WILLIAM OTSTOT. One who has never visited an unbroken or slightly cultivated section of country can scarcely estimate the amount of toil required to bring it to a condition such as meets the eyes of a traveler in Clark County. It is therefore hard to understand how much the present generation in this section owes to the pioneers and old settlers, who began their work here when the land was covered with heavy timber, communication difficult, and neighbors and markets quite distant. Only those who possessed a sturdy perseverance and an unusual degree of energy were willing to endure the toil and privation necessary in making a home from the wilderness, although they found many pleasures in the midst of their trials and rapidly developed the more noble, if somewhat rugged, traits of character.
The subject of this sketch had not attained to his majority when he accompanied his parents to this county in 1831, and since that time he has resided upon the same farm on section 20, Springfield Township. The land was covered with timber and was cleared by his own strong arm and placed in a condition second to none in the vicinity. He has been successful in the agricultural labors to which he has devoted his life, and now owns an estate which any man not unduly mercenary might well be pleased with. It comprises one hundred and eighty-one acres marked with the usual improvements made by an enterprising farmer, the dwelling being a comfortable and commodious one, and the entire set of farm buildings excellent.
Mr. OTSTOT is a native of Lancaster County, Pa., where he opened his eyes to the light December 25, 1811. He is the fourth in a family of nine children, born to Adam and Sophia OTSTOT. His father was born in Germany, and his mother in York County, Pa.; their wedded life began in the bride’s native county, but they afterwards removed to Lancaster County, whence they came to Ohio. Adam OTSTOT was a miller, and at one time, while living in the Keystone State, was very wealthy, but, like many another man he lost through having to pay debts which he had secured. Both parents died in Springfield Township, where they had earned the esteem of their fellow citizens.
The gentleman whose name introduces this sketch chose for his companion in life Miss Rebecca KNAUB, who was born in Little York, Pa., November 10, 1822. Her father, George KNAUB, was a native of the same town and her mother, whose maiden name was Mary Ann JACOBS, was born in Baltimore, Md. In 1834 they removed from Pennsylvania to this county, locating in Springfield Township, where they spent the remainder of their lives. They were the parents of thirteen children, Mrs. OTSTOT being the fourth, and about twelve years old when they came to this State. Her marriage to our subject was celebrated in the city of Springfield, July 11, 1842. The years that have passed since that time have proved the wisdom of Mr. OTSTOT’S choice, his wife manifesting more and more as the years go by the noble traits of character, the pleasing disposition and active mind which won his regard.
A large and intelligent family has blessed the union of our subject and his wife, and they have been called upon to mourn the loss of but one—Eleanor A., who died when twelve years old. Mary Ann is the wife of John A. MCBETH; Joseph is a farmer in Springfield Township; George S. married Ann HINKLE; John H. married Sarah KERSHNER; Eliza J. is the wife of Lewis BATDORF; Sarah C. lives at home; Rebecca is the wife of Thomas CRABILL. All these preceded the deceased daughter in date of birth. Clara, is the wife of William G. TUTTLE; William is a farmer in Springfield Township; Henry C. married Fannie YEAZELL; Charles married Alice GARLOW; Florence is the wife of Wilber F. TUTTLE.
Mr. OTSTOT is a Republican and has taken a good degree of interest in all political affairs. He stands high in the esteem of his neighbors and townsmen, not simply on account of his successful worldly career and the labors which he accomplished among the early settlers, but because of his personal character, his upright life, his genial disposition and the fact that he and his helpmate have reared their family to fill honorable positions in the community. Both Mr. and Mrs. OTSTOT have been members of the Baptist Church for many years.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio Chapman Bros., Chicago. Copyright 1890.