History Book References to our Otto Family, and some obituaries

An Illustrated History of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Civil, Political, and Military, from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Including Historical Descriptions of Each County in the State, Their Towns, and Industrial Resources, By William H. Egle, M.D., M.A., Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Second Edition, Revised and Corrected. Philadelphia; E.M. Gardner, 1880.

M’Kean County, by William K. King, Ceres, pages 923-930:

M’Kean county was separated from Lycoming county by the act of 26th of March, 1804. It was named in honor of Governor Thomas M’Kean, who at that period filled the executive chair. Previous to 1814 the county was for a time attached to Centre county, and the records were kept at Bellefonte. In that year M’Kean was attached to Lycoming for judicial and elective purposes. The counties of M’Kean and Potter were as formerly united, having one treasurer, one board of commissioners, and one of auditors. The commissioners held their meetings at the house of Benjamin Burt, on the Allegheny river, and a little east of the county line. In 1826 M’Kean county was organized for judicial purposes, and the first court was held in Smethport, in September of that year. The same year a substantial brick court house was erected.

M’Kean county is situated on the northern border of the State, being the third county east from the west line thereof. It has a length on the State line of nearly forty miles, and a depth of about twenty-five miles, containing about one thousand square miles, or six hundred and forty thousand acres. It may be considered an elevated table, broken by numerous streams which have formed in many places valleys of considerable width. The principal streams are…

…There are three boroughs, Smethport, Kane, and Bradford.

About the end of the last century a company of gentlemen, headed by John Keating, Esq., of Philadelphia, made an extensive purchase of wild lands in what are now M’Kean, Potter, Cameron, Clinton, and Clearfield counties. Francis King, an Englishman, member of the Society of Friends, then but recently from the city of London, was employed by the said company to examine different bodies of lands in this portion of the State, and spent nearly the whole of two summers in exploring the country, making careful and minute memoranda of the surface of the country, character of the soil, timber, rocks, streams, and natural routes for thoroughfares. Upon his report the selections were made, and the purchase consummated. In the spring of 1798, Mr. King left Philadelphia with a party of workmen; they proceeded to the upper settlement upon the West Branch of the Susquehanna river, in the vicinity of Jersey Shore. There they loaded their canoes, and taking their horses sometimes in the channel of the river, and sometimes upon the banks, they pushed their canoes to the mouth of the Driftwood branch, and then up it to what is now Emporium. Here, on account of the smallness of the stream, they abandoned their canoes, and loading their tools and provisions upon their horses, they started in a northerly direction. Passing up a small tributary of the Driftwood, and down a branch of the Allegheny, they cut a bridle path through the forest very nearly over the ground now traversed by the Buffalo, New York, and Philadelphia railroad from Emporium to Port Allegheny. This place was for many years known as the Canoe Place. At the latter place they halted, and having constructed more canoes from the trunks of the white pine, then abundant all along the valley of the Upper Allegheny, they loaded their baggage into them, and proceeded down the river to the mouth of the Oswaya, and up that stream about four miles, where they located, calling the place Ceres; built houses, cleared land, and commenced opening communications with other settlements. It was found that a small settlement had been commenced on the head-waters of a tributary of the Genesee river, and distant only fifty miles. This was the nearest white settlement in any direction. It was situated near the present village of Andover, on the New York and Erie railroad, and was known as Dike’s settlement. A sort of road was soon opened between the two points, and also between Ceres and the Canoe Place, and between Ceres and the settlements on Pine creek, distant nearly one hundred miles….

….About this time the territory of Ohio became in the minds of the people of the Atlantic States the earthly paradise, and the restless and discontented, as well as the enterprising and ambitious, strained every nerve to reach it. In 1804 a road was opened through the State of New York, from the east to the Allegheny river at Olean, then and for many years called Hamilton, a point only ten miles distant from the Ceres settlement; and immediately a current of emigration was pouring over this route that would be astonishing even at the present day. At Olean, boats, skiffs, canoes, and rafts were constructed, and the emigrants were floated down the streams to the country which was the Eden of their dreams….

In the year 1810 six families from the state of New York, following up the Allegheny from Olean to the mouth of Potato creek, and up that stream some five or six miles, located themselves in the neighborhood now known as Farmer’s Valley. Among them were three brothers, named Joseph, George, and Matthias Otto, whose descendants still reside in that neighborhood. George and Matthias both died many years ago. Joseph lived to be very old, and was one of the prominent men of the county. He held at different terms most of the county offices.”

