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Below is a family biography included in the book, Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published by Chapman Publishing Company in 1895.  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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OTTO HENRY OTTEN is manager of the Sedalia Military Band, which is composed of twenty players, and which has a reputation for excellence and high merit all over the West. Mr. Otten plays the French horn in this band, and also in Freeman’s Orchestra, the latter of which has fourteen pieces. The band of which he is manager has engagements in all of the leading cities and towns of Missouri, and for a practice room has well equipped quarters at No. 210 Lamine Avenue. By trade Mr. Otten is a horse-shoer, being an expert at the business, and is a member of the firm of Otten & Hartenbach, with a shop at No. 210 Lamine Avenue.

The grandfather of our subject, John Otten, was a farmer in Germany. The father, Prof. John Otten, Jr., was a man of letters and a successful teacher. He died in 1880, in his native land, and his wife (formerly Martha Snars) died three years later. They were both members of the Lutheran Church, and of their eight children, whom they brought up in that faith, four remain in Germany, while three are in America.

O. H. Otten was born in the city of Bremen, Germany, in 1848, and after leaving school worked on a farm, after which he was apprenticed to learn horse-shoeing. In 1866 he was made a member of the Twenty-second Regiment of Hanover troops, and fought in the Prussian War. At the battle of Langensalza he was wounded by a sword-thrust in the left hand, the blow having been aimed at his neck, and the same day was struck by a gun-stock, which fractured his left shoulder-bone. As the Prussians were victors, he was obliged to go into their army, and was given the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Twenty-third Infantry, and as such fought in the Franco-Prussian War.

In 1871 Mr. Otten came to America, and after a year spent in Cole Camp, Benton County, Mo., he worked in a horse-shoeing establishment in Sedalia for some eight years, then starting in business for himself. He built the shop which he now occupies, and also the adjoining one, which is rented to a barber. Mr. Otten has the best horses in the county to shoe, and broke in “John R.,” “Sedalia Boy,” and many of the finest trotters here.

The Sedalia Cornet Band was organized by our subject in 1877, and in 1891 the name was changed to the one it now bears. The members of the band have three distinct uniforms and present a fine appearance. Mr. Otten deserves great credit for the skill and perseverance with which he has drilled his men, who have subscribed to military rules of conduct. He has about $3,100 invested in music, and spares neither time, effort nor money in obtaining the best results. He is a stanch Republican, and is a charter member of the Knights of Pythias lodge.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in the Pettis County, Missouri portion of the book,  Portrait and Biographical Record of Johnson and Pettis County Missouri published in 1895 by Chapman Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Pettis County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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

View a map of 1904 Pettis County, Missouri here: Pettis County, Missouri Map

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