My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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William H. Otto, undertaker and furniture dealer of Washington, was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1830, the son of Henry and Elizabeth (Otto) Otto. The father was born in Hanover, Germany, and in 1834 left his native country and immigrated to America, settling in Louisiana. He was a carpenter and wagon-maker by trade, and in Louisiana manufactured cotton presses for the Southern planters. In 1837 he moved to Franklin County, Mo., and settled three miles north of Union, where he resumed work at his trade, and in connection looked after his farming interest, having purchased 100 acres of land. In 1858 he moved to Washington, where he resided until about 1879, when he moved to Port Hudson, Mo., where he now resides with his youngest daughter, Mrs. Minnie Bargen. He was twice married; his first wife, Elizabeth Otto, was a native of Hanover, Germany. She died in 1841. She was the mother of four children, our subject being the second. He was only seven years old when his parents came to Franklin County, and he remained with them until twenty-one years of age. At the age of eighteen, however, he began learning the cabinet-maker’s trade, working as an apprentice for three years in St. Louis. He then returned to Franklin County, but, furniture being in slow demand, he began working at the carpenter’s trade, and followed that for many years. March 30, 1854, he married Miss Catherine Baumann, daughter of Henry and Annie Elizabeth Baumann. Mrs. Otto was born in Germany, in 1834, and came to the United States when twelve years of age. To her marriage were born six children: William, furniture dealer and undertaker, at New Haven, Mo.; Edward, general merchant in Washington; Emily, Henry, Addie and Ida. In the spring of 1866 Mr. Otto established a furniture and cabinet shop, and in 1879 he added an undertaker’s line of goods, and has since been engaged in the same line of business. He is a Republican in politics, and he and family are members of the Lutheran Church. He was town councilman of Washington for three years.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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