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Corporal Ottus D. Jackson; Born 14 Apr 1891 – Wayne County, WV; Died 12 Oct 1918 – France; Co. A, 314th Infantry Regiment, 157th Infantry Brigade, 79th Division – US Army


  • Ottus D. Jackson
  • Ottus D. Jackson in Soldiers of the Great War
  • Ottus D. Jackson
  • Certificate of Honorable Death - flowers from his casket are in the frame
  • Jackson's Elks Ring

Ottus Davis “Ott” Jackson was born on April 14th, 1891, in Wayne County, West Virginia, to Henry S. and Martha Jackson. He lived at 1040 6th Avenue, Huntington, and worked as an Assistant Cashier for the American Bank & Trust Company. He entered service on April 27th, 1918, and was assigned as a Corporal, serial number 2715988, to Company A of the 314th Infantry Regiment, 157th Infantry Brigade, 79th Division, US Army. He sailed for France from Hoboken, New Jersey, on the LEVIATHAN on July 8th, 1918. He fought in the first part of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive before his unit was relieved and it retreated for training. It was said that they practiced with gas masks using live gas and he accidentally inhaled some, was weakened, and developed pneumonia. He died of the disease on October 12th, 1918, in France. The news of his tragic fate arrived just in time to sadden his friends’ and family’s victory celebrations:

SOLDIER BOYS DIE OVER THERE FROM PNEUMONIA
Otis [sic] D. Jackson, Formerly Assistant Cashier of American Bank, Succumbs
WAS WELL KNOWN THROUGHOUT CITY…
It was not all joyousness in Huntington on the occasion of the celebration of the ending of the war, foe there were many to sorrow for boys who laid down their lives over there.
The day brought a message which has occasioned peculiar regret because of the prominence and popularity of Corporal Otis D. Jackson, of whose death in France it told. Corporal Jackson was formerly assistant cashier of the American Bank & Trust company, leaving that position last July to go to Camp Meade and prepare for service in the army.
He was well known and warmly liked by the patrons of the bank, was a popular member of the Elks’ lodge and a general favorite in downtown circles.
The message received stated that he had died of pneumonia on October 12.
His father, H.S. Jackson, is a well known farmer living near Wayne. He leaves also a brother in service in France….

 – Huntington Herald-Dispatch, November 12th, 1918

FORMER CITY BANKER IS DEAD IN FRANCE
O.D. JACKSON DIED OCT 12, OF PNEUMONIA
He Was Assistant Cashier of American Bank & Trust Co. Before Becoming A Soldier
O.D. Jackson, who was assistant cashier of the American Bank & Trust Company before entering the service, died in France of pneumonia on October 12.
When the deceased answered the draft he was sent to Camp Meade with other Huntington boys but he became separated from the contingent at the time he was sent overseas.
This young man had a host of friends in this city and the news of his death with them quieted the joys aroused over the armistice victory. He was a life member of the local lodge of Elks and held the position of secretary previous to A.R. Hunt’s incumbency.
The parents of the deceased reside at Wayne.

 – Huntington Herald-Dispatch, November 12th, 1918

As he was an Elk, he was honored at their memorial service:

ELKS MEMORIAL THIS YEAR HAS DOUBLE MEANING
It Will Honor Ninety-seven Members In Service In Addition to Eighty-One Deceased.
FOUR GOLD STARS ON SERVICE FLAG
Program Completed for Exercises to be Held In Lodge Room Sunday Afternoon at 2:30
While the annual memorial service of Huntington Lodge, No. 313, B.P.O. Elks, will be more simply conducted this year than formerly, the occasion will bring its greatest significance to the members of this order. The day is to have a double meaning; in addition to being a memorial to the “absent brothers,” it will take account of those others who went out from the fraternity to answer the call of their country.
Four gold stars will shine on the service flag of the lodge for Earl Shank, Fred Duncan, C.V. Mankin and O.D. Jackson. This flag contains ninety-three blue stars….

 – Huntington Herald-Dispatch, November 28th, 1918

He was eventually buried in Wayne County’s Patrick Cemetery. He is also honored on Wayne County’s World War I memorial.

[From In the Service of Their Country - used with permission of the author]

Woodard, Benjamin. In the Service of Their Country: The Story of the Soldiers from Cabell County, West Virginia, Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice in the Great War. Sixth Printing. Benjamin Woodard - Lulu, 2019.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Honor Roll of Cabell County, W.Va. - Author's Picture (Benjamin Woodard)

Soldiers of the Great War - courtesy of Eric Baker

Courtesy of the Mills Family

Courtesy of the Mills Family

Courtesy of Patrick Mills