Tuesday, April 25, 2017

William OTWELL (1798-1858)

William OTWELL's "Mark"
Edna OTWELL-SIM > Edwin OTWELL > Maurice OTWELL > John Franklin OTWELL > William OTWELL

William Otwell was born in Scott County, Kentucky on April 11, 1798.  His father was Francis (Frank) Otwell and his mother was unknown.  The old census reports only recorded the head of the family and did not list the names of the spouse and children.  We do know there were many children.  One brother was named Parker and a sister was named Mary Ann.

William married Quintilla Garth around 1821 in Scott County.  They had at least six children which included John Franklin, Thomas, Martha, Emily, Mary Ann and Sarah Jane.

On the 1810 and 1820 Censuses William was still in Scott County living with his parents.  He moved to Fayette County, Kentucky after the 1820 Census with his wife and lived on 100 acres of land.  Their first child, John Franklin, was born there in 1821.  William appeared on the 1830 census in Fayette with his wife, children, and 17 slaves.

In 1839 after his father's death, his family moved back to Scott County to the Frank Otwell Farm which was 150 acres located on the north-west side of the Leesburgh and Lexington Road (now known as Paris Pike).  He was listed as a purchaser of items from his father's estate records.  He was a farmer and he remained in Scott County the rest of his life.

In 1849, William was involved in a civil lawsuit OTWELL vs COOK in which precedence was set in the use of IOUs to offset other IOUs.

On the 1850 Census he was listed with his wife and four daughters.  The 1850 Slave Schedule recorded he was the owner of 21 slaves.

In June 1857 William made out his will and signed with an "X" leaving his estate to his children.  On January 12, 1858 William changed his executor from his son, John Franklin, to two non-family members.  In May 1858 his will was presented to the Scott County Court for disbursement.

William Otwell died May 18, 1858 at the age of 60.  He was buried in the Georgetown Cemetery in Scott County, Kentucky.
OTWELL Monument at Georgetown Cemetery
Photo courtesy of laribel from www.findagrave.com
Close up of text on monument
Photo courtesy of Ben T. CALVERT of www.findagrave.com
Visit his on-line memorial:
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=98557164

The Frank Otwell Farm

In the will of William Otwell, the Frank Otwell Farm consisting of 150 acres was to be divided equally to William's daughters, Martha Dorsey, Mary Otwell and Sarah Jane Otwell.

"The land given to my daughters is undivided and deeded to them and lies in Scott County, State of Kentucky.  If this land should fall short of 150 acres as described, I wish that it should be made up out of my estate to Martha, Mary and Sarah Jane."

Martha Otwell Dorsey quickly bought out her sisters' properties.  Mary and Sarah Jane moved to Georgetown, KY and both were deceased within a few years.

In 1878, Martha's husband, Benjamin Dorsey, willed the property to their "daughter Fannie Cromwell Dorsey and children".  In 1916, Fannie wanted to sell the property and divide the proceeds between herself and her older children.  The problem was she had several very young children. The family went to the Kentucky Court of Appeals and in Brock vs Brock, the court decided that all of the children were entitled to the proceeds even if they were born after Benjamin's death.  The property was sold outside the family.
Location of former OTWELL farm
From Google Earth, 2016
From the on-line HISTORY site:
Kentucky was granted statehood in 1792, becoming the first U.S. state west of the Appalachian Mountains. Frontiersman Daniel Boone was one of Kentucky's most prominent explorers and many immigrants followed the trail he blazed through the Cumberland Gap, known as the Wilderness Road. Although it sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War, the population was deeply divided, and many Kentucky residents fought for the North. Known primarily as an agricultural area into the 20th century, Kentucky is also a major U.S. coal producer and site of the military bases Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. It is also known as the home of the legendary Kentucky Derby horse race and bluegrass music, pioneered by Kentucky native Bill Monroe.

Flag of Kentucky