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Members of the Outwater family have made contributions to the development of Lockport and Niagara County for many years.

The gift by Dr. Samuel Outwater of his home to the Niagara County Historical Society and the gift of the land in the northwest corner of Lockport to the city for the park in memory of his wife are lasting mementos of the Outwater name.

The first Outwater to come to Niagara County was John Outwater, who was born in Monachie, N.J., on July 9, 1781. Cathalina Van Bussum was born Nov. 9, 1789, in Passaic, N.J. John and Cathalina were married in Passaic on Feb. 1, 1813. They had four sons, all born in New Jersey -- Nicholas, born 1814; Harman, born 1815; John Jacob, born 1817; and Tunis, born 1820.

In 1832, John and Cathalina Van Bussum Outwater came to Wilson, N.Y., with their four sons. John bought a farm on the Lake Road two miles west of Olcott and built a sawmill on the farm. John Outwater lived on the farm until his death on Sept. 25, 1842. His wife, Cathalina, died on Dec. 9, 1871. Both are buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Lockport.

When his father died in 1842, Tunis Outwater inherited the farm and sawmill, probably because he was the only unmarried son and probably the only son still living on the farm.

Mary Elizabeth Cuddabeck was born in Wantage, Sussex County, N.J., on Oct. 28, 1825 and came with her parents to Wilson, N.Y., where she met Tunis. Tunis Outwater and Mary Cuddabeck were married in Wilson on May 18, 1843.

Tunis worked with Samuel Cuddabeck, his father-in-law, in a nursery business on the farm. The Outwater farm was a fruit farm and Tunis and his father-in-law shipped trees to various parts of the country. They reportedly were the first to ship a consignment of trees overland to California. Tunis Outwater served as supervisor of the Town of Wilson in 1862 and 1863.

Tunis and Mary Cuddabeck Outwater had three sons and four daughters, all born on the Lake Road farm in Wilson. Samuel Outwater was born on May 17, 1857, the youngest of the three sons.

In 1866, the Outwaters moved to 270 Washburn St., Lockport, and Tunis operated a grocery and crockery store at 73 Main St. The store was operated first as "T. Outwater & Sons," then, after the death of Tunis, it became "Outwater Brothers." Tunis Outwater died June 19, 1882, in Lockport, and Mary Elizabeth Outwater died Aug. 21, 1914, in Lockport. Both are buried in Glenwood Cemetery.

Samuel Outwater was 9 years of age when he came to Lockport with his parents, Tunis and Mary Elizabeth. He attended public schools in Lockport, then entered the office of Dr. Fasset and Dr. Grosvenor in Lockport. He first attended medical school at the University of Buffalo, then enrolled at New York University and in 1879 graduated with a medical degree. He opened an office in Buffalo and was for several years a physician and surgeon, but he still was one of the "Outwater Brothers," operating the store at 73 Main St. in Lockport.

On Oct. 26, 1899, Dr. Outwater married Luella Scott, whose family lived at 215 Niagara St., Lockport. The lot at 215 Niagara St. was owned in 1863 by Windsor and Emily Trowbridge and their brick home was built sometime between 1863 and 1867. Windsor Trowbridge owned a brickyard where North Park School stands today, so the bricks for the house probably came from his own brickyard. The residence was sold by the Trowbridge family in 1867 to Barnet and Eliza Jane Mackey, parents of Mary Mackey, who married David Scott. In 1880 the residence was deeded to David and Mary Mackey Scott, who later deeded it to Dr. Samuel and Luella Scott Outwater.

Because of Dr. Outwater's health problems, Luella and Dr. Outwater had two homes, one at 215 Niagara St., where they spent the summers, and one in California where they spent the winters. Dr. Outwater had a medical practice in both places. Luella Scott Outwater died on Dec. 4, 1917, and in 1921 Dr. Outwater donated the land to the City of Lockport for Outwater Park as a memorial to his wife.

Dr. Outwater married a second time in 1925 in California to Alice Anzel. Alice Anzel Outwater was born in Texas in 1875 and moved to California in 1915, where she met Dr. Outwater. Dr. Outwater died March 23, 1953, and in his will he left to the Niagara County Historical Society the house and property at 215 Niagara St. and the store at 67 Main St. The store was later sold by the Historical Society for money to purchase the Col. William M. Bond house on Ontario Street.

Dr. Outwater's wife, Alice Anzel Outwater, died Sept. 13, 1968.

CLARENCE "DUTCH" ADAMS has been active in the Niagara County Historical Society since his retirement from the Lockport school system in 1980.