A Pioneer Outline History of Northwestern Pennsylvania, by W. J. McKnight, 1905

Page 570, “The first commissioners were Rensselaer Wright and Jonathan Colegrove, for McKean, and John Taggart, for Potter County; Joseph Otto, treasurer.”

Page 573, “The first settlers of this county suffered great inconveniences; so much greater than those of the present day that there is scarce a comparison. They found here a dense wilderness, without a road, or an inhabitant, save the beasts of the forest, some of which were of a very ferocious character, while others served as a slender support to those who practiced hunting. The first settlement of which I have a correct account was made by six families from the State of New York, who came on about the same time, and located on Potato Creek, from three to seven miles north of Smethport, in 1810. They had great difficulty in getting to their new homes, having to bring their families and goods up the stream in canoes. There was no settlement within many miles of them; and they were even obliged for a time to bring their provisions in by canoes or on pack-horses. All kinds of eatables were very dear, even at the nearest settlements. This settlement suffered many privations; but those settlers are now well compensated, for they are the owners of flourishing farms, and are themselves in a prosperous condition. It is usually known by the name of the lower settlement.”

Page 577, “The pioneer court held in McKean County was presided over by Hon. Edward Herrick, on September 25, 1826. The Associates were Joseph Otto and Joel Bishop. The court was held in the court-house, which had been completed. The jail was in process of erection at that time, and was completed soon after. Up to that time the courts of McKean County had been held in Coudersport, Potter County.”

History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, PA, with Biographical Selections, 1890

Page 98, from notes in possession of Henry Hamlin, son of Orlo J. Hamlin:

“1810, Keating township (Farmers Valley), settled by Joseph and George Otto, the Stulls and others from Northampton county, Penn., six families.”

Page 106, “In 1816… in April Joseph Otto was appointed, vice Stanton, and in October he was elected with Nathan B. Palmer.”

“In January, 1818…Isaac Lyman, commissioner, vice Otto… John Taggart was appointed commissioner, vice Palmer….”

“In 1819 Rensselaer Wright was elected commissioner; Joseph Otto was appointed clerk, but did not qualify, leaving the office to Merrick.”

Page 107, “On May 31, 1827, the mason work on county buildings was accepted, and August 4 an order for $3,000 was given to the contractor, Solomon Sartwell, Jr. During this year deeds to a number of lots round the public square were sanctioned by the commissioners, White and Otto, they being the active members of the board. In November, that year, William Bell qualified, and in November, 1828, Messrs. Otto, Bell and Gallup formed the board.”

Page 112, “The first court of McKean county was held at Smethport, September 25, 1826. Edward Herrick presided, with Joseph Otto and Joel Bishop associate judges.”

Page 113, “In February, 1830, Judges Otto* and Bishop* were present”  *=deceased

“The May term of 1836 was held before Judges Otto and Bishop.”

Page 151, “Joseph Otto taught the second school in the county at his house. It was an eleemosynary institution, suggested by the ignorance and wants of the times, and, like the age, very primitive.”

Page 153, “James V. Otto, Buffalo, 1878” registered in 1881, on the list of “medical men who have registered in McKean county from 1881 to 1889, inclusive.”

Page 253, “The Stulls and Ottos, to whom references are made in other chapters, must also be counted among the pioneers, while the Williamses, Youngs, Crows, Hamlins and fifty other families of whom mention is made in this volume, are connected with the beginnings of the progressive period.”

Page 254, “The resident tax-payers of Keating township in 1836-37 were… Nicholas Baker, C. D. Calkins (now at Smethport), Ghordis Corwin (who owned the grist- and saw-mill), Daniel and David Cornelius,… Thomas Curtis…Nathan Folsom…Jared and Jonathan Ketchum….Dr. William Otto, James, John, Jemima  and Charity Otto, W. D. Owen (merchant), Joseph Otto (saw-mill owner), W. S. Oviatt, Silas D. and Lewis Otto, … Asa Sartwell (fulling and saw-mill owner), Joel Sartwell (now of Cedar Rapids, Iowa), John Smith, Jesse Spencer… Sol. Sartwell, Jr., Sartwell & Arnold (traders), Sol. Sartwell, …Stephen Young, Hiram Spencer… Abner Lull, the assessor, recommended Jared Ketchum and Ghordis Corwin for collectors.”

