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Otwell Reunion first in more than 50 years
Draws 150 people from eight states
The Bible given to Cumming Baptist Church in 1936 in memory of William Royston Otwell by his children and grandchildren is shown. First Baptist Church of Cumming currently is in possession of the Bible. William Royston and Elizabeth Pilgrim Otwell are shown in the portrait on the right. Sandra Ingram arranged the floral offering on the left. - photo by Photo courtesy of Linda Stafford

Descendants of William Royston (1854-1912) and Elizabeth Pilgrim Otwell (1854-1925) flocked from far and near to attend the family reunion held on June 29 in the Family Life Center of Cumming Baptist Church. 

Relatives from Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas were among the 150 attendees. This was the first Otwell reunion to be held in more than 50 years.

William Royston and Elizabeth were wed in 1871. Ten children were born to this union: Chesley, Sallie Anne Caroline (Ingram), Arthur Julian, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Royston, James Albert, William Toy, May Elizabeth (Roberts), Myrtie Jane (Brannon) and Roy Pilgrim.  Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Royston died in childhood. 

Seven of the eight remaining family groups were represented at the reunion.

Honorees included Frances Otwell Bagby (daughter of Roy and the only living grandchild) and Ruth Bryson Roberts (widow of grandson Charles, who was the son of May). Ruth and Charles did extensive research on the Otwell family through the years. 

Beverly Poole Bennett, the brainchild of the event, worked tirelessly behind the scenes and on the front line to ensure everyone enjoyed the occasion. 

Other members of the planning committee included:  Linda Ingram Stafford, Nancy Phillips Segars, Martha Otwell Fowler, Deanie Otwell Creamer and Pat Otwell.

Attendees brought photos of their own families, which were proudly displayed on one of the walls.