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William S. Wooton
Birth: May 12, 1835
Preble County
Ohio, USA
Death: Aug. 26, 1907
Denver
Denver County
Colorado, USA

William S. Wooton was an internationally-famous inventor and businessman as well as a Quaker minister, best known for the invention of the Wooton Patent Desk.

Wooton desks, created in the then-popular Renaissance Revival style, have been included in exhibitions and/or permanent collections of museums, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Oakland Museum, and the Indiana State Museum. John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and Queen Victoria were among the owners of Wooton Desks.

BUSINESS: Wooton was a partner in the George A. Grant and Company furniture company in Richmond, IN, and then owned the Wooton Desk Company as early as 1870 in Indianapolis. In 1874 he was granted a patent for "Wooton's Patent Cabinet Office Secretary," which was shown at the Philadelphia Centennial Fair in 1876, but by 1880 he moved to Danville, IN, and became more involved with his life in the Society of Friends than with his furniture business.

SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKERS): William and Docia Wooton were participants in meetings of Friends in many states -- Indiana (1872), Alabama (1885), New York (1888), Iowa (1891), Illinois (1892), Indiana (1895), Colorado (1897), Kansas (1900), Colorado (1905). His transition from businessman to clergyman is reflected in the fact that his occupation is listed as "patternmaker" in the censuses of 1860 and 1870 but as "minister" in 1880 and "clergyman" in 1900.

WIFE: Wooton's wife was Theodocia "Docia" Stratton. She was born 17 Dec 1839 in Wayne Co, IN, and, like her husband, was a Quaker minister. She died in 1908 and, like her husband, is buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver. (Both her tombstone and her Find A Grave memorial use the name Docia).

CHILDREN: The couple had eight known children:
(1) Weldon, born 1863 in Kokomo, IN; died less than a year later.
(2) Elmer Otis (known as "E.O."), born 19 Sep 1865 in Kokomo, Howard Co, IN; he graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, IN, in 1889, and received an appointment in 1890 as a college professor at what became the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces, where he became a noted botanist. In 1911 he went to Washington, D.C., where he worked for the Bureau of Plant Industry. He died 20 Nov 1945 in Arlington, VA.
(3) Martha W. "Mattie," born 13 Jan 1868, was with family when they moved to Glens Falls, NY, in 1889, but not with them when they arrived in Des Moines in 1891.
(4) Mary Luella, born 31 Jan 1870 and died in the 1870s in Indianapolis.
(5) Emily, born 23 Aug 1872 and died in the 1870s in Indianapolis.
(6) Lewis Joseph, born 29 Jan 1874 in Indianapolis; died in Danville, IN, in the 1880s.
(7) Bertha born 23 Nov 1876, lived with her parents in 1900; was unmarried in Whittier Monthly Meeting, CA, records in 1930.
(8) William C., born 12 Aug 1879 in Indianapolis; died in Danville, IN, in the 1880s.
As of 6 Aug 2014, none of the children are known to have Find A Grave memorials.

REFERENCES: "Inventor of the Wooton Desk: William S. Wooton," Leonard Coombs (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1982); "American Furniture of the 19th Century: 1840-1880," Eileen and Richard Dubrow (Exton, PA: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 1983); "The King of Desks: Wooton's Patent Secretary," Betty Lawson Walters (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1969).

 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Lewis Wooten (1800 - 1850)
  Martha Puckett Allen (1801 - 1863)
 
 Spouse:
  Theodocia Stratton Wooton (1839 - 1908)
 
 Siblings:
  Thomas Puckett Wooton (1820 - 1904)**
  Joel Wooton (1822 - 1899)**
  James Wooton (1824 - 1862)**
  William S. Wooton (1835 - 1907)
  Isom P Wooton (1836 - 1913)**
  Lavina R Wooton Weaver (1842 - 1911)**
  Lucinda Wooton (1850 - 1905)**
 
*Calculated relationship
**Half-sibling
 
Burial:
Fairmount Cemetery
Denver
Denver County
Colorado, USA
 
Maintained by: Jay Wright
Originally Created by: Scotti McCarthy
Record added: Aug 31, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 41413031
William S. Wooton
Added by: Jay Wright
 
William S. Wooton
Added by: Scotti McCarthy
 
William S. Wooton
Added by: Jay Wright
 
 
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