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Charles Otis


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/15/2010 at 14:26:02

Charles Otis is one of the active business men of Boone, conducting an extensive lumberyard, of which he has been sole proprietor since 1906. He is also the owner of excellent farming property and in all of his business dealings displays an energy that enables him to overcome obstacles and difficulites and work his way steadily upward. He was born in Michgan, July 17, 1874, and is a son of Henry H and Mary L (Bascom) Otis. The father, who passed away May 17, 1913, was for a long period an honored resident of Iowa. He was born June 21, 1838, in Ashtabula county, Ohio, and was a son of Robert Otis, a native of New York, and a grandson of John Otis, who became an early resident of the Empire state and removed thence to Ohio, but afterward became a resident of northwestern Pennsylvania, where his death occurred in 1846. He served as a soldier of the Revolutnionary war. The family is of Scotch-Irish lineage. Robert Otis, grandfather of our subject, removed from New Yrok to Ashtabula county, Ohio in 1830, and in 1876 went with his son Henry to Iowa, where he died in Octoboer 1894, when in his eighty-fifth year. His wife, Mrs Lucy Otis, was a native of Connectiuct and a daughter of Charles Richards, who was of English descent and for many years resided in central New York, where he cultivated a farm and operated a distillery. He died in 1858, while his wife Abigail Manly, passed away at the age of seventy-six years. Their daugther, Mrs Robert Otis, died in Trumball county, Ohio in 1884 at the age of seventy-two years.
Henry H Otis supplemented a public school training by study in the Western Reserve Seminary at West Farmington, Ohio, and following the outbreak of the Civil war joined the Union army May 29, 1862, as a member of Company B, Eigthy-seventh Reigent of the Ohio Volunteers. Six months later he was transferred to the Thirteenth Ohio Infatnry and at Harpers Ferry, September 12, 1862, was promoted to the rank of captian. Five months later, by special permission of Governor Todd, he was transferred to the western army as a member of the Thirteenth Ohio Regiment. He fought in the battles of Harpers Ferry, Anitietam, Stone River and others, and was honorably discharged January 1, 1864.
After the close of the war Henry H Otis engaged in the insurance business and later became a commercial traveler, and subsequently began farming in Trumball county, Ohio where he remained from the spring of 1866 until 1872. He next conducted a hotel and livery barn in Kent county, Michigan, and in 1876 established his home in Harrison township, Boone county, Iowa. Three years later he removed to a farm in Des Moines township. In later years he concentrated his energies larely upon the dairy business, in which he met with substantial success. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge at Boone, and belonged also to Jerusalem Lodge No 13, F & A M of Hartford, Ohio to the Druids and to the Grand Army of the Republic. He was married November 16, 1867, to Mary L Bascom, a daugther of Horatio and Caroline (Newell) Bascom, naties of Kentucky. Henry Otis passed away May 17, 1913, and his widow now resides in Davenport, Iowa. They were the parents of four children: Caroline N living in Davenport, Lucy R the wife of George M Chapin of Miles City, Montana, Charles and Frank of Boone.
Charles Otis spent his youthful days under the parental roof with the ususal experiences that come to the farm land reared in moderate financial circumstances. He attended the public schools and worked upon the home farm until twenty-four years of age. He then turned his attention to commercial pursuits, becoming connected with the lumber trade. In the meantime, however, he had volunteered for service in the Spanish-American war as a member of Company I Fifty-second Infantry, and as first sergeant remained with his command until it was musterd out in October 1898.
After his return home, Mr Otis engaged in the lumber business and was associated with a partner from 1899 until 1906. He then purchase the interest of his partner and has since been alone, having a substantial business which brings to him and excellent finanical return. His methods are such as will bear close investigation and scrutiny, and as the years have gone by his honorable dealing, his enterprising policy and his determination have been the sources of his splendid success. In addition to his lumber business, which is growing in volume and importance year by year, he has important farming interests, including a 300 acre tract of land, together with 100 acres in other tracts. He carries on general farming and stock-raising and both branches of his buisness are gratifying sources of income.
Mr Otis was married on May 4, 1899, to Miss Mary C Zimbelman, a native of Boone county, and unto them have been born two chilren: Louise, born on April 6, 1901, and Warren F born August 30, 1902. The religious faith of the family is that of the Presbyterian church, while fraternally Mr Otis is connected with the Masons. His political belief is that of the republican party, but he does not seek nor desire office although never remiss in the duties of citizenship. He is intersted in all that pertains to public progres and delights in what is being accomplished to make Boone a more progressive, more enterprising and better city, being especially helpful in his relations to all those things which are a matter of civic virtue and civic pride.

1914 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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