Biography of Frank M. Dotson
Lucas County, OH Biographies

Frank M. Dotson is one to whom the ôpportunites of life have always furnished a stimulus for indefatigable efforts and successful achievement. Life has ever been to him worth while and he has found joy in accomplishing his purposes, whether his acts have taken him into the field of public service or to the arena of legal battle. The practice of law has been his real life work and he is now city law director of Toledo, having been appointed to that office on January 1, 1922. Ohio numbers him among her native sons, his birth having occurred November 2, 1861, on his father's farm, where now stands the town of Hume, in Allen county. His parents were Samuel and Hester Ann (Bowsher) Dotson, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, the father being of English and the mother of Alsatian descent. In early life they were residents of Pickaway county, Ohio, but were married in Allen county and subsequently lived for a time in Ross county. They afterward returned to Allen county, where they resided until 1869, when they took up their abode on a farm in Auglaize county, the father devoting his attention to agricultural pursuits until some years later, when he established a furniture business at Cridersville, there continuing in business for a time but later retiring from active life. He served as a soldier of the Union army in the Civil war, being for three years under the command of General Sherman, and held the rank of orderly sergeant. He died at Hume, Ohio, in 1900, and for almost two decades was survived by his wife, who passed any at that place in 1918. In their family were the following children, but the third in order of birth has passed away. They were: Mrs. David T. Barton and Rufus M., who are residents of Lima, Ohio; Frank M., of this review; Mrs. Isaac P. McClure, who died in 1911; Mrs. E. A. Spees of Lima; Mrs. A. V. Cawood of Robinson, Illinois; Mrs. William Reed of Fort Worth, Texas; and Justice A., a resident of Lima, Ohio.

The youthful experiences of Frank. M. Dotson were those of the farm bred boy, who early learns many valuable lessons with nature as his teacher, while he acquires a knowledge of the fundamentals of education in the district schools. Mr. Dotson later attended the public schools at Whiteman and then took up the profession of teaching, which he followed successfully through the succeeding seven years. Later he entered the Northern Ohio University at Ada, pursuing there the scientific course and also prepared for the bar, being graduated from that University with the LL. B. degree, as a member of the class of 1888. The following year he was dean of the law department at his Alma Mater, but resigned that position to remove to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was admitted to the bar and engaged in practice, being for a time a partner of Charles G. Dawes, afterward comptroller of the currency under President McKinley and recently in charge of the financial budget at Washington under President Harding. While at Lincoln, Mr. Dotson, in association with Mr. Smith, also a well known attorney there, organized a law class of twenty five students and conducted this under the name of the Central Law School. Two years later it was formally adopted as a department of the State. University and thus he had an important part in creating the present University Law School of Nebraska.

With his return from Nebraska to Lima, Mr. Dotson was admitted to the Ohio bar and entered into partnership with Ira A. Longsworth, under the firm style of Longsworth & Dotson. There he remained until April, 1892, when he came to Toledo, where he has since engaged in practice, steadily advancing to a position in the foremost ranks of the leading attorneys of this city, devoting his attention largely to real estate and corporation law, being a recognized authority on these branches of jurisprudence. He is also the president of the Lindsay Banking Company and for a number of years has been prominently known as a representative of banking interests in this city. Other business interests have also felt the stimulus of his cooperation and benefited by his sound judgment and unlike many men who are prominent in the profession, he Weems to possess marked business and executive ability. He is now a director of law in the Toledo University Law School and is city counselor of Toledo.

On the 30th of November, 1892, Mr. Dotson was united in marriage to Miss. Marguerite Nungester of Lima, Ohio, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Amos Nungester. She passed away September 7, t894, leaving a daughter, Hazel Marguerite, who was born in Toledo, in September, 1894, and was educated in the schools of this city and of Northfield, Massachusetts. She is now the wife of Justice B. Shurtz of Toledo. For his second wife Mr. Dotson was married to Miss Helen Grace Whitlock, at Garrett, Indiana, on the 21st of August, 1895. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson R. Whitlock. There are two children of this marriage: Helen Ruth, who is a graduate of the Ohio State University and is now the wife of Howard G. Courtnay of Cleveland; and Marian Constance, who was graduated from the Scott high school of Toledo. Mr. and Mrs. Dotson are members of the Collingwood Presbyterian church and he is identified with various organizations representative of cultural or uplift work. He is connected with the Toledo Art Museum, with the Toledo Research Club and with the Young Men's Christian Association. He is also identified with the Commerce Club and he belongs to both the Lucas County and Ohio State Bar associations. His political endorsement has always been given to the republican party and in 1914-15 he served as a member of the city council. He was the attorney who framed the Dotson street railway franchise, which, however, was defeated in the election of 1915. He has served as chairman of the city cleanliness committee and of the Workhouse farm committee, all of which indicates his interest in activities which effect the public welfare, his influence being always on the side of reform, advancement and improvement. He responds readily to every call of duty and public service and his labors have at various times been effective forces in the attainment of desired results.

Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo

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