Capt. John Outten

The subject of this chapter was the son of Abraham Outten and Betty White his wife, grandson of John Outten, Sr. and great grandson of John Outten the Pioneer. He was born October 28, 1753, and he had three brothers and three sisters. His brothers were Isaac, Abraham, and Obed and his sisters were Mary, Esther, and Betty. His father died July 31, 1769, and his elder brother Isaac was the administrator, but it is not likely that John received much of his fathers estate, as he had died intestate.

The first business transaction in which he was engaged that was recorded in the old records, was as follows: On January 11, 1797, John Outten purchased of Griffith and Laws the old landing place known as Outtens Landing. The place had been called by this name many years prior to the date of this deed, because at the time it was surveyed for James Burtell on January 2, 1794, it was called Outtens Landing, and it seems probable that John Outten had lived there long before he purchased the property, as the name is stated in the deed.

In 1917, the writer and his brother William visited Outtens Landing, but it is now called Cherry Tree Landing. And while there he scribbled down in a notebook his impressions, and this is a copy of what he wrote:

“I am now standing on Outtens Landing, now called Cherry Tree Landing. There is in view a large clearing of perhaps fifty acres, but large pine trees are now growing all the way along the river shore. There are still signs of the old wharf where vessals used to land, and many stones which were used in building the wharf are now scattered along the shore. The land here was probably once fertile and beautiful, but it has greatly depreciated in value, and attractiveness. The house in which John Outten lived is about 100 yards from the old landing, but only about 46 yards from the river shore, as it is now, and there are still evidences of a natural spring of water on the hillside near the house.

We went into the old house, and found it very much dilapidated. This is a story and a half high, and has hewn sills and rived shingles, and it has been lathed and plastered. There are four rooms in the house, and the two rooms on the first floor have large fireplaces in them. No one has occupied the old house for many years.”

The writer was informed that in this house Judge John W. Houston and Dr. David Houston were born. They were the sons of Robert Houston. Seth Griffith married a daughter of Robert Houston. Joshua Ellegood married Ann, the daughter of Seth Griffeth, and Dr. Robert G. Ellegood was their son. He married Elizabeth Cannon July 28, 1958, and they were the parents of Drs. Robert and Joshua Ellegood.

John Outten married a young woman whose name was Polly, but her maiden name is not known, and they were the parents of three sons and two daughters. Their eldest son was Lewis Outten, and he continued to live at Outtens Landing after the death of his father.

The second son was Hazel, also called Joseph H. He married Zipporah Outten January 9, 1834, and he died February 21, 1834. The writer copied these facts from a diary that was kept by Obed Outten Baker. The identity of Zipporah Outten is unknown, but after six weeks of married life Hazel died, and these are all the facts known concerning him. Daughter Josephine

Samuel was the youngest son of John and Polly Outten. He married Mary Coulborne, daughter of John and Sarah Coulbourne, and they were the parents of five children. (See sketch)

The two daughters of John and Polly Outten were named Hester and Fannie. They both died young and unmarried, and strange to say, they both died by accident, but the writer never learned the nature of the accident that caused their death, nor any other facts concerning them. Whether they both met with the same accident at the same time, or whether they were killed, or drowned, or burned, or poisoned, will probably always remain a mystery.

During the War of 1812, John Outten was called into the service of the United States Government for the defense of Lewestown, in Sussex County, Delaware. He was the Captain of a company of light infantry at the time Leweston was bombarded by the British on March 13, 1813, and he probably remained in command of his company until March 15, 1815, when all the soldiers were withdrawn. The following is a copy of a receipt which he gave during his service:

Return of fines Company Light Infantry 9th Regiment of Militia where of John Outten is Captain.
Signed John Outten.

There were nine Outtens serving in the country as soldiers in defense of Lewistown during the War of 1812. They were Abraham, Isaac, Purnell, Jesse, Obed, William, Samuel, John Jr., and John Sr. All of them probably private soldiers under the command of Capt. John Outten.

On February 23, 1815, John Outten and Polly, his wife, sold to William Outten a tract of land called Good Neighborhood, and the deed was recorded April 11, 1816. This same piece of ground was purchased by Obed Outten of Abraham Phillips on March 30, 1776. But William did not keep this property in his possession many years, for on January 9, 1819, William Outten and Precilla, his wife, sold it to Jesse Greene. This William Outten was the father of Dr. James Newton Outten of Hickman, Kentucky.

George A. Outten, a great grandson of John and Polly, once informed the writer that there were three other sons whose names are not given in this narrative. They were Jacob, George, who was a sea captain, and John Jr. It seems quite reasonable to the writer that this is true, although he could not find any records to prove it. Capt. John Outten was the only John Outten living in Nanticoke Hundred that that time who could have had a son old enough to be in the War of 1812, and he is always called John Jr. There may have been a son Jacob, but he was never on the assessment list. And it is said that George was a sea captain, and he probably never married.

These are all the facts that the writer has concerning John and Polly Outten, and most of them have come from members of the family.

Written by Rev. John Perry Outten converted to Hypertext by Karen Stephens