Pages 555-556, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




CHARLES OTTEN.—The late Charles Otten, of Iola, was among the honorable and substantial citizens of Allen county. He came to Iola in 1876, when this city was little more than a village, and engaged in the bakery and confectionary business. His little store was located on the site of his new building and was one of the small and unpretentious structures of the town. His previous experience enabled him to bring the best of business principles to the conduct of his affairs and he was soon seen to be the one merchant first to be ready to expand. He remained in business in Iola twenty-one years and, upon retirement, was succeeded by his son.

Charley Otten was born in Rhumeln, Rhine Province, Germany, in 1839. He was a son of Arnholdt Otten, a teacher, whose family had been connected with the same school which he taught for one hundred and five years. Arnholdt Otten's children were: Arnold Otten, the last teacher of the family and of that place; Julius Otten, educated by the King, was in the army all his life and died a general; Hugo Otten who is superintendent of the coal mines supplying coal to the Krupp Gun Works at Essen; Albert Otten, assistant superintendent of above coal mines.

Charley Otten was frail and sickly when a youth. His father put him into a hospital to cook on account of the light work. His education was somewhat neglected but while in the hospital he formed a notion to become a baker. In February 1859 he was married to Louisa Windhoevinl a daughter of a court officer of the Kingdom, Arnold Windhoevinl. In 1866 Mr. and Mrs. Otten came to the United States. They sailed on the "Admiral" from Bremen to Baltimore and engaged in business in that city five years. He located in Lockhaven, Pennsylvania, next, and at both points the young people made money. However, misfortune overtook him and he failed in the panic of 1873. In his last home Mr. Otten was held in high regard. His social intercourse with his fellow townsmen was


mutually pleasant and he possessed their confidence in a high degree. It was awkward, at times,for him to perform his part in a social or fraternal function, because of his broken speech, but he found much in them to enjoy and appreciate and this fact, alone, pleased his friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Otten's children are: Joseph Otten, born in 1860, Alvia Otten; John Otten, widely known throughout Allen county; Lena; Ludie Otten and George Otten.

Charley Otten was an Odd Fellow and a Workman. He died April 5, 1900, amidst comfortable surroundings and after three years of retirement at his country home.

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