Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Franz J.M. and Sophia Otto

Franz J.M. Otto was born on March 14, 1824 in Hamburg, Germany. He married Sophia Priscilla Hutter in 1851, and emigrated to the United States soon after they married. After residing for some time in New York state, Franz and Sophia Otto came to Sandusky in 1868. Mr. Otto was a landscape gardener, and for several years he ran a greenhouse on South Columbus Avenue in Perkins Township in Erie County. An article in the March 14, 1909 issue of the Sandusky Register stated that many fruit and shade trees in Sandusky and Erie County were planted by Franz J.M. Otto. The article continued, "He was a great lover of bird and plant life and a great hunter until old age demanded him to hang his trusty gun upon the antlers and say 'Good night.'"

Franz J.M. Otto died on March 12, 1909 at his home in Perkins Township. His wife Sophia had preceded him in death in 1886. The Register obituary paid tribute to both Mr. and Mrs. Otto, saying that their lives "were lives of industry, frugality and good will towards God's creatures and their lives and their good deeds will not be forgotten by those who knew them best." Franz J.M. Otto and Sophia Otto were laid to rest in Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. Their six children were Fredericka, Jennie, Clara, Herman, Franz, and Albert Otto. The tombstone of Franz and Sophia Otto is adorned with two scrolls, above which are the words Mother and Father. A fern is found at the bottom of their tombstone, which has survived so very well over a century after their passing.

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