Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lou Ella Godwin Otten (1882-1947), Part II

Lou Ella Godwin Puzzle, Part II

Previously, I posted information on Lou Ella Otten, 1882-1947. This post is a continuation of the question of who are Lou Ella Otten's parents?

Recap: Lou Ella DAVIS married Alvin GODWIN in Sharp Co., AR in 1899, therefore I predicted that Lou Ella's surname was DAVIS. However her obituary of 1947 stated she had 3 brothers with the CARPENTER surname. I then went on a quest to determine if Lou Ella was a DAVIS or CARPENTER. Most of the evidence presented below lean towards her being a CARPENTER. However I still have to ask the question of why her marriage record stated her last name was DAVIS. One might simply answer that she was previously married to a DAVIS prior to marrying my Alvin GODWIN (at the age of 19). However, in the census report of Lou Ella's family we find a step sister by the name of Oscielo DAVIS and a marriage record between Lou Ella's father, William Carpenter, and a Dora DAVIS. Therefore, I am inclined to believe that the mixup was with Lou Ella and her step mom's family.

I found Lou Ella's family in the census reports. I have listed them chronologically, and you will see Lou Ella's "Carpenter brothers" in the 1900 census report with her. Nellie Carpenter, her "sister" who married Roy Eckert, did not show up until the 1910 census report. Their father was William Carpenter, b. abt 1844:

1870 Douglas Co., MO census report:
William Carpenter, 28 yo (abt 1842), farmer, value of personal estate: $1238, IL
Catharine Carpenter, 26yo (abt 1844), Keeping house, IL
Ellenora Carpenter, 5 yo (b. abt 1865), IL
George M Carpenter, 3 yo (b. abt 1867), IL
Franklin Carpenter, 1 yo (b. abt 1869), MO

1870 Douglas Co., MO Census Report for William and Catherine Carpenter













William and Catherine Carpenter moved from Douglas Co., MO to Izard Co., AR between 1870 and 1875. According to the 1880 Izard Co., AR census report, the two youngest children, George and Franklin, moved with them, three more children were born, and Ellenora, the oldest, was no longer living in the household - she would have been only 15 years old:

1880 Izard Co., AR, Lafferty Creek Township, enum 84, July 5 1880, Lines 59-60
William Carpenter w m 38 yo (b. abt 1842) farmer IL TN TN
Catharine Carpenter w f 31 yo (b. abt 1849) wife m khouse IL VA VA
George B.Mc. Carpenter w m 13 yo (b. abt 1867) son s works on fm IL IL IL
Franklin Carpenter w m 11 yo (b. abt 1869), son s works on fm MO IL IL
Charles Carpenter w m 9 yo (b. abt 1871), son s works on fm MO IL IL
Wm. S. Carpenter w m 5 (b. abt 1875), son s AR IL IL
Sherwood Carpenter w m 1 (b. abt 1879) son s AR IL IL
- So far William and Catherine have at least 6 Carpenter children
1880 Izard Co., AR Census Report for William and Catherine Carpenter, p. 1

1880 Izard Co., AR Census Report for William and Catherine Carpenter, p. 2
























On 12 Feb 1890 in Sharp Co., AR, William Carpenter is remarried to Dora C. DAVIS and they are enumerated on the 1900 Sharp Co., AR census report:

1900 Sharp Co., Highland Twp AR census report:
Highland Twp., ED 119, enumerated 4-5 June 1900, T623, Roll 77, p 44
William Carpenter, head, white male, b. sept 1844, 55 yo, Married 10 years, IL, Unk Unk, farmer, owned free farm
Dora C Carpenter, wife, b. June 1864, 35 yo, married 10 years, 6/8 children living, TN TN TN
1. Lou A Carpenter, daughter, white female, b. Feb 1882, 18 yo, single, AR IL IL – Born before Wm married Dora, so probably daughter of Wm and Catherine Carpenter and probably my Louella. Her father's birthplace, IL, matches with that of William Carpenters'; My Louella was also enumerated with her husband of 1 year, Alvin Godwin, in the 1900 Fulton Co., Pleasant Ridge, AR census report.
2. Oceola DAVIS, step-daughter, white female, b. Jan 1885, 15 yo, single, AR TN TN – Also born before Wm and Dora were married in 1890, so probably Dora’s from a previous marriage as this child has the same surname that Dora had before marrying Wm Carpenter
3. Acy Carpenter, son, white male, b. Jan 1892, 8 yo, single, AR IL TN
4. Willie Carpenter, son, white male, b. July 1894, 5 yo, single, AR IL TN
5. Marlin Carpenter, son, white male, b. Oct 1896, 3 yo, single, AR IL TN
6. Ernest Carpenter, son, white male, b. May 1899, 1 yo, single, AR IL TN
* There are 6 children listed in this census report.
Willie, Marlin, and Ernest Carpenter are the 3 “brothers” listed in Lou ella’s obituary

1900 Sharp Co., AR Census Report for William and Dora Carpenter














1910 Sharp Co., AR census report:
Dora Carpenter, head, 45 yo (b. abt 1865), widow, 6/6 children, TN TN TN
Willie Carpenter, son, 15 yo (b. abt 1895), single, AR IL TN
Marlin Carpenter, son, 13 yo (b. abt 1897), single, AR IL TN
Ernest Carpenter, son, 10 yo (b. abt 1900), single, AR IL TN
Nellie Carpenter, dau, 5 yo (b. abt 1905), single, AR IL TN

1910 Sharp Co., AR Census Report for Dora Carpenter









According to Lou Ella Otten’s obituary, she had 3 “brothers” – Willie, Marlin, and Ernest Carpenter – Assuming Lou Ella is the “Lou A. Carpenter, 18 yo, b. Feb 1882” listed in the 1900 census report and is really a child of Wm Carpenter and his first wife, Catherine, then the 3 boys must actually be half brothers (they were children of Wm and 2nd wife Dora).

The “half sister” Mrs. Roy Eckert, mentioned in Lou Ella Otten's obituary is actually Nellie Carpenter, daughter of Wm and Dora (2nd wife) Carpenter and sister of the 3 boys, but truly a half sister of Lou Ella, so that part of the obit is correct.

Mrs. Ed Clark of Los Angeles was Osceola Davis. She was listed as an actual “sister” to my Lou Ella Otten but she was probably a step sister. She was listed in the California Death Records: Oceola Clark: b. 20 Jan 1885 in AR; d. 22 Mar 1955 in Los Angeles, CA; Mothers maiden name was Nix. Father's name was Davis. (no social security number given).

According to all of the above information, it looks as though Lou Ella Otten was a Carpenter, and the daughter of William Carpenter and his first wife, Catherine Warner. Lou Ella was born 26 Feb 1882, therefore she could not be the daughter of William and his second wife, Dora Carpenter because Dora did not marry William Carpenter until 1890.

If these assumptions are correct, then why does Lou Ella’s marriage record say Lou Ella Davis?
And why does her obituary state that Mrs. Ed Clark (Osciala Davis) was a “sister” when she would have really been a step sister?

And why does it say the 3 Carpenter men were “brothers” instead of half brothers, especially when it states that Nellie (Mrs. Roy Eckert) was a “half-sister?”

Related Posts:
Lou Ella Godwin Otten (1882-1947) Part I
Lou Ella Godwin Otten (1882-1947) Part III

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