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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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Henry Otten

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 635 - 636

Henry Otten (deceased), a worthy pioneer of Sheboygan, dating his residence from January, 1852, was born in Alt Luneburg, Hanover, Germany, on the 14th of February, 1804, and was a son of Christopher and Anne (Teitzen) Often. He was educated in his native country, spent seven years in travel in Europe, and in early manhood emigrated to America. He located in New York City, where he was naturalized July 27, 1829. The records show that he was a member of the New York State militia for seven years. His marriage certificate sets forth the fact that he was married in New York City, on the 30th of March, 1841, by the Rev. Carl Frederick E. Stockholm, of the German Reformed Church, to Miss Rebecca Maria Catherine Deickmann{sic}, a native of Hanover. In January, 1852, they removed to Sheboygan, Wis., where they spent the remainder of their lives. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Often, of whom six are living, and all are residents of Sheboygan. Henry, the eldest, died at the age of four years; Anna is the wife of Henry K. Voigt; Gerhard married Miss Louisa Kent, and is a dealer in real estate; Christopher married Miss Louise Halbach; Henry D. married Miss Laura Rabe, and is a prominent merchant of the Chair City; Louisa is the wife of Hans Von Kaas, a hardware merchant; Adolph was drowned, in 1863, at the age of ten years; Caroline, the youngest, became the wife of F. W. Thieman, a well-known druggist.

On coming to Sheboygan, Mr. Often invested largely in real estate, and made substantial improvements. He erected one of the first fine brick business buildings in the city, which was known as the Often Block. It stood at the southwest comer of Eighth and Center Streets, was three stories high, with a frontage of ninety feet on Eighth and one hundred on Center, and was occupied for stores and offices. At one time the county offices were in that block, and a portion of it was used for that purpose when it was destroyed by fire, January 1, 1860. Mr. Otten, in company with Mr. Dieckmann, re-built the block the following season, and it is now in use for stores and offices, half of it being the property of the Otten heirs. He also owned the south half of block 106 of the original plat fronting on Eighth Street, north of Niagara Street, which is now built up with solid brick buildings, and is the property of, and occupied by, Mr. Otten's children. His residence was built on the south side of block 106, facing Niagara Street, and is still the property of the family. In addition to the above described tracts, he owned other valuable city property.

Our subject was a Democrat in politics, but never desired official prominence. He was a quiet, unassuming man, possessed of good business ability, strict integrity, and those qualities of manhood that command esteem and respect from the best people of a community. He and his wife were consistent members of the German Reformed Church.

Mr. Otten's death occurred February 28, 1861, at the age of fifty-seven years. His good wife survived him many years, her death occurring May 1, 1888. For many years after the death of her husband she was the active guardian of the estate, and most faithfully discharged her trust, preserving the property intact for the benefit of her children.


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