Hamilton County Ohio
Genealogy and History
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William C. Otto
WILLIAM C. OTTO has the distinction of having opened the first general merchandise store in the now thriving town of Republic. Since those early days he has been an active business man of the town, and is today of excellent standing in the community.
William C. Otto was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on November 21, 1862, being the son of Casper and Mary Otto, natives of Germany and immigrants to America in the fifties, when they settled in Michigan. The mother died in 1863 and the father in 1892. They were the parents of four children, Fred, Annie McClellan, William C., and Frank. The father was a prominent farmer, whose family had high and influential connections. Our subject was educated in Ypsilanti, Detroit, and Cincinnati, Ohio, receiving excellent training and being well fortified for the battles of life. The first four years after he stepped forth from the parental roof were spent in managing a hotel at Grand Forks, Dakota. In 1888, he came to Washington and opened a store at Moses Crossing, Douglas county, where he did business for two years. Later, he removed to Almira, Lincoln county, and in 1896 came on to Republic. In the spring, in company with J. C. Keller, as stated above, he opened the first general merchandise store here. He continued in this connection until 1899 when the partnership was dissolved. Mr. Otto is now associated in the general merchandise business with Mr. Lester Sly, who is named elsewhere in this volume. This firm has continued in business since and now handles a fine patronage. Their store is well supplied with a large assortment of goods, and they are the leading merchants in this part of the country. Mr. Otto has collected property in addition to his merchandise establishment, owning city, mining and farm land.
In 1885, Mr. Otto married Miss Mary, daughter of John and Mary Stelzer, and a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. To this union, one child, Mabel was born, who is now being educated in Indianapolis, Indiana. On December 29, 1887, at Grand Forks, North Dakota, Mr. Otto was called to mourn the death of his wife. On February 9, 1903, in Bayard, Iowa, Mr. Otto married Mrs. Carrie Hafner, the widow of Walter Hafner and daughter of J. T. and Jane (Silcox) Perkins, natives of Massachusetts. The parents removed from the Bay State to New York and in 1886 to Iowa, where they now live at a good old age. They both have connections with prominent families of Revolutionary days. Mrs. Otto's grandfather, Timothy Perkins, enlisted with the early patriots in February, 1776, being a volunteer from Massachusetts. Mr. Otto is a liberal democrat, and has held various offices since residing in Republic, and fraternally, he is a member of the I. O. O. F., the K. of P., the M. W. A., and the Eagles. Mrs. Otto is a member of the Rebekahs, of the Methodist church, and of the Royal Neighbors. [SOURCE: "An Illustrated History of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, and Chelan Counties in the state of Washington"; Western Historical Publishing Company, 1904 - tr. By Sandra Stutzman]
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