Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Frederick C. Otto

Photo of F. C. Otto FREDERICK C. OTTO. A prosperous and substantial farmer and a dominating figure in the financial affairs of Riley, Kansas, Frederick C. Otto is also a leading factor in democratic politics in Riley County, at present being the democratic nominee for state senator. The achievements that may be justly credited to Mr. Otto have been fairly won. Deprived early of a father's protection and assistance, he had, in large measure, his own way to make in the world, and it was through a process of struggle that he advanced for many years only step by step. Industry, frugality, efficiency in everything concerning his agricultural operations, made easier the entrance into other lines of business in which he developed still other qualities, and now his position as one of Riley County's best farmers and soundest financiers cannot be questioned. On the same basis his political fortunes have been advanced and he has become his party's choice for a high public office because of his solid qualities and known integrity.

Frederick C. Otto was born August 1, 1862, in Ogle County, Illinois, the youngest of six children born to Christ and Mary (Peperling) Otto. His parents were born in Hanover, Germany, and were married there and remained until after the birth of one child, Dora. In 1858 they emigrated to the United States and settled on a farm in Ogle County, Illinois, and there five additional children were born, namely: Henry, Lewis, August, Mary and Frederick C. The father died in 1863. His widow was a woman of courage and resource. She determined at all hazards, to keep her children together and bravely succeeded, directing the work of the farm and rearing her family wholesomely and to habits of industry. She passed away in 1893.

Frederick C. Otto was an infant when his father died and he grew up under the wise but firm direction of his mother and remained on the home place until he was twenty-seven years of age. Doubtless the lessons he learned through toil during boyhood and youth were admirable as discipline, preparing him in the best way for the wider activities into which his life has merged.

On January 21, 1889, Mr. Otto was married to Miss Johanna D. Fosha, who is a daughter of John and Minnie (Schinneman) Fosha. They were born in Germany and when they came to the United States, settled in Ogle County, Illinois, where Mrs. Otto was born and reared. To Mr. and Mrs. Otto the following children have been born: Dora M., who was graduated from the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1911, and is now first assistant to Dean W. N. Jardine of that college; Edward J., who was graduated from the same college in 1916; and Merton L. and Esther Minnie Gladys.

Mr. and Mrs. Otto came to Kansas in the spring of 1890 and located on a farm just north of Riley on which they have since resided. As time passed Mr. Otto prospered as a farmer and stockman, adding to his landed possessions from time to time and is now the owner of 640 acres of fine land in Riley County, his home farm. He also has 578 acres in Butler County, Kansas, and an interest in 7,000 acres in Finney County, Kansas. In 1911 he completed building a commodious frame residence, handsome in appearance and modern in equipment. In 1892 Mr. Otto bought stock in the Riley State Bank, of which he has been president for a number of years. It is a sound financial institution, and Mr. Otto is a careful, conservative banker.

In politics Mr. Otto has always been identified with the democratic party and his active interest, his loyalty and influence, have made him prominent in its councils and its unanimous choice for the state senate. Fraternally Mr. Otto is a Mason and has taken all the degrees including the Scottish Rite. Mrs. Otto and children are members of the Presbyterian Church. In all that contributes to good citizenship, Mr. Otto takes interest and his fellow citizens never find him lacking in public spirit when occasion for its demonstration occurs. Of genial personality but dignified demeanor, he commands respect and wins esteem from all with whom he has either business or social relations.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1877-1878 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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