Page 257, “Farmers Valley, Coryville and Frisbee may be called synonymous terms. They all form a part of the old settlement of Farmers Valley, of which so much is written in the general history as well as in this chapter. In 1812 Francis King surveyed the fifty-acre tracts donated by John Keating for the following named settlers in Farmers Valley: George, Joseph and Matthias Otto, Robert Gilbert, Jonathan Moore, Zachariah, Thomas and William Ashley.”

Page 258, “Joseph Otto came from Mifflin county, Penn., early in 1810, and settled two and one-half miles below Smethport with his young wife. The trip hither from Angelica was through sixty miles of wilderness without one inhabitant, and from the effects of such a journey he fell sick soon after settlement, and he and his wife were almost on the point of starving when he became strong enough to hunt.”

Page 289, J. V. Otto, president of the Star Hose Company No. 1.

Page 293, J. V. Otto listed as an original member of The Knights of Honor Lodge.

Page 295, W. J. Davis active in the McKean County Agricultural Society.

Page 526, “S. C. Sartwell, proprietor of the Sartwell House, Port Allegany, is a son of Joel and Elizabeth (Otto) Sartwell, and was born at Farmers Valley, McKean Co., Penn., in 1840. Solomon Sartwell, his grandfather, who was a native of New Hampshire, where he married, removed to McKean county, Penn., at a very early time, and located at Farmers Valley, where both he and his wife resided until their decease. Joel, son of Solomon, and father of S. C. Sartwell, was also a native of New Hampshire, and removed with his parents to Farmers Valley, where he married Miss Elizabeth Otto, after which they located at Farmers Valley, where he was engaged in the lumber trade, and where they raised a family of ten children, of whom but six are known to be living: Helen (who married the Hon. W. J. Davis), Joseph, Sylvia (now Mrs. J. L. Behn), S. C., Henry and Lucy (now Mrs. Dean Cheadle). Wilbur, who was born before these, went to California in 1857, and is probably deceased, as no tidings have been received from him. S. C. Sartwell was reared and educated in McKean county, and in 1865 married Rose Thomson, after which they located at Portville, where he was engaged in business. He afterward purchased a farm near Port Allegany, which he sold in 1874, and then removed into the borough where he became the owner and proprietor of the Sartwell House, a hostelry noted for the excellency of its management, and which has the exclusive patronage of the traveling public. Mr. and Mrs. Sartwell have two children living, Grace and Stephen (twins); two children, Willett and Winifred, are deceased. Mr. Sartwell is a member of the Democratic party, and one of the able and representative citizens of Port Allegany.”

History of the counties of McKean, Elk, and Forest, Pennsylvania, with Biographical Selections, J. H. Beers & Co., 1890

Haven’t studied this one yet… appears to duplicate the previous Beers collection.

Historical Gazetteer and Biographical Memorial of Cattaraugus County, NY, 1893

Page 1139, “Howard Otto is a son of Silas P. Otto and a grandson of Joseph Otto, of Farmer’s Valley, Pa. Silas P., a general wood worker and painter, came to Ischua in 1835 and married Hannah Stickland, of Lyndon; children: Sartwell, Joseph, Emma, Amelia, and Howard. The latter was born in 1847 and when sixteen enlisted in Co. K, 22d N. Y. Cav., serving in the Shenandoah valley. He was in the battles from Winchester to Cedar Creek, was on the left of the turnpike helping to stop stragglers when General Sheridan arrived there the day of his famous ride, was in the fight at Waynesborough, when the Second Brigade captured 1,300 rebels, and saw General Sheridan throw his arms around Custer in admiration of his splendid work. He was discharged in Aug., 1865. In 1870 he married Rose, daughter of Daniel Emery, of Belfast, N. Y. Children: Burna and Jessie. Mr. Otto came to Abbott’s in 1877, where he has been a merchant since 1880 and postmaster since 1888.”

The Descendants of James Brown 1716-1922, by John Jordan Brown, 1922

Page 11-12, James Brown

Page 15-21, John Brown, Sr.

Page 22-23, John Brown military records

Page 150-155, Mary Brown Otto family:

Mary Brown Otto, daughter of John and Mary Brugler Brown.

Mary and her sister Elizabeth were twins. They were born March 30, 1782. When Mary was eleven years old her mother died. There were three younger children in the family needing a mother’s care. Their father provided a step mother thirteen months after the death of his wife, Mary.  He married Mrs. Margaret Haines. She was the widow of Henry Haines, who was one of the wealthy men of the vicinity. Mrs. Haines had brought up in her home her sister’s daughter, Dorothy Nice. She took Dorothy with her to the Brown home. Mrs. Haines was an exemplary stepmother. No criticism is mentioned concerning her.

