Albert L. Oatman (1376)

Albert L. (Charles6, Darius5, Benjamin4, George3, John2, Johannes1), son of Charles and Dorliska H. (Bunce) Oatman, was born at Springford, Oxford County, Ontario, 12 August 1861, and died 28 December 1930.

He married, 26 September 1883, at the Baptist parsonage, Tillsonburg, Ontario, Mary Frances "Minnie" Hicks, daughter of Dennis Andrew and Achsah (Oatman) (Macklem) Hicks (see #1338). Minnie was born 19 June 1867, baptized 7 April 1881 at the Robertson Baptist Church in Springford, and died 7 November 1948, all in Oxford County, Ontario. Both Albert and Minnie are buried in the Springford Cemetery, Springford, Ontario.

Albert started out as a farmer on the family farm next to the Cornell School in South Norwich Township, where his children were born. But later in the early 1900's, he moved his family to Tillsonburg, where he continued a trade as a cement contractor, which he began before the move to Tillsonburg. He left his sons, Charles and William, to work the farm.

He had a "house affair mounted on a wagon with steel wheels, drawn by two teams of horses, the house had one large room, the cooking was done at one end, eating in the middle plus some bunks at the end". Minnie and their daughter, Mae, would take turns weekly cooking for the men on the job. In later years, when son Charles had his own farm, he drew gravel for his father's gravel jobs. One can find his name on cement abutments of bridges and foundations throughout the county.

The family also had a grocery store and livery stable on South Broadway beside Ben Moulton's Royal Hotel, where horses and buggies were tethered while shopping was done. Irene Oatman was in charge of the grocery store.

Albert served as a Town Councellor and Reeve in 1915-1916. He and Minnie were members of the Baptist Church in Tillsonburg for many years.

Children of Albert L. and Minnie (Hicks) Oatman, b. S. Norwich Twp., Oxford Co., ON:

3222 Myrtle D., b. 1 Jun 1886; d. bef 1956; m. Calvin Webster, 26 Dec 1907, Cornell in Oxford Co., ON; to Union Mills, IN. Children, surname Webster:

A Laura, m. _____ Winchester

B Laverna, m. George Heiss

C Irene, m. Homer Strohm. Homer d. Nov 1992.

3223 Mae, b. 27 Jul 1888; d. 25 Jun 1978; m. Hugh Sinclair. Children, surname Sinclair:

A Jack

B Marjory

3224 Charles Seneca Benjamin, b. 31 Mar 1890; d. 24 May 1956, London, Middlesex Co., ON; bur. Forest Lawn Cem., London, ON; m. Nellie M. Pearl Brown, 31 Dec 1908

3225 William H., b. 24 Dec 1890; d. 10 Oct 1978, Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital, Tillsonburg, ON; bur. Tillsonburg Cem., Tillsonburg, ON; m. Erie Viola Chambers, 18 Oct 1916, Goshen, ON.

3226 Gladys Alberta, b. 20 Jan 1898; d. 1976; bur. Springford Cem., Springford, Oxford Co., ON, with her husband; m. Charles E. Bell, 20 Aug 1919, Tillsonburg, ON. He was b. 1890, d. 1963, son of William M. Bell and Clara L. Anstice. Children, surname Bell:

A Clara, m. Garfield Wardle

B Bill

C Bob

D John "Jack"

3227 Irene, b. 12 Sep 1906; in 1994, living in Tillsonburg, ONT; m. Bert Newman, 23 Jul 1930, at home of Albert and Minnie in Tillsonburg.

Bert Newman was born 27 Dec 1897, son of George and Mary (Ullman) Newman, in Tillsonburg, where he lived his entire life. He died 19 Aug 1992 in his 96th year at St. Joseph's Hospital, London, ON, following a fall at his home. He was buried 22 Aug 1992 in the Tillsonburg Cemetery.

Bert and Irene founded Newman's Flowers in 1926 in Tillsonburg, from which he retired in his eighties due to failing eyesight. Despite his loss of most of his sight, Bert began, in 1986, to write articles for the Tillsonburg News about early Tillsonburg. His recollections were transcribed from his audio tapes, reproduced in the newspaper, and later collected into four books: Reminiscences About Tillsonburg; More Reminiscences About Tillsonburg; Once Upon a Time; and Those Were the Days.

Besides his business and later writing career, he also worked as a butcher boy, milkman, mailman, grocery clerk, and a haberdasher's assistant. He was a member of the North Broadway Baptist Church. Irene survived him and still resides in her home in Tillsonburg. Children, surname Newman:

A Bill, m. Elizabeth _____. Living in Delhi, Haldimand-Norfolk Co., ON, in 1992.

B Donald, m. Linda _____. Living in Tillsonburg, 1992.

C Wayne, m. Norma _____. Living in Tillsonburg, 1992.

Sources: Family records
Records of Springford Cemetery, Springford, ON
Bruce Oatman, London, ON
Marie Oatman Murray, Woodstock, ON
Obituary of Bert Newman, August 1992
1881, 1891, 1901 census, South Norwich, Oxford Co., ON
Tillsonburg Observer, 28 Sep 1883
Tillsonburg Liberal, 28 Aug 1919

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