Faculty image "Uncle Jimmy" Ottley Custodian, "Hat Man", University Library, First University Postman
Biography/Memoir

"UNCLE JIMMY"
 OTTLEY


Alumni returning to 
the Campus of the 
University of Michigan will miss one of 
the University's most faithful and best 
beloved servitors. "Uncle Jimmy"
 Ottley is dead. For a full half century 
he was a conspicuous character about 
the campus. "Uncle Jimmy" was supposed to be ninety-six years of age at 
the time of his death, "hale and
 hearty" as he was wont to express it
 till the illness seized him which resulted in his death Monday night, January 3.

When "Uncle Jimmy" 
came to the University there were but 
four buildings—the two wings of University Hall, the old Medical Building, 
and the old law building. In those 
days one of his duties was to carry firewood to the halls to feed the great box stoves, which furnished heat to the 
buildings. For the past eighteen years 
he has been custodian of the cloak
room at the General Library.

From 
his humble post he has seen the University grow from its small beginnings to its present size, and has been 
a familiar and venerable figure to 
thousands of students. For years he 
has been the recipient of the good will 
of the student body, expressed through 
the gift of a Thanksgiving turkey.


His death revealed the surprising fact
 that during his years of service, always with small pay, he had accumulated over $14,000 which had been 
carefully hoarded in a small iron safe.

The Michigan Alumnus

February 1910, Page 212

Reflections/Stories
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