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 • Saint Augustine
 • St. Johns County
 • Florida
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Otto Curtis Lightner
Birth: Jul. 2, 1887
Norwich
Kingman County
Kansas, USA
Death: Jun. 9, 1950

Newspaper editor and publisher, Collector of the Victorian Era. Otto began his career as a typesetter at newspapers and soon discovered that he had a talent for rescuing newspapers that were in financial distress, turning them into profitable operations and in the process made himself wealthy as well. During the Great Depression he remained financially well off as the owner and publisher of "Hobbies," one of the first antiques and collectibles magazines. He is remembered for saying, "Even with no money, everyone could collect something" and is known for saying "Everyone should have a hobby. Everyone should collect something". He became fascinated with collecting and started collecting other peoples' collections. He started buying large homes and estates in the Chicago area to house the collections in. In the 1940s, he moved to Saint Augustine, Florida, to recover from an illness and stayed in the Ponce De Leon Hotel, across from the then defunct Alcazar Hotel, which had closed during the Great Depression. He purchased the Alcazar Hotel in 1947 and filled the hotel with his treasures, opening it as a museum to the public. It became known as the "Smithsonian of the South". Upon his death, he requested to be buried in the courtyard of his hotel. He is remembered as "America's King of Hobbies."  (bio by: Sue Herbine) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  James Edwin Lightner (1854 - 1930)
  Maria C. Hoover Lightner (1861 - 1946)
 
 Siblings:
  Scott W. Lightner (1882 - 1962)*
  Ralph Emerson Lightner (1884 - 1967)*
  Otto Curtis Lightner (1887 - 1950)
  Gertrude B. Lightner Moore (1888 - 1975)*
  Elsie May Lightner Keller (1892 - 1984)*
  Paul Arthur Lightner (1894 - 1960)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
"This Institution Was Built on Hard Work and Sacrifice. How Firm A Foundation."
 
Burial:
Lightner Museum
Saint Augustine
St. Johns County
Florida, USA
Plot: Hotel inner courtyard
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Sue Herbine
Record added: Aug 04, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40284202
Otto Curtis Lightner
Added by: Sue Herbine
 
Otto Curtis Lightner
Added by: Sue Herbine
 
Otto Curtis Lightner
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Sue Herbine
 
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- melinda
 Added: Jul. 29, 2013

- Tracey Reid
 Added: Jun. 9, 2013

- Jackie Howard
 Added: Jul. 2, 2012
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