Biography of Dr. George Alonzo Abbott
Dr. George Alonzo Abbott, Professor Emeritus at the University of North Dakota, had a long and fruitful career of service to the State of North Dakota and the science of Chemistry.
He was born July 7, 1874, in Alma, Illinois. Dr. Abbott received both the B.S. and M.A. pro merito from DePauw University. He died in 1973.
From 1896 until 1904 he taught chemistry in high schools in Evansville, Indiana; Duluth, Minnesota; and Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1903, through a contact with Professor Talbot, he received the Austen Research Fellowship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Under the guidance of A. A. Noyes, Professor of Physical Chemistry at M.I.T., he received the Ph.D. in 1908. In this first class of doctorates in chemistry were such notables as Edward Washburn, Charles Kraus and Richard Tolman. Dr. Abbott joined the chemistry staff of the North Dakota Agricultural College (North Dakota State University) in 1909.
In 1910 he was appointed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of North Dakota. His devotion to teaching and the application of chemistry for the betterment of North Dakota was one of his outstanding contributions. His interests in quality water and in natural products such as lignite, for which North Dakota is recognized, gave him national recognition.
For half a century he was the only toxicologist in a wide area of the upper midwest. He found time to do a weekly radio program "Science from the Sidelines" which was broadcast for over twenty years.
Dr. Abbott was a founder and charter member of the North Dakota Academy of Science. He was a member of the Red River Valley Section of the American Chemical Society, a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, member of Sigma Xi, and a charter member of the University of North Dakota Phi Beta Kappa chapter.
Dr. Abbott retired from administration in 1948 and from teaching in 1952. He continued toxicological work until 1970.