When Mary was fifteen years old the family moved to Columbia County, Pennsylvania.

Some four years after the family had settled in their new home, a young man by the name of Joseph Otto came into the community. He was a native of the state of New York. For that day a man of education. Joseph met Mary Brown. An acquaintance resulted, which ripened into romance. It is possible that the judgment of Mary and her family on this subject were not in accord. The facilities for obtaining information concerning the suitor were meager. Their knowledge of the young man, his worth, and his antecedents was limited to what he said, and what they saw. That was a practical age. As is usual in such cases the lovers had their way. They were married in 1802.

 The efforts of Mary’s friends in performing their duty to safeguard her welfare, resulted in some unhappiness. The father-in-law located them on one of his farms adjoining the homestead. Mrs. Otto’s daughter Ellen, in a letter said that, “she married a then poor man, and I suppose one who did not please the family.”

Mr. Otto was dissatisfied. There were no ties binding him here. He formed other plans.

In 1809 he visited McKean County, Pennsylvania. There he purchased land. During the fall of that year, he went on the ground, cleared some land, built a log house, and then went to his father’s home in the state of New York.

The next year he took his family through the wilderness to the McKean County home. It was in the heart of a virgin forest. Four years later she returned to her father’s home on a visit. Her brother-in-law came with her. Their journey took them seventy miles through a primitive forest. There was but one habitation on the way. Here they stayed during the night. Upon the return to her home in McKean County, she was accompanied by one of her nephews. Her father went to see her once in her new home.

In a letter to the author, Miss Ellen Otto, one of Mary Brown Otto’s daughters said that she never heard her mother say aught, that had the least tinge of unkindly feeling against her relatives. She also said that she always seemed sad at the mention of her old home. The family refrained from speaking on this subject. She was true to the principles of the Brown clan. However much they differed in opinions, the family love and loyalty predominated.

In one of her letters to the writer, Miss Ellen, her daughter said, a writer speaking of her mother, said that she was a remarkable woman. That by her dignity and ladylike deportment, she always commanded the notice of strangers. She also said in a letter to the writer, that when strangers looked at her likeness, they would say, “that is a picture of a lady.”

In one of her letters, Miss Ellen also said that her mother was the favorite daughter of her father, John Brown. She enjoyed his confidence in all things. She always carried his private keys, notwithstanding the presence of a stepmother and her adopted daughter.

Her father remembered her very substantially when he came to write his will. A copy of this document can be found in the appendix of this volume. Some one has said that there is a Divinity that shapes our ends rough, hew them as we may.

Mary Brown Otto died April 29, 1862. She bore her mother’s name, Mary.

HON. JOSEPH OTTO, married Mary, daughter of John and Mary Brown.

Hon. Joseph Otto was a native of the state of New York. His father was a man of means, but lost his property during the war of the American Revolution. The children were thrown upon their own resources.

Joseph came to Pennsylvania. He married Mary, the daughter of John Brown a prominent business man of Columbia County, Pa., in 1802. Mr. and Mrs. Otto lived on what afterwards became the farm of Matthew Brown. Their daughter Ellen said that the farm was not very productive. That the price of other lands was prohibitive. In 1810 they moved to McKean County, Pa. Here was a better field for his abilities. In 1813 he became the first Justice of the Peace in McKean County. In 1818 he was appointed the treasurer of McKean and Potter counties. He was the first Associate Judge of McKean County. He held this office sixteen years. During his entire life of usefulness he was prominent in the public business of his county. As its treasurer he made annual trips to Philadelphia on horse back on business pertaining to his treasurer’s office.

On one of these journeys he visited his father-in-law, John Brown, in Columbia County. Mr. Brown was on his death bed. Miss Ellen Otto said that Mr. Brown seemed desirous to speak to him about family matters. But uncle Henry Bowman, who had charge of him, then entered the room, and immediately the conversation closed. Miss Ellen further said that he was not allowed to hold any further conversation with Mr. Otto.

Miss Ellen Otto further wrote that her father came to their country with but little means. A year’s sickness followed soon after his coming. This made matters worse. But that in due time he amassed considerable property. In the meanwhile he spent much time and money in developing the new country. She further said that no man ever asked for his influence, or money, in vain. This generosity and faith in humanity resulted in his financial undoing.

