The encyclopedia of Texas, Vol. 2 Page: 586
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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TEXAS
HARLES OTT: The late Charles Ott, a
a pioneer L)allas citizen bears the distinction
of having been at the time of his death the
oldest gunsmith in the State of Texas. He
caime to Dalla: in 1873, when the city was little more
than a thriving, overgrown town, but did not stay.
He returned, however, in 1876 and opened a gun
shop on Elm Street near the present location of the
firm thus establishing one of the oldest firms in the
city, and one of the very few to continue at the same
place of business.
The Ott establishment occupies one floor of a
building twenty-five by a hundred eighty feet. In
the early days he carried guns and made a specialty
of gun repair work. Later he added locks, safes,
and shelf hardware, and still later bicycles. Now
motorcycles and fireproof safes are included in the
stock. After forty-five years of experience it is
needless to state that Mr. Ott became an expert and
an authority in his line, always handling only those
articles of standardized make. For many years he
was considered the most skillful gunsmith in the
state The Ott business today is owned by Mrs.
Ott, and her son Paul is in active charge of it.
Mr. Ott was born in Alzey, Germany, near the
Rhine, on January 14th, 1850. His father was George
Ott, a school teacher, and Mr. Ott received his education
in the public schools of Germany under his
father's supervision. When he was eighteen years
old he left his native land and came to the United
States, with Texas as an objective. He settled in
Austin county and after a few years went to St.
Louis where he engaged in asiness and attended
night school. Texas had made a hold on him, however,
and at the end of two years he moved back
to the Lone Star State, this time choosing Dallas as
his home. He lived here ever since and continued in
the same business.
His marriage to Miss Anna Hochne took place in
Austin County in 1879. Mrs. Ott is a daughter of
Mr. and Mrs. F. Hochne who came to Texas in 1855
and located in Austin County. Mr. Hochne served in
the Civil War by driving ox teams to Mexico City in
order to trade cotton for other products needed in
the army. It took 11 months to make the trip. At
the age of 88 Mrs. Hochne still resides in Fayette
Mr. and Mrs. Ott have seven children: Freddie,
deceased, Paul, Hattie (Mrs. Dr. Wright), Annie,
(Mrs. Sidney Hetherington), Talitha deceased, Nita,
and Georgia. The Ott home is at 2631 Live Oak
Mr. Ott was a Woodman of the World and a member
of the Presbyterian Church. He had an affection
for Dallas, engendered by having watched, and
assisted in its growth from a small town to a splendid
city. His memory embraced the days when buffalo
roamed the plains of Texas and buffalo hides
were brought in by the wagon loads and sold on Elm
Street for from two-fifty to five dollars apiece.
From the earliest days of the city's infancy his name
has been an honored one among business associates
and he was looked upon as a loyal and enterprising
E LOS COUNTRYMAN, who died in Dallas
on January 17, 1912, was for many years
one of the best known traveling salesman
in Texas and covered this state and other
sections of the Southwest for the Studebaker Man
ufacturing Company of South Bend, Indiana. He
was superintendent for the Studebaker Corporation
for a number of years until failing health made it
necessary for him to leave the factory. He then
went on the road for the same company and traveled
Texas and the Southwest. Mr. Countryman first
came to Texas about 1880 and continued with the
Studebaker people for thirty-five years, retiring
some three or four years before his death.
Mr. Countryman was born in New York State on
October 27, 1839, and was educated in the public
schools of New York. He was a keen, live, progressive
business man and very affable, making
friends with every one he came in contact with.
In September, 1900, Mr. Countryman was married
to Mrs. Marguerite Addie (Cossart) Gage, a daughter
of Joseph and Nancy Jemima (Elliott) Cossart.
Her father was a well known merchant and for a
number of years was in business at Arkadelphia,
Mrs. Countryman was first married to Henry Clayton
Gage, a native of New York State, in 1881. She
has three sons, Carlton Gage of Dallas, engaged in
the real estate and building business and residing in
Highland Park. His wife was formerly Miss Grace
Boyd of Dallas and they have one child, Stanton
Gage. Another son, J. A. Gage, owner of the Thrift
Packing Company. His wife was formerly Miss
Grace Rice of Tyler. A third son, Walter A. Gage.
is engaged in the real estate business and lives with
his mother at 420 East Jefferson Avenue.
ILLIAM SIMPSON. A record of Texas that
lists the men of valor cannot leave out the
pioneers, the most valorous of men, whose
courage, devotion and energy have made
possible the later era of progress. It is in this connection
that the name of William Simpson, deceased
since 1886, is introduced in this record of Texans and
Mr. Simpson is a native of Wisconsin, having been
born there in 1851. The date of his birth as well
as its location marks not only him as a pioneer to
the present generation, but show the fact that he
comes of a sturdy stock. Conditions of the West and
the Lake region were primitive indeed at that time.
Outdoor living and work, conquering the woods and
the prairies produced a race of men whose sturdiness
is reflected in the present day immense business activities
of their sons. His father, John Simpson,
moved to Texas in 1861 when his son was ten years
of age. The mother, Margurite (Cox) Simpson,
was a native of Ireland. The public school system
of Texas gave the youth his education, in fact the
schools of Dallas county. Then Texas present-day
metropolis was nil; southern and eastern Texas
claimed the important settlements, San Antonio,
Houston, Nacogdoches, etc. As a youth and a young
man, most of Mr. Simpson's energies were spent in
breaking the prairies of Dallas County as a pioneer
farmer. When he reached his majority his father
gave him a splendid estate which he had helped fence
and make productive.
In 1882, at Trinity Mills, Texas, Mr. Simpson was
united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Dixon,
whose parents, Joseph and Mary (Weightman) Dixon
were natives of England. From this union there
were two daughters, Miss Margurite Ann Simpson
and Mary Elizabeth Simpson. The latter died when
eight years of age. The residence of the mother and
daughter is at 2811 Knight Street, Dallas, where
they moved in July, 1918, and they manage the
Simpson Farms. The church affiliation is Presby
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Davis, Ellis Arthur & Grobe, Edwin H. The encyclopedia of Texas, Vol. 2, book, 1922; Dallas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39129/m1/173/: accessed May 11, 2021), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; .