Seth Purnell Outten

The second son of Thomas and Charlotte Outten was named Seth Purnell. He was born on a farm near Concord, Delaware, February 28, 1864. In his boyhood he attended the public schools of Sussex County, and before he was twenty-one he became a farmer near Vernon in Kent County, Delaware. Soon he became interested in machinery, and installed an electric plant at Laurel, which he operated for several years.

From boyhood he had shown tact and skill in repairing watches and clocks, and he was considered an expert in making repairs to practically all kinds of jewelry. In 1892, he opened a repair shop in Seaford, and after two years he removed to Laurel where he continued in the jewelry business as long as he lived. He also made a study of optics, and he had an extensive reputation as an optometrist, maintaining an office both in Laurel and Seaford. He was a member of the Delaware Optical Association, and of the Maryland and Delaware Jewelers Association. Also a member of the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men, and of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Seth P. Outten has been married three times. His first wife was Mary S. Handy, daughter of John Handy. They were married February 25, 1886, and they were the parents of one child, Clarence J. Outten. He was born September 16, 1886, and he is a telegraph operator for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. For many years he has been their agent at Brandywine, Maryland, near Washington D.C. He married Carrie Wainwright of Laurel, Delaware, and they are the parents of three daughters. Mary married Metcalf Hyde, but they have no children. Gertrude married Norman Latimer, and they have two children, Anna Lee and Elenor Ann. Wilma, the youngest daughter of Clarence and Carrie, married Robert C. Crawford. Clarence J. was killed by a train on Friday, Sept 13, 1946.

Mary S. the first wife, died June, 1890, and was buried in the cemetery at Reliance. On December 1, 1892, Seth married Sarah Allen, daughter of William Allen, and they were the parents of three children, only one of whom survived infancy. Edgar S. is a mechanic, a member of the Volunteer Fire Company, and a Sergeant in the Delaware National Guard. Sarah Died in 1918, and on June 23, 1920, Seth married his third wife. Her maiden name was Jennie McGee, daughter of George W. McGee, but they had no children.

The writer has copied most of the facts stated in this biography of Seth P. Outten, from the History of Delaware, Past and Present, written by E. Calvin Williams, and published by Lewes Historical Publishing Company, Inc. at New York City.

Seth died on Tuesday, February 24, 1943, two days before his seventy-ninth birthday and was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery at Seaford. He is survived by one brother, two sons, and his third wife. Also by three grand-daughters, and two great-granddaughters.


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