The children of Joseph O. and Mary Brown Otto were:

Elizabeth O. Sartwell. Lived at Marion, Ohio (sic).

Albert G. Otto, deceased.

Loretta B. O. Lelland, a widow. Of McKean County.

Silas P. of Catt, N.Y.

J. Amelia. Married Mr. Ketchum.

Desdamonia, deceased.

Mrs. A. O. Curtis. Lives at Smethport, Pa.

J. Celia. Married Mr. O. Day. Farmers Valley, Pa.

A. Jackson Otto, of Olean, N.Y.

Miss L. Caroline Otto, Farmers Valley, Pa.

Miss Ellen Otto, of Farmers Valley, Pa.”

(goes on to expand upon each of the childrens’ families)


Obituary of Joseph Otto, M’Kean County Miner, January 1869 edition:

DIED — In Farmers’ Valley, Dec. 22, 1868, Hon. Joseph Otto, in the 91st year of his age.

Mr. Otto is the last of the Pioneers or first settlers of M’Kean county. He came into this country in 1810, then an unbroken wilderness, and the next year with five others moved in with their families and located themselves where Farmers’ Valley now is, their nearest neighbors being 25 miles distant, through a dense forest without even a path. While others became discouraged and left the country he remained, being determined to sustain the settlement—make himself a home and grow up with the country; and for many years he endured all the privations and hardships of a pioneer life.

When the county became sufficiently populated it was organized, and County courts having been established, Mr. Otto was appointed an Associate Judge, which position with many others of responsibility, he filled with honor and credit to himself, enjoying the respect and confidence of a large circle of friends and acquaintances, and leading for many years before his death an exemplary Christian life.


Obituary of Mary Ann (Otto) Curtis

The McKean Democrat, Smethport, McKean County, Pennsylvania, Feb. 10, 1916

Mrs. S. G. Curtis Passes to Her Reward

Mrs. S. G. Curtis died at the McKean county home, Wednesday evening, February 2nd, 1916, in the 99th year of her age.

Mary A. Otto was born in Keating township on what is now known as the Martin farm, Aug. 29, 1817. She was a daughter of Hon. Joseph and Mary Brown Otto, and was the last of a large family. On February 26th, 1837, she was united in marriage to Stephen G. Curtis, who died Nov. 25th, 1895.

Hon. and Mrs. Joseph Otto were among the first settlers in this part of the country, having come here in 1809. Mr. Otto built the first frame house, taught the first school and held the first office in this county. He was at one time county treasurer, and made many trips to Philadelphia on horseback to transact business. He was the first Judge of this county, which office he held for sixteen consecutive years. Mrs. Curtis’ grandfather, on her mother’s side, was an eminent German geologist who came to this country in search of plant specimens for the German government, and who decided to make his permanent home in this country. Mrs. Curtis was a devoted Christian, a member of the Methodist church for many years and in her younger days was very active in church work. It has been said of her that she showed a true Christian spirit in trying to do all in her power to make other happy and aid in times of sorrow and trouble. She had a [fine] education and spent much time in her last years reading and writing, preparing many articles for publication. She had many friends who did much to brighten her pathway in her last days, by their kind and loving attentions, by visits which helped to pass away many a lonely hour and sending many tokens of love and esteem.

Mrs. Curtis is survived by six grandchildren, Leon, Lucy, Emma and Roy Curtis, of Keating township, Mrs. N. F. Adams and Elmer B. Curtis, and five great-grandchildren, of Cleveland, Ohio. Also her nieces, Mrs. Jane D. Young, of Smethport; Mrs. John L. Oviatt, of Farmers Valley; Mrs. B. F. Cory, of Coryville; Mrs. Ralph Lewis, of Burton, Neb.; Mrs. Lucy Cheadle, of Marion, Iowa, and nephews, Dr. D. B. Day, of New Jersey; Chas. A. Otto, Walsenberg, Col.; Leslie Otto, Santa Fe, N. M.; Sartwell Otto, South Park, Seattle, Wash., besides numerous other relatives.

The funeral was held Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock at the Methodist church, Res. J. S. Fleming officiating, and interment was made in the Smith cemetery, near Farmers Valley, Rev. W. D. Full[er] conducting the services at the grave.


