When John Otten first stood behind the plate for the St. Louis Browns on July 5, 1895, he brought with him a reputation as a strong defensive catcher who, at age 24, was among baseball’s youngest catchers.1 The effects of a broken thumb four days later, however, brought an early end to Otten’s major-league career after only 26 games, and Otten was out of professional baseball altogether less than two years later.
John Otten was born to Richard and Caroline (Haberstich) Otten on August 21, 1870, in Chicago — not Holland, as had been believed for many years.2 By June 1880, the Ottens were living on West Randolph Street in Chicago’s Near West Side, an ethnically diverse, middle-class neighborhood one mile north of where Hull House would open nine years later.3
Like many American cities, Chicago traces its organized baseball ancestry to the years just before the Civil War. Immediately after the war, Chicago became an epicenter for baseball popularity with dozens of teams being available for amateurs, semiprofessionals, and professionals — the lines between the three levels often blurred.4 By 1889, interest in Chicago baseball was so high that the Chicago Tribune and Inter Ocean offered readers full-page coverage of the city’s many baseball leagues.5 There were leagues such as the Market Street League, the Mercantile Association, the Garden City League, and the Wholesale Grocers’ League, featuring a 19-year-old catcher who led all the league’s other catchers in batting: John Otten.6
Otten first appears in a box score on May 13, 1889, when his hitting was credited for helping the Echos defeat the Morris & Goldschmidt Alumnis, 10-8.7 As many amateur teams were prone to do at the time, the Echos folded and Otten finished the season as captain of the Strassheim & Jaeger Grocers team.8
The Wholesale Grocers’ League did not return for 1890, and Otten played for the book binding firm of Donohue & Henneberry in the city’s Commercial League.9 The “all-around playing of Otten was the feature of the game,” as the young catcher went 3-for-4 and threw out three would-be base stealers in Donohue & Henneberry’s July 26 victory over the Meriden Britannia Company, makers of gold- and silver-plated wares.10 The book binders finished the season in fourth place in the six-team league with a 4-6 record.11
Otten can be found in only two box scores in 1891, catching for the Lake View Records on July 5 and for the Clovers on July 20. Otten made an errant throw in the July 20 game that allowed the Mutuals to score the winning run.12
By 1892, Otten’s services were in high demand, and while he caught for three different teams in Chicago, Otten spent most of the 1892 season playing for the Lanark Woolen Mill team from Lanark, Illinois, 130 miles west of Chicago, as the personal catcher of curveball pitcher Dud Risley.13 In late June, Otten and Risley spent a week playing for the Belle Plaine, Iowa, team, winning four of five games.14 The two returned to Belle Plaine on July 4 to help them win a doubleheader against the Cedar Rapids Golden Eagles.15 Otten turned down an offer to remain with the Iowa club, and was back in Chicago on July 17, playing left field for the Crystals in the championship game of the City League’s first half. The Crystals fell to the Rivals in the eleventh inning of what was reported to be the most attended game in City League history.16
After finishing in second place with the Crystals, Otten went back to Lanark to rejoin Risley. The two continued to barnstorm through late September, playing in several cities in northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa. On September 30, Otten and Risley were again batterymates for Lanark. Risley allowed just two hits while striking out 13, and Otten “played his usual faultless game” as “the best catcher that ever played in Lanark.”17
Otten returned to Chicago on October 8 to take up a job with a publishing house.18 The next day he was back behind the plate for the West Ends as they defeated the Crystals to move into first place in the City League.19 The Crystals beat the West Ends the next Sunday, October 16, when the West Ends’ manager had to ask fans from the crowd to join the team after five of his players failed to show.20 The loss put the West Ends into a tie for first place with the Rivals, and before the two played each other for the championship on October 23, Otten brought Risley in from Lanark to pitch. The West Ends scored eight unearned runs in the championship game, but Risley was hit hard in the four innings he pitched, and the Rivals won, 10-8, in front of 1,200 fans.21 Risley never pitched to Otten again, but he did go on to pitch in six of his 13 minor-league seasons.22
The West Ends retained Otten for 1893, using a reserve clause that didn’t carry much weight, but did help avoid the “broils and bickerings” that erupted when conflicting claims were made for the same player.23 One month before the season opened, however, Otten was shifted to the outfield when the West Ends signed none other than Harry Decker.24 The troubled catcher had been in professional baseball since 1884, played parts of four seasons with five different major-league teams, was once blacklisted for jumping leagues, used at least three aliases in scamming clubs out of advance money, patented the catcher’s mitt, and dropped pursuit of another patent (for a counting turnstile) when it was discovered he had stolen the model — all by the age of 25.25 In 1891, he was arrested for crimes committed in Philadelphia, including forgery and being involved with an underage girl.26 After restitution was made, Decker — and his wife — returned to his boyhood hometown of Chicago to live with his parents.27
