Title and statement of responsibility area
Jennie Ottewell Smith fonds
General material designation
- Textual record
- Graphic material - photograph
- Textual record - published
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- Source of title proper: Title based on contents of fonds.
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Edition statement of responsibility
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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Smith, Jennie Ottewell
Physical description area
10 cm of textual records. - 9 photographs. - 7 published works
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Jane Elizabeth (Jennie) Ottewell was born in 1892 in Edmonton. She was the fifth child of Richard Phillip Ottewell and Frances (Fanny) Trevillion. Her father, Richard Phillip Ottewell, is considered one of the early pioneers in the Edmonton area.
Richard P. Ottewell was born in Lincolnshire, England and came to Canada as a very young boy with his parents, settling in Middlesex County, Ontario, ca. 1852 and then moving to Bruce County, Ontario in 1867. He married Frances (Fanny) Dingle Trevillion on June 7, 1877 in Port Arthur, Ontario. Richard worked in the Duncan Mine. Two children arrived in quick succession, William John (born 1880) and Frances Ella (born 1881). Around this time, Richard read an editorial in “The Bulletin” newspaper, written by Frank Oliver describing the Edmonton area and decided to move west.
Leaving his wife and two children in Ontario, he set out in 1881 from Port Arthur to Duluth by boat, then to Winnipeg by train, then to Edmonton with two horse teams and a wagon. Richard Ottewell staked his claim on August 7, 1881, in the Clover Bar area – then some 10 miles east of Edmonton. Once the homestead was broken and the land cultivated for farming grain, he sent for his family. His wife, Fanny, and children William and Ella, joined him in Edmonton in 1883.
A sod house was replaced by a log house, which was eventually replaced by a large brick house in the early 1900’s. The original log house was restored and placed in Fort Edmonton Park. The Ottewell family eventually turned from grain to dairy farming. Richard Ottewell died in 1942, but his youngest sons continued to farm the land until 1951.
The Ottewell farm was considered one of the finest in the areas and Richard was considered a driving force in the Clover Bar community. He helped to organize the Clover Bar School District, opened the Ottewell Coll Mine and the Campbell & Ottewell Flour Mill.
Richard and Fanny had 9 children in total - William John (1880-1976), Frances Ella (1881-1971), Arthur James (1884-1979), George Garnet (1886-1979), Jane Elizabeth ‘Jennie’ (1892-1985), Muriel (1894-1964), Cedric (1896-1950) and twins Frank Clinton (1905-1967 and Frederick Samuel (1905-1965).
In 1916, Jennie Ottewell married Bliss Botsford Smith. They had four children, Isabel, Allen, Dorothy and Kathleen, and lived in Fort Saskatchewan.
Bliss Smith died in 1975 and Jennie (Ottewell) Smith died in 1985.
It is assumed, though not confirmed, that Melanie Moore is a descendant of the Richard P. Ottewell family.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of some records and biographical clippings of Richard Ottewell and the Ottewell family as well as correspondence and records of Jennie (Ottewell) Smith and her husband Bliss Simith.
There are also books in algebra, geometry, mechanics and mechanical drawing from the American School of Correspondence, likely used by Bliss Smith for correspondence courses as well as a garden seed and nursery catalogue:
The photographs are of Richard and Fanny Ottewell and their children, including Richard and Fanny Ottewell on their 50th wedding anniversary (1927), as well as the Clover Bar School.
Immediate source of acquisition
This fonds was donated to the City of Edmonton Archives by Jennie Ottewell Smith (Mrs. Bliss Smith) in 1968 and 1979, and Melanie Moore in 1996.
The material was arranged by the archivist based on creator (family branch).
The photographs were assigned item numbers with the prefix EA-55.
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Restrictions on access
There are no restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Copyright may apply.
Reproduction restrictions may apply.
Finding aid available online.
In this repository, see also:
Ottewell, Richard P. clipping file
No further accruals are expected.
Accession numbers: A68-47, A74-77, A79-118, A96-48
Formerly known as Mrs. B.B. Smith fonds
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