Otis Thompson was born near Clarion, Iowa, on September 1, 1890 and received his early education in that rural area. He enrolled at Ellsworth College in 1913. Otis was a member of the football and baseball teams for four years and participated in track one year. He was elected captain of the football team in his junior year and played third base on the baseball team. The 1918 yearbook refers to Otis being “a defensive demon and it was a rarity that a ball ever passed him.” A caption in the 1917 yearbook reads “always in on all the college activities, socials, music and athletics. When none of these demand his time, he devotes a little to studies.” Otis graduated from Ellsworth, which was then a four-year college, in 1918. Following graduation, Otis served with the U.S. Army in World War I. Upon his return, he began his career in farming, working and ultimately purchasing land northwest of Iowa Falls. Otis became a member of the Ellsworth College Board of Trustees on October 17, 1955 and served until 1978. In appreciation of his longtime service, the Trustees named the new men’s residence hall constructed in 1972 Thompson Hall in his honor. In 1919, Bessie Hayden and Otis were united in marriage and farmed until their retirement in 1959. She passed away in 1976. The couple had no children. In December 1981, Otis married Helen Hensing. She passed away on January 2, 1994. Otis was very generous in support of the college and participated in many of the college fund drives, most notable being the construction of the indoor swimming pool. Otis passed away on January 8, 1982. In his will, he provided a major gift from which scholarships are provided each year to worthy Ellsworth Community College students.