Otis Albert Vroom married Florence Mary Hay 18 October 1881

Otis Vroom was born 27 February 1859, in Clementsport, Nova Scotia, the third of six children of Albert Douglas Vroom and Charlotte Maria Morse.  Although I could not find the family in the 1861 census, the 1867 Nova Scotia directory lists Albert Vroom as a master mariner from Annapolis county.  The 1871 census lists the family in Clementsport.  The family was Weslyan Methodist, and Albert was a farmer.  The family was of Dutch descent, as the Vroom ancestors were Loyalists from New York and New Jersey. 

The Vroom family moved to Massachusetts.  Records show that Otis’ mother arrived in 1871, and Otis and his brother Frederick arrived in Boston, from Bear River, Nova Scotia, on 20 April 1872, on the ship “Alert”.  The passenger manifest shows they intended to become inhabitants of the United States.  Otis’ father Albert died in 1874 of dropsy, which involves excess retention of fluids resulting in heart failure. 

Otis’ mother Charlotte moved to Philadelphia with Otis and his sister Charlotte.  In 1880 they lived at 4225 Hutton Street.  Otis, now 21, was a carpenter, and Lottie, 15, was “at home.” This census asks if any family member has a disability, and Charlotte reported that she had bronchitis.  This is the last record I have for her. 

On 21 August 1880, Otis filed his declaration of intent to become a US citizen, in the Court of Common Pleas, in Philadelphia.  

Florence Mary Hay was born about December 1860, the daughter of Henry Hay and Emma Rauch.  I found Henry and Emma in the 1860 census in Bristol, Bucks County, PA, so while I don’t have a birth record for Florence, it is likely that she was born in Bristol later that same year.  Her father was an attorney, and his real estate was valued at $10,000.    

It appears that Florence was raised by George and Sarah Rebecca Rauch – perhaps George was Emma’s brother (Florence’s uncle).  She was with them in the 1870 census in Philadelphia. George was a dentist.   In 1880, she lived with Sarah in Philadelphia and was called Sarah’s daughter, even though her name was still listed as Hay.  Florence was a dress maker. 

Otis married Florence on 18 October 1881, probably in Philadelphia.    

The 1881 Philadelphia city directory lists Otis Vroom as a carpenter, living at 638 Lydia.  By 1889, the family had moved to 4422 Ogden, and Otis was still a carpenter. 

In 1890, Otis published “Prof. Vroom’s American scientific tailor system of dress cutting” a 28 page book of dress-making instruction.  I looked for an on-line version of this book, and found references to it, but not an actual copy I could read. The 1891 directory shows that Otis changed his occupation to salesman.  It doesn’t tell what he sold, but perhaps it was his book. 

The 1895 Philadelphia directory shows that the family moved to 983 Markoe.  Otis was a foreman (but it doesn’t say what industry) and Florence is has her own listing as dressmaker, same address. 

Otis and family moved out of Philadelphia, and in 1900, lived in a rented house on Linden Avenue in Doylestown.  Otis was a conductor on the railway.  By this time, all three children had been born:  Otis (1884-aft 1942), Florence (1889 – aft 1910) and Frederick (1895 – 1979). 

The 1910 census shows them still renting, at 404 Linden, and Otis was a motorman on the electric railway.   This record is the last I have for Otis’ wife Florence, and for his daughter Florence.

Otis died 10 July 1910 in Doylestown of consumption (tuberculosis) and was buried at Northwood cemetery in Philadelphia.  Obit:  Otis A. Vroom, a well known resident of Doylestown, died on Sunday after being ill for about two years with consumption. Mr. Vroom was born in Clements West Annapolis county, Nova Scotia, on February 27, 1859, and was the son of Albert Douglass and Charlotte Maria (Morse) Vroom. The father, who farmed and had a large fishery, died when Mr. Vroom was a boy and the family moved to Philadelphia. He afterward learned the trade of a ship’s joiner and followed the sea for a number of years. He was the inventor of Vroom’s American scientific system of dress making. In 1898 Mr. Vroom came to Doylestown, having been urged by his physician to get out into the country and took a position on the Willow Grove trolley line which he held until about two years ago. The deceased married Florence Hay, daughter of Henry and Emma A. B. (Rauch) Hay, of Newportville, October 19, 1881. The father of Mrs. Vroom was Chief of the Philadelphia Customs House. Mr. Vroom was a member of Pythagoras Lodge, No. 129, K. of P., and was a staunch Republican. Surviving the deceased are his widow, three children, Dr. O. A. Vroom, Jr., Miss Florence Vroom and Frederick Henry Vroom, of Doylestown, one sister, Mrs. W. J. Weir, of Portland, Maine, and two brothers, Frederick W. Vroom and Edward J. Vroom, of New York City.

Frederick and Edward Vroom were actors.  Frederick was previously profiled.


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