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Below is a family biography included in The History of Cole County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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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Philipp Ott, of the lumber firm of A. M. Beckers Lumber Company, and ex-judge of Cole County, Mo., was born in Bavaria, Germany, October 11, 1831, his parents being Charles and Catherine (Semmelman) Ott, who were also born in Germany, and are now deceased. Four of their children grew to maturity, and all came to America and located in Missouri. Three are now living: Johanna (Graser), Philipp and Charles. Philipp received his education in Germany previous to his seventeenth year. In 1849 he immigrated to America, starting from Bremen, with his sister Johanna, and landed at New Orleans after fifty-three days on the ocean. He first located in St. Louis, where he remained four years engaged in business for himself and in clerking, and in 1853 moved to Cole County, and was engaged in merchandising in Marion until 1865, when he sold out and went to Kansas City. Here he remained about one year, but becoming dissatisfied he returned to Marion and turned his attention to husbandry, which occupation he followed until 1882, since which time he has resided in Jefferson City, and has been engaged in the lumber business. In 1865 he was appointed county judge by Gov. Fletcher, and was elected twice thereafter in succession. He has also been deputy sheriff of Cole County four years, and during his residence in Marion was postmaster of the town. He is one of the representative men of the county, and being one of its early settlers has witnessed many changes in its growth and prosperity. In 1853 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Wippenbeck, a native of Germany, by whom he became the father of four children, three of whom are living at the present time: Francis S. (residing in Sacramento City, Cal.), Katie and Louis. Mr. and Mrs. Ott are members of the German Evangelical Church. On April 2, 1889, he was elected mayor of the city of Jefferson for two years. John L. Ott, farmer, is the second in a family of six children born to George L. and Elizabeth (Distler) Ott, and was born in St. Louis County, Mo., in 1848. Both parents were native Germans, and at the age of nineteen years the father came to the United States and settled in St. Louis, where he worked as a butcher for a short time. After his marriage he bought a farm of sixty acres in the county, on which he resided until 1858, having made valuable improvements in the meantime. He sold out at the latter date for $5,000, and came to Cole County, settling in Clark Township, where he bought a farm of 400 acres, on which very slight improvements had been made. He repaired his house, built a fine barn, opened about 100 acres of land, and made grain-raising and fruit a specialty. After residing here until 1873, he went to Jefferson City, where he spent his declining years at greater ease than farm life would permit. He died in 1886, still survived by his excellent wife. John L. Ott resided under the paternal roof until he attained his majority, then rented land of his father for about seven years. He then purchased a farm of 125 acres in Jefferson Township, but sold out at the end of two years, and after working in the city one year he purchased his present farm of 131 acres on the Brownville road, three miles west of Jefferson City. Here he has a neat cottage surrounded by all conveniences, good out-buildings, and an orchard of 200 apple trees. His farm is well adapted to raising grain, and yields about twenty-eight bushels of wheat to the acre. While residing with his father he was married to Miss Maggie Schmidt, a native of Cole County, by whom he has four children: Herman, Annie, Albert, who died at the age of eight years, and Hilda. The family attend the Lutheran Church.

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This family biography is one of 127 biographies included in The History of Cole County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Cole County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Cole County, Missouri family biographies here: Cole County, Missouri Biographies

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