Source: History of the Eel River Christian Conference (1936), p. 153


Back in the log cabin days when wolves, bears and panthers roamed the Hoosier forests and Indians outnumbered the whites, John and Catharen (Springer) Abbott of Shelby county, Ohio, settled in the dense woods on land where Liberty Mills, Wabash county, now is. With them came a little girl, Sarah Jane Abbott, a daughter, age three years. This child was born in Shelby county, Ohio, March 12, 1833, and of her we wish to speak in this sketch.

Of her early life she says: "We would see bear tracks encircling our place in the morning and in the night, shiver at the howling of the wolves and the fearful scream of the wild cat, and deer would pass our place in droves. Our nearest neighbors were twelve miles distant." Speaking of thrills she says: "Young people of today perhaps think we had no thrills in the old days, but I wonder what one of them would think today if they should look up and see an Indian with tomahawk raided over his mother's head threatening death if she would not give him whiskey? I have an idea he would think that a thrill. That was one of my experiences. That I remember when a very small girl as I peeped out from under the bed trembling with fright."

She attended the crude schools of that early time and received an education equal to most boys and girls of those days. Early in her life she became a christian and united with the Christian church under the ministry of Rev. Hallet Barber.

In 1853, at the age of 20, she was united in marriage to David Hidy, who later became one of the ablest and best loved members of the Conference. This union was blessed with four children, three of whom are living at this writing (1935).

She experienced many hardships while her husband gave almost four years of his young manhood to the service of our country in the Civil war. Mrs. Hidy was ever interested in her husband's ministry and sacrificed much that he might succeed. She was a charter member of the Woman's Mission Board of the Conference and continued that membership until her husband's death, March 13, 1913. During the winter before her 100th birthday she made two comfort tops, three embroidered wool scarves and braided one rug. Mrs. Hidy was very much disappointed on her 100th birthday when her children vetoed the idea she had of an airplane excursion. Here has been a wonderful life and oh! what marvelous changes she has seen in the development of our civilization! Mrs. Hidy's peculiar characteristics has been holy living and a tenacity for the principles and progress of the Christian church and now at the age of 102 years she longs to go to her home eternal and to loved ones gone before.

Since the above was written, Mrs. Hidy has passed to the great beyond, she closed her eyes in that "dreamless sleep," July 12, 1935, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. R.J. Nagle. Her body was taken to the North Manchester Christian church for funeral services. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. W.J. Young of Elkhart, the Rev. C.A. Duncan, pastor, assisting in the service.

She was buried in the Pleasant Grove cemetery by the side of her husband, the Rev. David Hidy.