Monday, October 2, 2017

Walter Thomas Ott, Pioneer, Farmer & Mason

I get excited when I find an old local history book that mentions someone from my family tree. I like reading the family details and the language of the reports. This cousin was not just a farmer. He "devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits". 

Walter Thomas Ott

2 Apr 1850 LA – 29 Jan 1948 LA
Son of Charles Ott & Margaret Tate
My 1st cousin 4x removed

Walter Thomas Ott, a farmer residing at Mount Hermon, Washington parish, and one of the pioneer settlers of this section of the state, was born April 2, 1850, at the place which is still his home. His father, Charles Ott, a native of South Carolina, devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits and prior to the Civil War was the owner of a large number of slaves. He died in 1867, at the age of sixty-nine years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Margaret Tate, was a native of Virginia and died when her son Walter was quite young. Her father was a captain in the French army and her grandfather was one of the bodyguards of George Washington.

            Walter T. Ott acquired his education in the schools of Washington parish but put aside his textbooks at an early age to assist in the cultivation of the home farm, to which he gave his attention until twenty-seven years of age. He then began farming on his own account and has always continued to cultivate the soil, producing substantial crops as the result of his close application and untiring industry.

            Mr. Ott was married to Leah Dicy McGehee, who was born in Washington parish, December 25, 1855, and died in 1913, at the age of fifty-eight years. They had a family of seven children, namely: McGehee Walter; Mary Edith; Harvey D., who is deceased; John M.; Angus; George H.; and Nellie.

            Mr. Ott is fond of music, getting great delight from the art. He is a member of the Methodist church and since 1872 has been a loyal exemplar of the teachings of the Masonic fraternity. His has been a well spent life and he is widely known throughout Washington parish, where he has many friends, most of whom call him “Uncle Walt.” His genial disposition and kindly spirit have gained him the good will, the confidence, and high regard of all who know him.

Source: Williamson, Frederick W. and George T. Goodman, Eastern Louisiana, A History of the Watershed of the Ouachita River and the Florida Parishes (LA: The Historical Record Assoc., undated) 786-7; digital image; Genealogy Gophers ( accessed Aug. 2017).


  1. Lucky you--ancestors mentioned in local history books! My favorite part of your post: the grandfather who served as Pres. Washington's bodyguard.

  2. Colleen, this is an awesome find and a tremendous amount of detail about his live.


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