As per our request, a grandson of Mrs. Curtis, Leon Curtis, of Keating township, furnished the DEMOCRAT with the above obituary notice of our old friend who has just been taken from us. The article is so complete that we publish it as it came to us as it would have been difficult for us to have improved on it, but we will add a few words to express our own thoughts on one whom we had well known for upwards of 25 years, and in times gone by had furnished the DEMOCRAT with many very interesting communications of the early history of the county in which she had spent her entire of nearly one hundred years. Mrs. Curtis was always a very warm friend of both the writer of this, and a staunch admirer of the DEMOCRAT for years, and for that reason we always held this grand old lady in the very highest esteem, and whenever we visited the County Home we always made it a point to call on this true and steadfast friend, who always accorded us a hearty welcome on our visits. The last time that we saw Mrs. Curtis was last October, at that time she was lying in her bed, where she spent much of her latter years, reading her bible, which she found to be a great consolation to her during her latter days. With a sweet smile on her pleasant countenance she warmly grasped our hand and told us how glad she was to see us again, as we had not seen her before in several years. The writer knew Mrs. Curtis well enough to know that if there was ever a true Christian character on the face of the earth that she was certainly one without guile. For about 23 years she had been an inmate of the Home, where her aged husband passed to his reward a short time after they had entered that institution, but this beautiful character always retained a cheery disposition up until the very last. Never during her long stay at the Home has the writer heard one complaint from the several superintendents of that institution that Mrs. Curtis ever gave them the least bit of trouble, and for that reason she was always held in the very highest regard by all who were connected with that institution, and for that reason she was loved by all who came in contact with her, and now that she has passed to her reward Grandma Curtis will be missed by all who enjoyed her acquaintance.

The funeral, which was held Saturday afternoon at the Methodist church in this borough, which the deceased was a devoted member for many years, was, considering the disagreeable weather, well attended by relatives and friends, and the pastor, Rev. Fleming’s remarks were most beautiful and appropriate to the occasion.

The writer who has lost a true and devoted friend, joins in extending his sympathy to the sorrowing relatives in the loss of one of the noblest characters that has been taken from us in a long time. May her spirit find that peace which she had so longed for in the closing years of her life.


 Obituary of Stephen G. Curtis

The McKean Democrat, Smethport, M’Kean County, Penna., Friday, November 29, 1895

(Pg 3, column 5)

Death of Stephen G. Curtis

Stephen G. Curtis died in Keating township on Monday last, aged 85 years.

Mr. Curtis was born at Granville, Washington county, N. Y., Sept. 10, 1810, of Puritan ancestry, of whom two were Revolutionary soldiers. When 13 years of age he came to Keating township with his parents, and for 72 years, with the exception of a short time spent in the West during his early manhood he resided in that township. In 1839 Mr. Curtis was united in marriage to Mary A., daughter of Judge Joseph Otto, the first Associate Judge of McKean county. This union was blessed with two children, one of whom, W. H. Curtis, of Keating township, and the aged widow, survive. The funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon, Rev J. W. Sanborn, officiating. The interment took place in Rose Hill cemetery.

Thus has passed to his final reward another one of McKean county’s pioneers.


Obituary of Ellen Otto (Eleanor Gray Otto)

McKean County Miner, Smethport, Pa., Thursday, January 11, 1912


Ellen Otto Died in Ceres, N. Y., on December 24, 1911.

Entered into rest, Dec. 24, 1911, in her home in Ceres, N. Y., Eleanor Gray, youngest daughter of the Hon. Joseph Otto and Mary Brown Otto, his wife. Eleanor Otto was born in 1826, in Keating township. She was the youngest of a family of 10 sons and daughters born to Judge Otto and wife. Most of her life was spent in the family home in Keating township. Her father was an early settler in McKean county, but in spite of the many privations, which must of necessity have been the portion of the pioneer, this family maintained a marked dignity and their home was one of refinement and unusual culture. Many of the family founded homes of their own, and one by one left the homestead until but two remained, an older sister, Caroline, and the subject of this sketch, and she finally found herself alone in the home of her childhood. Here she lived until four years ago, when she removed to Ceres, where she passed away.

Eleanor Otto was gifted with an artistic temperament and a bright and cultivated mind, and though very retiring and reticent in her nature, little in the world of science, literature or politics escaped her scrutiny. She lived quietly within herself, and few were admitted to the innermost sanctuary of her heart. She was a faithful attendant at religious services and after her removal to Ceres attended in spite of her advanced age, the services of the M. E. church and at bible class. She died quietly as she had lived sinking gently and painlessly away on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas.

After her long life of light and shadow she might well had said with John, that ancient servant of God, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.”


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