Augustus Ott, an old resident, leading merchant and representative citizen of Glasco, is a native of Stephenson county, Illinois, born in 1856. His parents are natives of Germany. His father emigrated to America when twenty-five years old and his mother at a youthful age. They are both living on a farm near Glasco and are aged respectively seventy-six and sixty-six years. Mr. and Mrs. Ott reared a remarkable family of fourteen children, all of whom are living and are useful men and women. Augustus Ott is the eldest child. Two brothers and one sister reside in Colorado City, Colorado, and one brother in Orange, California; the other members of the family reside in the vicinity of Glasco. Mr. Ott's early education was limited. He took a four-months' course in the Commercial College of Savannah, Missouri, taking a special course in penmanship. He is an expert and thorough penman and taught the Spencerian system for several years. There has been but little penmanship taught in Glasco except through his efforts. He conducted a private subscription school very mccessfully for a considerable length of time.
Mr. Ott emigrated with his parents from Illinois to Iowa, from there to Missouri, and in 1878 he came to Glasco and entered the employ of Isaac Biggs, where he remained more than a year. In 1879 he succeeded Isaac Biggs as postmaster and served in this capacity for seven years; in the meantime with his brother George he estabIished a small business under the firm name of A. Ott & Brother, grocers, and to meet the demand they established a jewelry shop in connection and employed a workman in that line. After his term as postmaster had expired they opened a general store, which they conducted until 1900, and then sold to Mr. Staley. During the financial crisis, and owing to his brother signing a heavy bond, they virtually failed, but were appointed their own agents, and much to their credit, be it said, these honorable and enterprising men cleaned out and squared up every dollar of their indebtedness. His brother went west in search of health and our subject opened up a general store under the name of A. Ott In the La Rocque building, situated on the corner opposite the bank, where he is now located and has been very successful ever since. By his honest dealing he has built up one of the best mercantile houses in the city of Glasco.
Mr. Ott was married in 1881 to Lucy H. Dalrymple, a daughter of H.H. and Mary (Conner) Dalrymple, The Dalrymples are of Scotch origin. Her father was born in Ohio and her mother in Indiana. The Conners emigrated from that state to Blue Ridge, Harrison county, Missouri. Mr. Dalrymple visited a sister who lived at Blue Ridge and while on this mission met Mary Conner, whom he married in 1860. The Conner's are of Irish origin several generations removed. One and one-half years later Mr. and Mrs. Dalrymple removed to Stark county, Illinois, and settled near Bradford. From this point he enlisted in the army at the beginning of the Civil war and served three years. At the end of that period he was discharged on account of disability, which resulted in his emigrating to the west. In 1865, with his wife and three children, he came to what is now Cloud county and took up a homestead on Second creek, where he lived until his death in 1879, his wife having preceded him two years.
They experienced the same hardships that all the pioneers endured - Indians, drouth and grasshoppers. They were among the settlers who left their homes during the Indian uprisings and for over a year walked one and a half miles to the fort which the settlers had built for protection against the savages. During these primitive times they drove to Manhattan for flour and to Salina for groceries. The store building was a shanty constructed from a few upright boards. These towns consisted of a few small houses of similar architecture interspersed with dugouts. During those times they did not dare make known they had provisions stored in their homes on account of the Indians, who would not leave without their share and to offset this trouble the settlers would make their beds on layers of flour and provisions in order to hide them from the penetrating eye of the savages. When the Indians passed with Mrs. Morgan in captivity the settlers at the fort watched their movements through a spy glass and saw them stop at the Dalrymple claim presumably for something to eat. The two Dalrymples, H.H. and his brother, were the only men in the fort one day among nine families of women and children. Mrs. Ott's father was on the outside when he saw the Indians coming and scaled the high wall of the stockade. His brother Isaac was in bed, jumped out in his night clothes, procured a gun and sallied forth just as the red skills were coming through the gate. He fired and killed one of their number and while the murderous band gathered around to carry him away, as is their custom, they closed the gates. The demons lingered near all day and in the meantime they passed the fort with their captive, Mrs. Morgan.
One day Mrs. Ott and her brother were playing on the hill side near the house when three Indians rode up and attempted to capture them. They threw Mrs. Ott on a horse and proceeded to do likewise with the boy, but he fought and screamed until their uncle Isaac, who lived with them, heard his cries for help and came with his carbine and frightened them away. For several years her father plowed with his gun strapped to his person. In their first settlement on the frontier Mrs. Ott and her brother would often herd the buffalo off the fields as they would cattle. They lived in this locality several years before a death occurred from natural causes. Her father's house was a small log building and served as a church for several years, services being held once a month with Alfred Stackhouse as minister. Prior to erecting their cabin they lived in a dugout about four years; their beds were in tiers and were sort of swinging shelf one above the other.
Mr. Dalrymple had shipped to the end of the railroad a car load of provisions and among other things some live hogs; they were red in color and had long snouts - the "razor back" quality - and were sent in first because that breed could subsist on prairie hay. Mrs. Ott remembers her father having sold one hog for seventy-five dollars. The event was impressed upon her mind more forcibly perhaps because upon his return she was the recipient of a new dress and silver thimble. To Mr. and Mrs. Dalrymple seven children were born, all of whom are living. Lucy H., wife of A. Ott; James, a farmer of Solomon township; Zorilda, wife of Dennis Hanchett, a farmer of Stark county, Illinois; Dora, wife of William Luckenbill, a farmer of Rooks county, Kansas; Arthur, a farmer, now owns the old homestead; Henry, of Boise City, Idaho, and Herbert, living near Glasco, are both farmers.
To Mr. and Mrs. Ott six children have been born, five of whom are living. Elma E., the eldest child was deceased July 11, 1883, at the age of one year and ten months. Those living are Mattie B., Roy H., Eva P., Homer M., and Lucy M. Mr. Ott is a Republican in politics. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen and Fraternal Aid of Glasco. The family are members of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Ott is a good citizen and one who is always ready to advance the interests of his town or county. He began at the bottom of the ladder and has proven that when ones opportunities are not of the best everything is possible to him who possesses strength of character, push and integrity. No man is more universally respected by his friends and fellow townsmen than Mr. Ott. Their pleasant, cheerful home is evidence of Mrs. Ott's refined nature and their family of bright children give promise of useful careers.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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