C. E. DEWITT and RACHEL M. WOODLING DEWITT
Charles Elmer, better
known as C. E. or Charlie, was born 25 Sept. 1862 at Colesburg,
Iowa. He died 20 Feb. 1930 at his home in Elliott and is buried in
Elliott’s Hillside Cemetery. He married Rachel 5 Sept. 1897. She
was born 24 Dec. 1869 in Johnson Co., Iowa: died 11 May 1954 at
Omaha. She is buried at Elliott.
With no children of their
own, they adopted first, Katherine Irene Burgie. Katharine, always
called Katie, married Donald Eggers 7 Nov. 1915 in Omaha. She died
at Omaha 6 April 1922 and is buried there in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
She was born 19 Jan. 1898 at St. Louis, Mo. Donald was born 7 Nov.
1895. Their children and ages when Katie died: Merna Avis, age 3 and
Darrell Orland, who lived only 4 days and preceded his mother in
About a year before C.
E’s death, they adopted Geneva June Broyles, born 26 June 1926, who
married Dale James Peterson 13 Dec. 1943. Geneva, daughter of Archie
Broyles, was a baby when her own mother died. Geneva, loyal and
devoted to her own father and her adoptive mother, Rachel DeWitt,
brought the happiness to Rachel which sustained her in 1930 and gave
purpose to her life until her death in 1954. Rachel and Sylvester
(Vet) Woodling were brother and sister.
C. E. the second son of
Dr. George S. DeWitt, M. D. and Sarah Eliza Stanclift came to
Elliott in 1868 at the age of six. He, with wife Rachel, owned and
operated the farm east of Elliott on the south side of the road.
Land was taken from this farm for the Elliott Cemetery. He sold the
farm; bought the elevator on the north side of Main Street; and was
in the grain and coal business until 1915, when two severe
operations shattered his health.
For many years a member
of the town council, he was Elliott’s mayor 1918-1920 and about that
time, Mont. Co. Repr. in Iowa’s State Legislature. First a member of
the Congregational Church, later of the Methodist, he was active in
church business affairs. He attended Normal School at Red Oak, but
handicapped by a speech difficulty, he was unable to use his talents
to the fullest. He was a Notary Public and owned the first and for a
long time the only typewriter in Elliott.
C. E. and Rachel were
both devoted to the word “Duty” and performed their duties as they
saw them regardless of how difficult and unpleasant it might be. As
his physical health deteriorated and he was no longer able to work,
his mental health also began to fail and deep depressions brought
about his death.
Dorothy DeWitt Wilkinson