Genest Ottignon

Genest Ottignon, Westwood's first fire chief.

Genest Ottignon, Westwood's first fire chief.

3 responses to “Genest Ottignon

  1. The Westwood Public Library has a very good book entitled, The Ottignon Family History. This 1997 work provides a lot of background on Genest Ottignon, as well as other Ottignons. The media coverage of Genest’s 1926 funeral is especially impressive. Check it out.

  2. Genest M. Ottignon (1840-1926) was one of the most colorful characters in early Westwood history. He served in the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion. In June, 1873, he operated a livery stable at the approximate location of the present Westwood train station building. In August, 1873, he was captain of Westwood’s baseball team, the actives. In 1874, he was on the village of Westwood’s Independence Day committee. From 1875 to 1881, he was proprietor of the Westwood House, a tavern-hotel located at the northeast corner of present day Westwood Avenue and Broadway. In June, 1889, he opened a planing and molding mill with A. Waldron. When the local Farmers’ Game Protective Association was organized in October, 1890, he was elected the association’s first president. From May, 1892 until around March, 1894, when the village of Westwood was still a section of Washington Township, he served as a Justice of the Peace of Washington Township. When the village of Westwood organized a fire department on February 10, 1894, he was one of its original members, and was elected its first foreman. When the Board of Education for the Borough of Westwood organized around July, 1894, he served on the first Board of Education. In 1896, he was Westwood’s Road Commissioner. When the Borough of Westwood established its first Municipal Court on May 1, 1898, he was the first Justice of the Peace. On June 23, 1899, after the Mayor and Council gave him an electric lighting franchise, he established the Union Electric Lighting Company, and built an electricity generating plant on his millwork property at the southeast corner of Park and St. Nicholas avenues. In April, 1902, he was appointed to a committee of the newly formed Calvary Baptist Church for the purpose of securing a lot on which to build a church. He was also a member of the Westwood Cornet Band, and a real estate developer.

  3. Hi all, I am actually trying to find some history of the Calvary Baptist Church. A friend of mine has an old church pew in her basement. The librarian thinks it might have come from that church. I’m having a hard time finding a good source of information on the church or any photos of the interior. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!


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