Otterville Cemetery

The Otterville Cemetery was established in 1892 with no church affiliation. It is the resting place of many Black people who lived in Otterville, including Ida Gray, the only granddaughter of Robert Williams Sr. and Harriet Cooley Williams, and her father, Benjamin Gray.

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Harriet Williams was the fifth child of Robert and Harriet Cooley Williams. She was born in 1851 in New York State, their youngest child before their move to Milldale two years later. Benjamin Gray was born in 1848, the eldest son of Isaac and Maria Gray. The Gray family moved to Summerville in South Norwich Township in 1852. In 1856, Isaac Gray was instrumental in the founding of the Otterville African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Harriet and Benjamin were married before 1880, when their son, Isaac, was born. Their daughter, Ida, was born in 1885. Harriet died in 1887 at the age of 36. While Benjamin remarried, his second wife, Almyra, also died young, age 32 in 1892. Following these tragedies, Benjamin raised Isaac and Ida alone.
The Williams family were known for their musical talent, and Ida was no different. She was part of the Williams Quartet with her maternal aunt Martha and uncles John and Isaac Williams. She taught piano and organ, and she sang with her father in the choir of the Methodist Episcopal Church until it closed in 1918. She was also a member of the Summerville Women's Institute.
Benjamin Gray died in 1930. His surviving relatives were Ida and his brother, John; it is not clear when his son Isaac died. After Benjamin's death, Ida went to live with her aunt in Windsor. This aunt was probably Mary Jane Williams, who had married David Sisco. When Ida died in 1953, she was buried alongside her father. They share a headstone in the Otterville cemetery.