For over thirty years the subject of this sketch, John Otten, has been identified with Doniphan county, Kansas, and as a retired farmer is now occupying one of the attractive homes of Troy, to which place he moved a few years ago.
Mr. Otten is a native of Holland. He was born April 19, 1829, a son of John B., and Alida Otten; and in his native land spent the first fifteen years of his life, receiving there a common school education. At the age of fifteen he embarked in a sailing vessel for New Orleans, had a. stormy voyage of eighty-two days, and finally landed in safety at his destination. From New Orleans he came up the Mississippi river by boat to St. Louis, Missouri, and from that place made his way to Galena, Illinois, where he was employed in the lead mines. Three years of his stay in Galena he was in charge of the mines. In 1869, with two of his brothers, Christian and Benjamin, he came to Kansas and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land, to which they subsequently added by purchase until their farm comprised three hundred and twenty acres, which they have since owned and operated jointly, carrying on general farming and stock-raising, making a specialty of breeding fine horses, heavy draft, French coach and Norman, in which enterprise they have been quite successful. Their farm is nicely located, well improved and under excellent cultivation, and is ranked with the model farms of the neighborhood. It is under the management of Mr. Otten's son-in-law, A. R. Spencer. Mr. Otten is the owner of a handsome residence close to Troy. The grounds surrounding it comprise four acres, beautified by shade trees, shrubbery, and so forth, the whole making a most complete and delightful home.
John Otten has been twice married. July 4, 1859, he wedded Rachel Morgan, of Wisconsin, a daughter of Enos Morgan. She died in 1865, leaving five children, namely: Lida A., the wife of Charles Parker; Cassie K., deceased, who married and died leaving six children; John E., a resident of Colorado; William D., also of Colorado, is in railroad employ; and Oscar A., in the employ of the Rock Island Railroad Company. The present Mrs. Otten was before marriage Miss Mary E. Rea and was formery a resident of New Jersey.
Mr. Otten has always affiliated with the Republican party, and while residing on his farm he was for many years a member of the school board.