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1907 Past and Present Biographies

O. J. Dutton

O. J. Dutton, who stands for all that is enterprising and progressive in his community, where his business interests contribute to public stability and improvement as well as to individual success, is well known as the owner of the Grand Junction Bank and also as the present mayor of the town of Grand Junction. He was born in Monee, Will county, Illinois, on the 23d of August, 1853.

His father was O. B. Dutton, a native of Oswego, New York, born in 1825. The removal of the Dutton family to Illinois occurred at a time when there was no railroad west of Buffalo, all travel being done by way of the lakes or across the country with teams. The family home was established in Will county, Illinois, where O. B. Dutton was reared amid the wild scenes and environments of pioneer life. After attaining his majority he engaged in merchandising at different times in Crete, Galesburg and Joliet, Illinois, after which he came to Iowa. In 1870 he established a bank at Nevada, Story county, which he conducted until his death. In the early '80s he organized the First National Bank at Missouri Valley, Harrison county, Iowa, where he resided for five years and during his residence at that place he served as mayor of the town in 1885-5. On selling his interests there he returned to Nevada and his death occurred in Manning, Iowa, where he was visiting. He was then sixty-six years of age. In business affairs he was energetic, prompt and notably reliable and won a measure of success which always results from these qualities. His political allegiance was given to the democracy and for many years he was an exemplary representative of the Masonic fraternity.

O. B. Dutton married Miss Lyda Chapman, who was born in New York and died in Galesburg, Illinois, when O. J. Dutton of this review was but three years of age. Having lost his first wife, the father was again married, his second union being with Elizabeth Beaver, who died in Missouri Valley in 1887. There were five children by the first union, namely: Mrs. M. L. Leonard, who resides with her family at Lake City, Iowa; O. E., cashier of the First National Bank at Manning, Iowa; O. J., of this review; J. G., president of the Farmers Bank at Nevada, Iowa; and Jennie, the wife of Dr. F. H. Conner, also of Nevada, Iowa.

From the foregoing it will be seen that the name of Dutton is closely associated with the banking history of western Iowa and the record of O. J. Dutton is one which reflects credit upon an untarnished family name. Between the ages of nine and eighteen years he resided with his parents in Norway, Benton county, Iowa, where his father was engaged in business, and he supplemented his public school education by a term's study in the Iowa City Business College. At the age of nineteen he took charge of the bank which his father had established at Montour, Tama county, Iowa, where he spent a year, and for a year and a half he conducted a general store at Williams.  For eleven years he engaged in banking at Mitchellville, Polk county, Iowa, and in the fall of 1886 he purchased the banking interests of C. B. Park of Grand Junction, where he has since remained. He is now sole proprietor of the Grand Junction Bank, carrying on a general banking and farm loan business.  The bank is capitalized for twenty-five thousand dollars and is pleasantly located in a good brick building which Mr. Dutton owns.  He also has a fine residence in the city and an improved farm of two hundred and forty acres just outside the corporation limits.  In the control of his various business interests he has at all times displayed keen sagacity, sound judgment and indefatigable energy.  His business methods have ever been reliable.

Mr. Dutton was married in Hamilton county, Iowa, in 1874, to Miss Hattie Wyatt, who was born in Eldora, this state, on the 14th of May, 1858, and is a daughter of Cyrus and Catherine (Bowers) Wyatt.  Her father was born in Ohio and made farming his life work.  He became an agriculturist of Franklin county, Iowa, and was there living at the time of the outbreak of the Civil war.  In response to his country's call for troops he enlisted under Colonel Scott of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry and died during the period of hostilities.  His widow survived him for a long time and passed away three years ago at Alden, Iowa, near the old home farm.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Dutton have been born six children, but only two are living: O. W., who married Bertha Swearingen and is employed in his father's bank in Grand Junction; and Pauline, who is a student in the Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinois. Lois the eldest of the family, is the deceased wife of Robert Goodwin, a resident of Redfield, Iowa. The three youngest died in infancy.

Fraternally Mr. Dutton is connected with the Masons; of which he became a member at the age of twenty-two years, and throughout his life he has exemplified the beneficent spirit of the craft which is based upon mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness.  His political support was given to the democracy until 1898, when he joined the ranks of the republican party.  He has served for two years in the city council and is now serving for two years in the city council and is  now serving for the third term as mayor of Grand Junction-a fact which stands in incontrovertible evidence of his capabilities in office, his popularity among his fellow townsmen and the confidence reposed in him by his constituents.  He brings to bear in the discharge of his official duties the same spirit of energy and determination and the same qualities of probity and integrity which characterize his business life and he has thus given a practical, beneficial administration.  The circle of his friends is almost co-extensive with the circle of his acquaintance and it would be difficult to find a resident of Greene county more uniformly esteemed than is O. J. Dutton.

Transcribed from "Past and Present of Greene County, Iowa Together With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Prominent and Leading Citizens and Illustrious Dead,"
by E. B. Stillman assisted by an Advisory Board consisting of Paul E. Stillman, Gillum S. Toliver,
Benjamin F. Osborn, Mahlon Head, P. A. Smith and Lee B. Kinsey, Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1907.

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