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Below is a family biography included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published by W. H. Beers & Co. in 1880.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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CURTIS OTWELL, physician and surgeon; Greenville; was born in Guilford Co., N. C., March 19, 1806; his father, James Otwell, was a native of Sussex Co., Del., and his mother, Eleanor Reynolds, of Guilford County; she was of Scotch-Irish parentage, and the descendant of a Quaker, who came to this country with William Penn. James Otwell was a slaveholder, but emancipated his slaves near the beginning of the present century; he died in 1830, aged 52, and his wife soon followed him. The family comprised five children, of whom our subject was the only son; at an early age, he evinced a great thirst for learning, and made a practice of carrying a book in his pocket to study in intervals of leisure; when a youth of 18, he was appointed Constable of his native county, and while executing the duties of his office, he read thousands of pages of history while going over the county on horseback; by thus improving his spare moments, he put in years of study, and supplemented a common-school course with higher attainments, including some knowledge of the Latin language; he says that “he was quite proud of his position as Constable, from the fact that Gen. Jackson was once Constable of the same county.” In 1824, he married Eunice S. Wilson, of his native county; her father, Michael Wilson, was born on the ocean, of Irish parents, and reared in North Carolina; after his marriage he read medicine, and, in the spring of 1832, moved to Wayne County, Ind., when he practiced his profession eight years; in the fall of 1840, he settled in Darke County, and purchased a flouring-mill in Neave Township, and superintended the same for thirty years, continuing his professional practice; in the year 1844, in connection with a prominent farmer of the neighborhood, he erected a schoolhouse near his mill, and engaged teachers competent to teach higher mathematics and languages. It was known for years as “Otwell’s Seminary,” and numbers of the prominent men of the county came here for their higher education; among the instructors in this school were Calvin Parker and Samuel McClure, who were well known as teachers a quarter of a century ago. In 1846, Dr. Otwell graduated from the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, and in 1848 located in Greenville, where he has since followed his profession; he is the father of four sons and four daughters; two of the latter deceased. Three of the sons are practicing medicine in Darke County; the eldest son is editor and proprietor of the Greenville Journal. Dr. Otwell has had a very extensive and successful practice, and has been the preceptor of perhaps one-half of the physicians in Greenville and the surrounding country.

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This family biography is one of 659 biographies included in The History of Darke County, Ohio published in 1880 by W. H. Beers & Co.  For the complete description, click here: Darke County, Ohio History and Genealogy

View additional Darke County, Ohio family biographies here: Darke County, Ohio Biographies

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