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Sonoma County

 

Henry C. Ottmer, M. D.

In recording the lives of those who, having completed their allotted tasks in this life, have gone to their reward, mention belongs to that well-known and substantial citizen of Healdsburg, Henry C. Ottmer, whose life and labors of over thirty years meant so much to the well-being of Sonoma county. At the time of his death in 1907 he had attained a ripe old age, longevity being a characteristic of the family, demonstrated by the fact that his father lived to attain his ninety-sixth year, while his mother was one hundred and three years old at the time of her death.

Henry C. Ottmer was a native of Germany, and he was born in Brunswick January 18, 1828, the son of parents who were industrious, ambitious, and in every way typical of the best characteristics of the German race. They gave their son every opportunity that their means would afford, and as he had a natural aptitude for study he made rapid progress along this line. An inclination toward the medical profession led him to take special studies in preparation for the work which he had chosen, and at the time he came to the United States in 1850 he had a good grounding in the principles of the medical profession. Upon coming here in that year he went direct to Missouri, and in St. Louis completed his medical studies. After receiving his diploma he opened an office in Warren county, Mo., and followed his profession for the following twenty-six years. It was upon the expiration of this time, in 1876, that he came to California and settled in Sonoma county, at Dry Creek, and there he continued to follow the medical profession for a considerable period. Soon after locating here he purchased a ranch of one hundred acres, which he set out to grain, a crop which later gave place to a fine orchard and vineyard. Here Dr. Ottmer continued to follow his profession and give his personal attention to the management of his ranch until he removed to Healdsburg and retired from active professional and business life. In addition to his valuable ranch he also owned choice business lots in Healdsburg, upon which he erected two substantial blocks, one of which is known as the Ottmer block. Since his death, in 1907 his widow has followed his policy in regard to the management of the ranch, which is rented and managed by a tenant on shares. All of the best-known grades of prunes, peaches and apples are raised in the orchard, the crops from which, as well as from the large and flourishing vineyard, make it one of the most productive ranches in the county, $10,000 being an average year’s income.

Dr. Ottmer’s first marriage united him with Miss Helen Archer, the daughter of Fields and Frances (Wood) Archer, a native of Virginia. From that southern state the parents removed to Missouri, where their daughter was born. She died at the early age of thirty-two years, leaving four children, as follows: Florence H., a medical practitioner in Eureka, Cal.; Ida, the wife of Horace Board, a rancher of Dry Creek; Victor S., deceased; and Adelia, the wife of Charles Blazer, of Healdsburg. In 1865 Dr. Ottmer married for his second wife Miss Marion I. Archer, a sister of his first wife. She, too, was a native of Missouri, where their marriage occurred. Two children were born of this marriage, Lora, the wife of A. J. LeBaron, of Healdsburg, and Nellie, the wife of J. I. Coleman, and they make their home in Arizona. Five great-grandchildren delight the heart of Mrs. Ottmer, who since the death of her husband has found a great solace in interesting herself in the lives of others, especially in her children and their descendants. and Mrs. Ottmer were active members of the first Baptist Church of Healdsburg and took a prominent part in its upbuilding. 


Source:
History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011