Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Edwin James OTWELL (1871-1920)

Edwin Otwell
Edwin OTWELL, Buffalo 1919

 Edwin James Otwell was born on October 11, 1871 in St. Mary's, Ontario, Canada.  His parents were Maurice Otwell and Jane Ash.  At the age of ten, his family was living in West Nissouri, Ontario with his father's parents.

Edwin was 18 when his father, Maurice, was admitted into an insane asylum in April 1889.  Maurice spent the rest of his life, about 26 years, at St. Mary's Asylum.  His father had been insane and neglected the family for years.  This had a great impact on the entire family.

In 1891 Edwin was living with his mother and siblings in London, Ontario.  He was 19-years old and a pickle maker.  His Grandfather Otwell owned a cannery and Edwin worked for him.

On March 31, 1892 Edwin Otwell married Mary Jane Charnock in St. Mary's, Perth County, Ontario.  He was 20-years old and a baker; Mary was 18.  In 1892 Edwin and Mary immigrated into the US.  While the majority of Maurice's family moved to Detroit, Michigan, Edwin moved to Buffalo, NY.  We do not know if it was for job opportunities or because some of his wife's siblings also moved to Buffalo.
1902 Buffalo Courier
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)

In 1898 the Otwells lived at 798 Exchange Street, Buffalo.  Two years later he lived at 818 Seneca Street, Buffalo with his wife and four children.  His occupation was day laborer.  In 1902 Edwin was accused of stealing liquor while on the job as an oiler on the Steamer North Land.  He denied this allegation.

The 1904 Buffalo Directory reported Edwin lived at 584 Perry Street and in 1905 he lived at 221 Seymour.  In 1910 he lived at 34 Lord Street, Buffalo with his wife and eight children.  He was a pipe fitter in a ship yard.  In January 1920 he was a rigger in a mill and lived at 33 Lord Street, Buffalo.

We found ten Otwell children.  They were Lillian, Irene, Gertrude, Marian, Harold, Olive, Frederick, twins Edwin Jr. and Edna, and Dorothy.  Marian and Dorothy died at age one.  Edwin was struck by a car and died at age ten.  Edwin's death completely shocked the entire family.

On all the US Census reports, Edwin claimed he was born in Kentucky.  Kentucky was the birth place of his father and grandfather.  Even on his children's census reports they recorded their father as being born in Kentucky.  This was probably done to claim US citizenship when he entered the US in 1892.

Edwin James Otwell died June 2, 1920 at the age of 48.  His cause of death was pernicious anemia (lack of Vitamin B12).  He was buried June 5, 1920 at Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Cheektowaga, NY.
Edwin's Obit, Buffalo Courier
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)

Visit his on-line memorial:

1902 Buffalo Morning Express
(Old Fulton NY Postcards)