Otis Nichols was one of the first Millerites
to accept Joseph Bates's teachings of the seventh-day Sabbath. This photograph
(the only one known to exist) was taken when Nichols was in his seventies. A
lithographer (engraver) by trade, in 1850 Nichols published the first
illustrated prophetic chart to be brought out after the 1844 disappointment.
For much of her first three years of traveling
(1845-1848), Ellen G. White was welcomed into the home of Otis and his wife,
Mary. She wrote of their hospitality and friendship in an early autobiographical
account: "They were ever ready with words of encouragement to comfort me
when in trial, and often their prayers ascended to heaven in my behalf, until
the clouds were dispersed, and the light of heaven again cheered me. Nor did
their kindness end here. They were attentive to my wants, and generously
supplied me with means to travel. They were reproached because they took a stand
in favor of my visions, and on account of this they were obliged to be in almost
constant conflict, for many were anxious to turn them against me. A faithful
record is kept of their acts of love and benevolence. They will not lose their
reward. He that seeth in secret is acquainted with every kind and generous act,
and will reward them openly."--Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, pp. 68, 69.
Apparently in honor of such friendship, service, and loyalty, the Whites named
their first child Henry Nichols White.
Otis Nichols was an eye-witness to several of
Ellen White's visions. You can read his account of these remarkable experiences
in this months From the Vault section. It was also in his home, in
November 1848, that she received the vision that led to the beginning of the
Seventh-day Adventist Church's publishing work.