In 1881, on land owned by G.M. Dodge, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas (Katy) Railroad built a line through a new town named for Joseph Abbott, a Hill County resident, lawyer and U.S. Congressman. Winston W. Treadwell soon opened a general store managed by L.C. Barnett, who built and occupied the town's first residence. Ten years later, the community supported a school, several businesses, a post office and three churches. Abbott suffered major fires at the turn of the 20th century, but its residents rebuilt. Today, their history is maintained through religious and educational institutions, as well as cemeteries, which chronicle the lives of generations of area residents.