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Tuolumne County








            One of the conspicuous public men of Sonora, Tuolumne County, California, a well known lawyer and now the district attorney of this county, is Frank Pierce Otis, the subject of this sketch.  He is a native of Garland, Penobscot County, Maine, born there May 8, 1857, of English ancestry.  He takes pride in his family tree, and finds that in 1655 his first progenitor came to America from England and settled at Dover, New Hampshire, at which place occurred the birth of his son Richard, who at one time received a wound in a battle with the Indians about 1696.  His son Stephen also had a son named Stephen, who was born at Dover but settled in Barrington, New Hampshire.  His son was Hezekiah, who became the great-grandfather of our subject and was born in Barrington in May, 1765, his son Benjamin’s birth taking place in the same town in 1784.  Benjamin Otis removed to Fairfield, Maine, and here in 1824, Joel W. Otis was born, the father of our subject.  All of these ancestors had been engaged in farming and many left large tracts of improved land.

            Joel Otis married Miss Francina Pooler, a native of Maine and a granddaughter of a soldier of the Revolutionary War.  Mr. Otis engaged in farming until his death at the age of seventy-four, his wife having died prior to this, in her sixty-seventh year.  A family of three children were born to them, all of whom are living, but our subject is the only one in California.

            Frank Pierce Otis was reared in his native state, where he received his primary education in the public schools, later entering Bates College at Lewiston, Maine, at which institution of learning he graduated with honor in the class of 1879.  Immediately beginning the reading of law, he was admitted to practice in 1881, and the following year he came to California, and in 1883 was admitted to practice in this state.  In 1885 Mr. Otis located in Sonora and began his law practice, receiving such immediate encouragement that his success became assured.  In 1886 he was elected to the office of district attorney, filing that office most satisfactorily for ten years, proving himself a capable prosecutor and a good criminal lawyer.

            The marriage of Mr. Otis took place in May, 1887, when he was united to Miss Lizzie McGuire, a native of this city and a daughter of James McGuire.  Three children have been born to Mrs. and Mrs. Otis:  Chester F., Beth E. and Lloyd J.

            Fraternally Mr. Otis is connected with the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and the Foresters, in all of which he is esteemed on account of personal qualifications.  The home of Mr. Otis is one of the best improved and attractive in the city, and both he and his family are among the most respected in the community.



Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.

Source: “A Volume of Memoirs and Genealogy of Representative Citizens of Northern California”, Pages 448-449. Chicago Standard Genealogical  Publishing Co. 1901.

© 2010  Gerald Iaquinta.




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