Saturday, July 10, 2010

Did You Know?

Enoch Ellis Howard (1833-1897) was appointed keeper of the Ocracoke Lighthouse in 1862 when he was just 29 years old. He served until he died, thirty-five years later. His annual salary in 1862 was $560.00. The year he died his salary was still $560.00!

Enoch Ellis and his wife Cordelia Williams* are pictured below, standing beside the keeper's quarters.

*Enoch Ellis Howard and his two brothers, Perry Coleman & James W. (my great-grandfather) each married sisters, Cordelia Williams, Elizabeth Williams, and Zilphia Williams.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a tribute to independent spirit and island character Don Wood. You can read it here:


  1. Was Perry Coleman Howard also married to a woman named Ann Mariah Williams, daughter of James sHoratio WilliamS?

  2. Perry Coleman's first wife was Elizabeth Williams. They had one child, Washington Bradford, who was raised by Enoch Ellis & Cordelia after Elizabeth died when he was an infant.

    Perry Coleman's second wife was Ann Mariah Williams, the daughter of James Horatio Williams, Sr. Perry Coleman and Ann Mariah had twelve children. Cousin Blanche, whom I mention now and then, is their granddaughter.

    James Horatio Williams was a colorful character who, among other things, sank his vessel (the Paragon) to prevent it from being impounded by the Confederates or captured by the Yankees during the Civil War.

  3. Anonymous9:22 AM

    The lack of a pay raise is curious. a) there was no accounting for a consumer price index b) barter and trading was the "currency of the realm?" c) the island just got more beautiful each year- payment enough or folks that benefited from his services perhaps bestowed upon him items therefore he was living a comfortable life style or ship captains brought him goods for free?? what do you suppose are there household records indicating an inventory or are there historical documents for this catcher in the rye??