Society, Prairie Pioneer Genealogical Society, Betsey Hager chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Stuhr Museum. While the focus will be on Edith and Grace Abbott, their family will be featured along with the development of Grand Island since statehood in 1867. This community has a wealth of resources available for anyone wishing to learn more about how Grand Island developed 150 years ago and about their own family history.
Edith and Grace’s father, Othman A. Abbott, settled in Grand Island in 1867 and took up the practice of law. He was the first lieutenant governor of Nebraska and served on the Nebraska Constitutional Conventions of 1871 and 1875. Othman married Elizabeth Griffin in 1873 and raised a family in their prairie home. Elizabeth was on a founding member of the library board in 1883 and helped bring President Theodore Roosevelt to the 1903 Carnegie Library groundbreaking ceremony.