OTIS, CHARLES AUGUSTUS, JR. (9 July 1868-9 Dec. 1953), industrialist who played a brief but pivotal role in the evolution of Cleveland newspapers, and son of Mary Shepard and CHAS. A. OTIS, Sr., graduated from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School and in 1893 returned to Cleveland as a steel broker with Otis, Hough & Co. In 1899, Otis purchased the first seat held on the New York Stock Exchange by a Clevelander and formed the banking firm Otis & Hough to market steel securities. He subsequently helped organize and became president of the Cleveland Stock Exchange.

During the administration of Mayor TOM L. JOHNSON, Republican Otis acquired the CLEVELAND WORLD in 1904, the CLEVELAND LEADER and News & Herald in 1905, merged the latter with the World, then added the Evening Plain Dealer to the consolidated afternoon paper which he renamed the CLEVELAND NEWS. Within a few years, Otis disposed of both the News and Leader to DAN R. HANNA.

In 1912, Otis reorganized Otis & Hough as Otis & Co. and became president of both Wm. Edwards & Co. and Otis Terminal Warehouse Co. During WORLD WAR I, he served with the War Industries Board. He sold his brokerage business in 1931 and largely retired. Otis helped organize the TAVERN, CLEVELAND ATHLETIC, and CHAGRIN VALLEY HUNT clubs, was president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, and was cochairman of the Cleveland Sesquicentennial Commission. In 1894 Otis married Lucia Edwards. He was survived by his daughter, Lucia Otis Hanna, and son, Wm. E. Otis.

Black, white and red text reading Western Reserve Historical Society

Finding aid for the Charles A. Otis Papers, WRHS.

Finding aid for the Charles A. Otis Photographs, WRHS.

Otis, Charles. Here I Am: A Rambling Account of the Exciting Times of Yesteryear (1951).

Article Categories