Lewis Outten

A complete biography of Lewis Outten cannot be written at this time, as the generation to which he belonged has long since passed away. There are no records of his life, or of his property now extant. All the writer knows of him is a matter of tradition, but he has known personally two of his sons, and quite a number of his grandchildren, so the following statements are substantially correct.

He was the son of Captain John Outten, who, on January 11, 1797 purchased a tract of land that was known as Outten’s landing, on the Nanticoke River, between Seaford and Concord. Here he was probably born about the year 1795, and it was his home after the death of his father. Here also, he was married to his first wife, and his eldest child, Charles Outten, was born here September 30, 1821.

Lewis moved his family to Milford about the year 1823, and became a merchant in that town. His name first appears on the assessment list of Cedar Creek Hundred in 1821, and he died in Milford in 1856. Lewis married twice, but the maiden names of his wives are unknown. There were three sons by his first marriage, the eldest of whom was Charles Outten of Vernon, Delaware.

The second son was Lewis James Outten, and he left four children: Lewis James Jr. was a jeweler and engraver of Philadelphia. He has been married and divorced, but the writer knows no more about him; Katie married Charles F. Dyce; Sallie married but nothing more is known of her; and Ida married George Young.

George Outten, the third son of Lewis, was a sea captain. He married and lived in Baltimore, but nothing more is known of him except that he left two sons.

Lewis and his second wife were the parents of five children, two sons and three daughters. John H. was born at Milford, Delaware. He was a ship carpenter, and worked at the Seaford shipyard. During the Civil War he was a soldier in the Union Army, and was in company C., where he served for several years. He then moved to Wilmington, where he worked in the shipyard. He married Lydia Ella Cann, but they had no children. The writer met him in 1900. He had heard that we were attending a session of the Conference in the city, and he sent us a special request to spend the evening with him. His manner was pleasing, and his conversation was exceedingly interesting. He was short and stout, with large eyes, and a heavy black beard. He died at his home 911 N. Clayton Street, Wilmington, Delaware, in 1905, and was buried in Riverview Cemetary, where a splendid monument has been erected in his memory.

Of Joseph Outten, the second son of Lewis by his second wife, the writer has very little information. He married Sarah Ann Truitt, July 28, 1851, and his name is on the assessment list in Cedar Creek Hundred in 1858. It is very probable that he died in 1868, and he left a son named Joseph Jr., for whom Beniah W. Truitt was appointed guardian. In the records at Georgetown, the writer found this statement: “Joseph Outten, minor son of Joseph Outten, deceased, of Cedar Creek Hundred, petitioned the Orphans Court for the right to sell property that was left him by his father. A lot in South Milford was sold on September 21, 1873, to the highest bidder, and it was stated that he was not able to put the lot in order.

Mary Outten, daughter of Lewis, married John D. Martin of Harberton, Delaware, and they were the parents of eight children. John D. Jr., Edward, Thomas, Mary, Anna, who married a Reed, Eliza married a Carpenter, Sarah married a Russell; and Marguerite married a Vaughn.

Elizabeth or Leah, as she was called, daughter of Lewis Outten, married an Irish Catholic of Wilmington, named John L. Malone, and she became a Roman Catholic. They were the parents of four children: John L. Jr., Thomas, William and Bessie, who is now in a Roman Catholic nunnery, and she is the only woman with Outten blood in her veins of whom the writer has any information, who is serving time in a Roman Catholic prison.

Anna, the youngest daughter of Lewis Outten, married John King of Wilmington, and they were the parents of one child named Myrtle, who was raised by her uncle John H. Outten. She was only a small child when the writer knew her, but she lived to be grown and died in 1919.

The writer regrets exceedingly that the information he has received concerning Lewis Outten is so decidedly limited. He has heard his father speak of Lewis Outten, but what he said of him cannot now be recalled. The facts which are here recorded were collected by conversations with the eldest members of the Outten family who were living about the year 1920, all of whom are now gone, and it is not likely that any other important facts concerning the career of Lewis Outten will ever be known.

The preceding biography of Lewis Outten and his family was written about the 1920, but during the quarter of century that has passed since then, no other facts have been brought to the writer’s attention, and no suggestions have been made for correcting what has been written. The records must therefore be considered closed for the present generation.


Written by Rev. John Perry Outten, transcribed by Stephen Outten and converted to Hypertext by Karen Stephens