Waterloo Public Library Digital Collection
Dennis Devitt Biography


Description
Creator:
Little, Ellis, Author
Media Type:
Text
Item Type:
Articles
Description:
This is a handwritten biography of Dennis Devitt from the Ellis Little Papers. This biography has been transcribed exactly as written. Ellis Little was a local historian, who was the principal of Elizabeth Ziegler Public School.On his retirement, he invested much of his time in researching and writing about Waterloo's history. The Ellis Little Papers consist of extensive notes, papers and historical works.
Notes:
To see the original document please visit the Ellis Little Local History Room at the Main Branch of the Waterloo Public Library
Date of Publication:
1780
Date Of Event:
1780-1850
Subject(s):
Personal Name(s):
Devitt, Dennis ; Ripple, Polly ; Erb, Abraham ; Devitt, Barnabas
Local identifier:
ELP 51.37
Collection:
Ellis Little Papers: Men and Women of Our Past
Language of Item:
English
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Location of Original:
Ellis Little Papers
Contact
Waterloo Public Library
Email
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

35 Albert Street, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 5E2

Full Text

Born: 1780, Died: 1850
Married: Polly Ripple

Dennis Devitt, originally from Ireland, had emigrated to America and settled in New Jersey. In the early 1800's, he came with his wife Polly and family to Copetown in Upper Canada and then shortly after to the very early settlement that became Waterloo.

Devitt was an accomplished carpenter and stone mason. When Abraham Erb, in 1816, decided to build his early grist mill, he hired Devitt as foreman and, with a crew of local helpers, erected the mill that gave a focus for the establishment of a village later called Waterloo.

Devitt's wife Polly was dissatisfied with Waterloo and moved back to New Jersey, leaving most of her family behind with her husband. As was common in those days, neighbours and others helped by looking after some of the large family.

Abraham Erb and his wife had recently lost their only son Benjamin, and in 1818 the Erbs "adopted" Barnabas Devitt then age 11. In those days, "adoption" did not necessitate a name change, and Barnabas Devitt grew up to raise a family that made significant contributions to the development of early Waterloo.

Sources: Ezra E Eby, A Biographical History of Early Settlers and their early Descendants in Waterloo Township, Eldon D Weber, Editor, 1971.

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Dennis Devitt Biography


This is a handwritten biography of Dennis Devitt from the Ellis Little Papers. This biography has been transcribed exactly as written. Ellis Little was a local historian, who was the principal of Elizabeth Ziegler Public School.On his retirement, he invested much of his time in researching and writing about Waterloo's history. The Ellis Little Papers consist of extensive notes, papers and historical works.