Chandler, Otis: see under Chandler, family.
Skinner, Otis, 1858-1942, American actor, b. Cambridge, Mass. Skinner made his New York debut in 1879. After years as supporting player to Booth and Barrett, he toured with Augustin Daly and later with Modjeska. Enjoying a long and varied career, he won lasting fame in Kismet (1911). Skinner wrote extensively about the theater. The Last Tragedian (1939) contains his selections from Booth's correspondence.

His daughter, Cornelia Otis Skinner, 1901-79, American monologuist, actress, and author, b. Chicago, first appeared in her father's company in 1921. She won fame for her one-woman shows and original monologues. She wrote Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (with Emily Kimbrough, 1942), the autobiographical Family Circle (1948), Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals (1962), and Madame Sarah (1967), a biography of Bernhardt.

See his Footlights and Spotlights (1924, repr. 1972) and Mad Folk of the Theatre (1928).

Otis, Bass, 1784-1861, American portrait painter and mezzotint engraver, b. Bridgewater, Mass. He probably produced the first lithograph in America, a portrait of the Rev. Abner Kneeland, in a volume of his lectures (1818). Otis practiced portrait painting in New York City and Philadelphia, reproducing some of his works in mezzotint. Among his best-known likenesses are those of Thomas Jefferson, Stephen Girard, and James Madison. His only known genre composition, Interior of a Smithy, is in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Otis, Elisha Graves, 1811-61, American inventor, b. Halifax, Vt. From his invention (1852) of an automatic safety device to prevent the fall of hoisting machinery he developed the first passenger elevator (1857). The invention of the elevator was of great importance to architecture because it permitted the building of skyscrapers.
Otis, Harrison Gray, 1765-1848, American political leader, b. Boston; nephew of James Otis. He practiced law in Boston, and was elected (1795) to the Massachusetts legislature. A staunch Federalist, he served (1797-1801) in Congress and was again a member of the state legislature from 1802 to 1817. In 1814 he was a leader of the Hartford Convention and subsequently defended that meeting. Otis was a U.S. Senator (1817-22) and mayor of Boston (1829-31). He published Letters Developing the Character and Views of the Hartford Convention (1820) and Otis' Letters in Defence of the Hartford Convention (1824).

See biographical study by S. E. Morison (1913, repr. 1969).

Otis, Harrison Gray, 1837-1917, American soldier and journalist, b. Marietta, Ohio. He was (1860) a member of the Republican national convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for President, served with distinction in the Civil War, and, as brigadier general, participated (1898) in the Spanish-American War. In 1886 he acquired control of the Los Angeles Times, a newspaper that under his management became bitterly opposed to organized labor. His newspaper plant was dynamited in 1910, and two union laborers were convicted of the crime.
Otis, James, 1725-83, American colonial political leader, b. Barnstable co., Mass. A lawyer first in Plymouth and then in Boston, he won great distinction and served (1756-61) as advocate general of the vice admiralty court. He resigned to oppose the issuing of writs of assistance by the superior court of Massachusetts; the writs, which authorized customs officials to search for smuggled goods, were virtually general search warrants. Arguing eloquently before the court, Otis claimed that the writs violated the natural rights of the colonials as Englishmen and that any act of Parliament violating those rights was void. Otis lost the case but soon became the leader of the radical wing of the colonial opposition to British measures. He was elected (1761) to the colonial assembly and was made head (1764) of the Massachusetts committee of correspondence. In his speeches and pamphlets, Otis defined and defended colonial rights. He proposed and participated in the Stamp Act Congress (see Stamp Act), and his ideas were used in the protests drafted by that body. Hated by the conservatives, his election (1766) as speaker of the assembly was vetoed by the royal governor. After the passage of the Townshend Acts (1767) Otis helped Samuel Adams draft the Massachusetts circular letter to the other colonies denouncing the acts. In 1769, Otis was struck on the head during a quarrel with a commissioner of customs. He subsequently became insane and took no further part in political affairs.

See C. F. Mullett, ed., Some Political Writings of James Otis (1929); biography by W. Tudor (1823, repr. 1970).

Otis is a Statutory Town in Washington County, Colorado, United States. The population was 534 at the 2000 census.


Otis is located at (40.150645, -102.962521).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 534 people, 218 households, and 146 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,304.8 people per square mile (502.9/km²). There were 248 housing units at an average density of 606.0/sq mi (233.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.57% White, 0.19% Native American, 1.69% from other races, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.

There were 218 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.7% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the town the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 100.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $31,333, and the median income for a family was $35,000. Males had a median income of $30,089 versus $20,833 for females. The per capita income for the town was $19,719. About 3.9% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 16.4% of those age 65 or over.

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