Clara Augusta Ingraham was the wife of Wallace Calvin Abbott, the founder of Abbott. Clara was born on December 14, 1857 in Pomfret, Vermont. She married Dr. Abbott, her childhood sweetheart, in 1886 shortly after he received his M.D. from the University of Michigan. The couple moved to Chicago where they lived in a two-room apartment in Ravenswood.
When Clara died in 1924, she donated 12,000 shares of company stock to be used “in furtherance of my beloved husband’s profession and work.” Her will included a provision that provided for the establishment of a “charity” to help Abbott employees. Today this charity is known as The Clara Abbott Foundation.