Otis Kuykendall was born circa. September 2nd 1888 (-1892) in Buncombe County.
The earliest document for Otis Kuykendall appears as a 1910 census record. At this time, Kuykendall was estimated at 21 years of age, and he unmarried. During this period, Otis Kuykendall lived under his father’s household, located in Greenville, South Carolina. Both of Otis Kuykendall’s parents are descendants of Abraham Kuykendall and are native to North Carolina.
By 1920 Otis Kuykendall had returned to North Carolina –this time to Beaverdam in Haywood County (Ancestry). At this point, he has married Juanita Brock Kuykendall and has had a son named James Brock Kuykendall. Furthermore, he makes a living as an interior painter for the company Pixie Home Builder. Prior to 1920, Otis Kuykendall had also been drafted to serve in the First World War.
Between 1920 and 1930, the household moved about 20 miles east to Asheville, North Carolina. In February of the year 1927, Asheville’s first radio station, the WWNC, went live. On April 18, Otis Kuykendall and the future father of country music, Jimmie Rodgers, preformed a duet on the air.
By the year 1930, Otis Kuykendall had moved in with the Cannon family as a lodger. He and Juanita Kuykendall had gotten a divorce at the end of the 1920’s. At this time, Otis Kuykendall’s son, James Brock Kuykendall, lived with his grandparents from the Brock side of the family. At the end of this decade, Frank C. Brown arrives to collect a long list of ballads from Otis Kuykendall. From this event, Brown recorded 32 tracks worth of songs and transcribed the lyrics of many more.
In 1940, Kuykendall remained in Asheville and had gotten married to Katherine Ensley Kuykendall. In the following years, his profession changed from a painter, to a laborer by 1940. By 1942, he had become a watchman/guard. In 1947, he was employed as a fireman. In later years, his work seemed to vary between guard and firearm.
Kuykendall died on January 7, 1952.
Otis Kuykendall draft registration card provides us with a general description of his physique at age 28. According to the view on the right, Kuykendall had a tall, slender structure. His eyes were blue, and he had black hair that was showing signs of balding.