Otto  Lorenzo Coyle

          Deputy Clerk of Shelby Circuit Court Otto L. Coyle is a native of Indiana, and one of the four surviving children of  Thomas J. and Jessie (Green) Coyle, both parents born in Shelby county, and for some time past living retired lives.  The subject, whose birth occurred November 11, 1878, in Shelby county, spent his early life on the home farm and after finishing the common school course entered the township high school, from which he was graduated in 1896.  Later he took a scientific course in the Central Normal College, at Danville, from which in 1899 he received the degree of Bachelor of Science, following which he added to his scholastic knowledge by doing post-graduate work in the Northern Indiana Normal University at Valparaiso, where he completed the course in the year 1900. One year prior to the latter date he engaged in teaching and for a period of four years devoted his attention to educational work in the common schools, and for six years was principal of the township high school, achieving signal success and much more than local repute in the latter position.
          In 1906 Mr. Coyle severed his connection with teaching to become Deputy Clerk of the Shelby Circuit , a position which he still worthily holds.  Since entering the Clerk's office he has become familiar with its every detail and it is admitted by the people irrespective of political alignment that the county has never been served in this capacity by a more capable or accomplished man.  By diligent attention to his business interests, official and otherwise, he has been quite successful financially, having accumulated a comfortable competency, including several houses and lots in Shelbyville, a fine farm of eighty acres, six miles north. These, with his valuable personal property and private capital, place him independent circumstances, and make him one of the well-to-do men of the community.
          Mr. Coyle's domestic life began on the 6th of October, 1904, at which time he was married to
Fanny O. Bassett, the third of a family of two sons and four daughters, whose parents, John R. and Elizabeth (Thompson) Bassett, were among the well known and highly esteemed residents of Shelby county.  Mrs. Coyle was educated in the public schools, and has been a true helpmeet [sic] to her husband, assisting him in his various enterprises, encouraging him in his undertakings and to her sane counsel and advice he is indebted for no small share of the success with which his efforts have been crowned.
          Mr. Coyle is a public spirited man in all the term implies, and possesses to a marked degree the confidence of the people of Shelby county, as the various positions to which he has been chosen abundantly attest.  For four years he has held the responsible office of secretary and chairman of the Farmers' Agricultural Institute of the county and for three years has served as general superintendent of the Shelby County Fair Association, in both of which capacities he displays executive ability of a high order and a familiarity with organization which bespeaks his retention in these positions as long as he sees fit to accept them.  He is an enthusiastic member of the Pythian Brotherhood, having filled all the chairs in Chillon Lodge, No. 129, in which he now holds the title of past chancellor, and is also a member of Lodge No. 457, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, of Shelbyville.  For several years he has served on the Township Board of Education, and in this capacity has labored untiringly to advance the interests of the schools and bring them up to the high standard of excellence for which they are now noted.  Mr. Coyle is an accomplished musician, and for four years has been a member of the city band, also of the orchestra, which has a wide reputation among the leading organizations of the kind in this part of the state.  Personally he is a most companionable gentleman and easy in manner.  His political views are in harmony with the principles of the Democratic party, of which he has long been one of the influential factors of the vicinity, and having been reared by a pious mother of the Baptist faith, he very naturally inclines to the teachings of that church.
Chadwick's History of Shelby County, Indiana by Edward H. Chadwick, B.S., assisted by well known local talent, B.F. Bowen & Co, Publishers: Indianapolis, IN, 1909, pages 451-453.
Contributed by Phyllis Miller Fleming.

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