Biography of Clarence R. Off
Iowa County, IA Biographies





Clarence Robert Off, senior member of the rising firm of Off & Roller, attorneys at law of North English, Iowa, was born in Dubuque, this state, on the 9th of May, 1890, of the marriage of Robert and Katie E. (Schmidt) Off, both also natives of Dubuque. His paternal grandfather, Martin Off, was one of the pioneer miners of Dubuque and was killed in the mines by a large stone falling upon him. The maternal grandfather, Henry Schmidt, was one of the early bakers of Dubuque and he also met death by an accident, being killed by a train between Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

Robert Off, the father of our subject, was reared and educated in Dubuque and in early manhood learned the carriage painter's trade. For fifteen years he was employed in the Connolly Carriage Works and for some time he worked in the A. A. Cooper wagon and buggy factory. Subsequently he engaged in the paint contracting business for himself, handling large contracts. He is still identified with that line of trade and is very successful therein.

Clarence R. Off, who has the distinction of being the youngest member of the Iowa county bar, is also entitled to honor from the fact that he worked his way through school. While attending the Dubuque high school he carried papers and did odd jobs, and, following his graduation from that institution in the spring of 1908, he went to Memphis, Tennessee, where he worked in the hardware store of an uncle for five or six months. He carefully saved, his earnings and in the fall of 1909 entered the law department of the State University of Iowa at Iowa City, which he attended for three years. He paid his own expenses through school, doing janitor work, tending furnaces, waiting on table and one summer taking a contract for painting at Ionia, Iowa. While in the University he was a member of the Young Men's Christian Association gospel team, which came to North English on one of their tours. While here he was asked to locate in this city when he completed his studies and accordingly opened an office for the practice of law here following his graduation. He passed the state board examination on the 12th of October, 1912, at Des Moines and was duly admitted to the bar. It was on the 10th of November of that year that he located in North English, opening an office in the Savings Bank building. He practiced independently until September, 1914, when he admitted M. Dean Roller to a partnership, the firm name being Off & Roller. Both members of the firm are capable, energetic young attorneys and they have already gained the confidence of the public and the respect of their brethren in the profession. Mr. Off is careful in the preparation of his cases and in his argument before the court is forceful and convincing. Although he makes his client's cause his own he never forgets the allegiance which he owes to the cause of right and will not consent to take a case unless convinced that it is just.

On the 29th of November, 1914, Mr. Off married Miss Ruby Frampton, of Boone, Iowa. He is a member of Triumph Lodge, No. 479, A. F. & A. M., having demitted to this lodge from Mosaic Lodge, No. 125, of Dubuque. He has taken a part of the degrees of the Scottish Rite and belongs to Iowa Consistory, No. 2, A. & A. S. R., of Cedar Rapids. He has a number of other fraternal connections, holding membership in North English Lodge, No. 325, I. O. O. F.; North English Lodge, No. 256, K. P.; and the Woodmen of the World. Both he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church and take a great interest in its work. He is independent in politics, believing with so many of the progressive young men of the country, that the party leader has had too much power and influence and that the voter should depend largely upon his own judgment in casting his ballot. Mr. Off is a valued citizen of North English and holds a high place in the estimation of all who have come into contact with him in business or social relations. He represents a pioneer family of Iowa, as does his wife, and they are meeting the obligations and responsibilities that rest upon them in this day with the same fine spirit with which their ancestors performed the work that fell to them to do. Mrs. Off's maternal great grandfather came to this county in 1847 and became one of the largest landowners of that day, owning one thousand acres of land west of Marengo. His son, the grandfather of Mrs. Off, later removed to Boone county, Iowa, where the family continued to reside for many years and where Mrs. Off was reared to womanhood. She has a cedar chest which her grandfather Hudson made in this county some time in the '60s and she values it highly as an heirloom.

From:
History of Iowa County, Iowa
And its People
By: James C. Dinwiddie
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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