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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   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 EDWARD OTT, engineer, post office Verona, was born in Lebanon, Pa., in 1831, and his mother, Margaret Ann Wentz, was a native of the same place, daughter of Peter Wentz, of Germany. His father, David, was a son of John Ott, of German birth. William was the youngest of five children, and was reared by a guardian, his father haying died when he was an infant. When thirteen years old he set out, bare footed and alone, on the canal towpath for Philadelphia, where he was employed for a time at the trade of his father and grandfather, shoemaking. Next he was a butcher-boy, and when about sixteen went to Harrisburg and entered the railroad machine-shops. When the shops were built at Altoona he went there, and a year later went to Conemaugh. After firing nine months he was given charge of an engine. For fourteen years he ran a shifter at Pittsburgh, the first shifter on Liberty street, and in 1863 enlisted for three years in Co. B, 46th P. V. He served with the western army from Lookout Mountain to Peach Tree creek, sharing in the battles of Big Sandy, Mission Ridge and Little and Big Kenesaw. Through the influence of Col. Thomas A. Scott he was detailed as locomotive engineer to haul troops from Nashville, and after serving in that capacity a year and a half was wounded by guerrillas, and was discharged from Cumberland hospital for disability. His train was captured and burned, and with the rest Mr. Ott was robbed of his watch and fifty-three dollars in money. Returning to Pittsburgh, he ran the first engine on the W. P. R. R., from Allegheny to Harmarville, and then returned to his locomotive on the P. R. R. He operated a shifter for Carnegie Bros, three years, and since 1873 has been with the A. V. R. R., twelve years of the time on an engine. He is now a member of the rod-gang in the machine-shop. He is a member of the M. E. Church, A. O. U. W. and G. A. R., and is a republican. In 1851 he married Sarah A. Roadamel, born in Myerstown, Pa., daughter of Peter Roadamel, of England. She is now deceased, and was the mother of eleven children, of whom eight reached maturity: Margaret Ann McElroy, William A. Ott, Andrealla W. (Bowden), Francis, D. R. Ott, Emma L. (Frey), Harry C. Ott and Edward Howard Ott.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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