Thursday, March 2, 2017

John OTWELL (1866-1941) & descendants

All photo courtesy Herb OTWELL
Edna's Uncle (paternal line)
From an email by cousin Herb OTWELL, 2012:
“He was a 'corker' as my grandmother used to say. He and Vianna lived in the same house with my grandmother and grandfather til both died. My grandfather and an old carpenter built the house in 1933. I sold it when my grandmother died in 1987. It is still standing and people still live in it. My grandmother said John F. would get on the City Bus or street car and ride up town. He would go to the Log Cabin Saloon and drink a couple of beers. Then he would make the trip home with two pails of draft beer, which he would drink while he worked on type writers and adding machines. ...My grandmother said he had a quick temper and would curse a blue streak if something happened he didn't like. Vianna was quiet…. I always wondered how long it took them to make that trip to Canada from Louisiana in the mid 30's. As far as I know they drove but they may have taken the train.”

John Franklin OTWELL
and his nephew John Franklin HALEY
circa 1935
John Franklin OTWELL, born March 1866, was the eldest son of Maurice OTWELL (1845-1915) and Jane ASH (1847-1935). He was named after his grandfather, the elder John Franklin OTWELL (1821-1908). John grew up on the OTWELL Farm near St. Mary’s. 
John married Rebecca SAGER on 1 July 1889 in Cherry Grove, Ontario. She was 7 years older than John.
On the 1891 census, John and Rebecca lived in London, Ontario. John’s occupation was farm laborer.
On 30 November 1896, John next marries Vianna MURPHREE (1876-1954) in Blount County, Alabama. They had one child named Emmett Dewey.

John F., circa 1935
On 19 December 1898, Rebecca filed for divorce in Wayne Co., Michigan on the grounds of desertion. Divorce was finalized 13 October 1899. Rebecca was next found in a 1903, 1904 and 1905 directories living in Detroit, Wayne Co., Michigan. Her occupation was a nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital.
John, Vianna and Emmett were found on the 1900 census living in Falkville, Morgan Co., Alabama. On this census, John claims he was born in Ohio. In the 1940 census, John and Vianna were living in Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. On this census, John claims he was born in Michigan.

John appeared as the informant on the death certificate for his mother Jane ASH-OTWELL in Detroit in 1935.
John died 13 November 1941 in Monroe. Birthplace listed was Canada, but his parents are listed as John OTWELL and Mary. He was laid to rest at Riverview Cemetery.


Emmett Dewey OTWELL, Sr.
Emmett Dewey OTWELL, Sr. was born 6 May 1898 in Alabama. He married Ludie Mae GODWIN in 1924 and they had one child named Emmett Dewey, Jr. Emmett, Sr. died 18 Feb 1950 in Louisiana and was buried in Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery.

More from Herb, 2012: 
"Emmett Sr. grew up in Alabama and served in "Lima" Co. 167th Infantry, 42 Infantry Division "Rainbow Division", Alabama National Guard during WWI. He went to France and Germany and after being overseas for almost 3 years came home."
 “My great grand father repaired typwriters and adding machines. My grand father worked with him. They came to Monroe La. in 1923 and stayed in a rooming house owned by my other great grand mother, Emma Victoria Godwin. He met my grand mother Ludie Mae Godwin and they got married in 1924”
"Emmett went to work for the Monroe Louisiana Fire Department in 1930 and worked there until he was killed in an auto accident in 1951."

Herb OTWELL and his grandfather Emmett OTWELL, Sr.
 Herb's daughter Janin, 2017:
"This photo was taken a few weeks at most before Emmett Sr. was killed in a car wreck. My father was always very sad about losing his Grandfather so early. I think because his dad didn't like to spend time with him. The story goes that his grandfather was IN LOVE with his grandson. They lived behind Elva and Emmett Jr.'s house. Elva could see from her house when Emmett Sr. would get home from work. She would immediately get Herbie ready to visit with his grandfather. Emmett Sr. would walk over and get Herbie and sit under a fig tree with him between their two houses. Playing with him and talking to him. That picture in the story was in his wallet when he was killed."
Emmett Dewey OTWELL, Jr.
Emmett Dewey OTWELL, Jr. was born in 1925 in Louisiana. He enlisted in the military 20 April 1943. He married Elva and they had one child named Herb. Emmett died 21 May 1972 and was buried in Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery.

James Albert GODWIN, Ludie Mae and Emmett, Jr.
Herb, 2012:
"My father was a police officer for the City of Monroe as was I. He died in 1972 at the age of 47."


Herb OTWELL was born 23 November 1948 in Monroe, Louisiana. He died 14 January 2016 and was buried in Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery. He provided a great deal of information to us on his and his daughter's research and research done by cousins Arlene ROLA and Jackie HALTERMAN. 
Photo from on-line memorial

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