A Tucson sheriff during the 1870s had not one but two streets named after him - but one of them is no longer in use.

Hylor Ott was born to James and Catherine (Crandall) Ott on Feb. 4, 1830, in Ephratah, N.Y. The family soon after relocated to Albany, N.Y.

Little is known about Ott's early education. In 1849, at age 19, he headed west - like so many young men at the time - to find gold in California. He spent 15 years in Placer County but never struck it rich.

In 1864, he was in Prescott, working as manager of the Quartz Rock Saloon. Three years later, he was appointed deputy territorial treasurer there to fill in during the absence of Dr. J.T. Alsap. He was involved in the Walker Quartz Mining District but left in late 1867 for Tucson when the territorial capital was moved south.

In 1869, Sidney DeLong, then Pima County treasurer, appointed Ott deputy county treasurer. That was followed by victory over Granville Oury in 1870 to become sheriff of Tucson. He served in that capacity in 1871 and 1872, and the original Ott Street was named in his honor during his time in office.

In 1873, Ott returned to Prescott and served as chief quartermaster at Fort Whipple just northeast of Prescott. He went on to run the Little Clipper Sawmill on the Hassayampa River, also near Prescott.

In 1875, he made Tucson his home again and during the rest of his career held many different elected offices, including collector of internal revenue. He belonged to several Masonic groups and formed the Tucson Masonic Relief Association in 1879, with George Roskruge.

Ott married Eduarda Lara in 1867. They had four children: Concepcion (born approximately 1869), Charles Hylor (1870), Frank (1871) and Katherine (1873).

Ott died in Tucson in 1881.

The original Ott Street ran three blocks through the Old Presidio from Main to Church avenues with Pennington Street to the south and Alameda Street to the north. It was abandoned several decades ago and no longer exists.

The new Ott Avenue, which is also downtown, was named by developer John Wesley Miller and recorded with Pima County in 2000.

Editor's note

Each week the Star will tell the stories behind Tucson street names. If you have streets to suggest or stories to share, contact writer David Leighton at streetsmarts@azstarnet.com

Sources Special thanks to William D. Kalt III, author of "Tucson Was a Railroad Town"; Interview with Charles H. "Chuck" Ott IV and Susan Ott; "Ott Street Closing, Law is Drawn," Arizona Daily Star, April 14, 1953; "Old Tucson Disappearing Will Be Perpetuated in the Names of City Street," Tucson Daily Citizen, June 21, 1919; Judith William, "Plaza of Pioneers," Tucson Museum of Art, 1982; Biographical file on Hylor Ott by Frank Ott (Arizona Historical Society); and Office of Vital Records