With the addition of Decker and a few others, the West Ends looked to avenge their loss in the championship game of 1892. Otten ended up catching for the West Ends anyway when Decker was again arrested on April 6 on charges of forgery and bigamy.28 After a dominant 16-4 victory over the Crystals to open the season on May 7, the West Ends faded to the tail end, and finished the season last in hitting (.201) and fielding (.847), and seventh out of eight teams in the league.29 Otten did have the third highest fielding percentage among catchers (.898), however, while Decker was ordered to the insane asylum at Elgin, Illinois.30
The City League contracted to six teams for 1894, and the West Ends was one of the teams dropped.31 Otten was listed on the roster of the Rivals, but never appeared in a game in Chicago in 1894.32 Instead, Otten played for the Murphysboro Clarkes in far southern Illinois, 350 miles south of Chicago. Newspapers in St. Louis occasionally carried Clarkes games due to the two cities being in somewhat close proximity, but unfortunately, only the August 26, 1894, game made it into a box score. Otten caught that game, and allowed one passed ball in the Clarkes’ 12-3 victory over the Belleville Clerks.33 The Clarkes finished the season with a 21-4 record.34
Before the 1895 season began, Otten was being pursued by no fewer than five teams. The Clarkes wished to retain him, but the Western Association’s Omaha Omahogs and Rockford Reds had both made offers to the 24-year-old-catcher by early February.35 At the end of March, The Sporting News reported that Otten had joined a newly-formed team from the Chicago suburb of Aurora, but he was with the Clarkes on April 14 when they were defeated by the Resolutes from Christian Brothers College in St. Louis.36 A week later, the Chattanooga Warriors claimed that Otten was due in their lineup any day, but after Otten’s arrival was repeatedly delayed on account of his mother being sick, Warriors’ manager Lew Whistler moved on without him.37
On May 4, 1895, “one of the most important moves ever made in the history of amateur base ball in this locality [St. Louis] was executed” when the Southern Illinois Amateur Base Ball League was formed.38 Teams like the Clarkes and the Belleville Clerks had played independently for several years, but never before had they organized into a league. A week later, the season opened, and John Otten was again catching for the Murphysboro Clarkes as they defeated the Alton Athletics in a 26-5 drubbing.39
On the Fourth of July, the league-leading Clarkes were playing a doubleheader in Springfield, Illinois, against the fourth-place Senators. Meanwhile in St. Louis, the Browns were hosting the Louisville Colonels in a doubleheader of their own when, in the second inning of the second game, a foul ball from the bat of Tom McCreery dislocated a finger on the throwing hand of Browns catcher Heinie Peitz.40 Third baseman George “Doggie” Miller, who himself had a broken finger, caught the rest of the game, and Browns’ player-manager Joe Quinn, was on the wire to get Otten.41
After catching both games of the Clarkes doubleheader in Springfield, Otten spent the night on the train back to Murphysboro. Once there, Otten received Quinn’s telegram and immediately boarded the next train for St. Louis.42 When Otten arrived at Sportsman’s Park at noon, he had still not eaten after having ridden the rails for more than 400 miles in a day and a half. He nearly made himself sick “filling up with Chris sandwiches” (a nod to the legend of Browns “Boss President” Chris von der Ahe being the first owner to sell hot dogs at a ballpark) before the four o’clock game against Louisville.43
Otten eventually stopped eating and “soon convinced the Colonels that it was useless to try to steal bases on him.”44 The St. Louis Globe-Democrat praised Otten, saying:
Otten’s very neat work was the bright redeeming feature of the otherwise dull and lifeless performance. The youngster caught a marvelously good game, and his two hits were most opportune and useful, as they brought in two runs. His throwing was the best done in St. Louis by any catcher, bar Peitz. He caught four runners 10 feet off second base. He does not throw very hard, but gets a very quick start.45
The Browns defeated the Colonels, 6-5, on July 5, just their 20th win in 62 games.
“Von der Ahe’s great find” impressed again on July 7 as he guided staff ace Ted Breitenstein to a win over first-place Baltimore.46 After seven years in amateur baseball and two solid games for the injury-stricken Browns, Otten looked to be a lock in St. Louis. Then on July 9, Otten suffered the same fate as many nineteenth-century catchers when he, too, broke a finger. Unlike most catchers, Otten’s injury happened when he was at the plate, not behind it. In the second inning, Baltimore’s Duke Esper pitched inside as Otten was attempting to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Otten succeeded in advancing the runner, but the pitch hit — and broke — his thumb.47 Doggie Miller again came in from third base to catch the remainder of the game.
The next day, the Browns traveled down to Murphysboro to play an already-scheduled exhibition game with the Clarkes so their injured catcher could be honored. Both teams lined up in front of the grandstand before the game and a thousand fans watched as Otten was given flowers and a gold watch engraved to read: “From the Clarkes Base-Ball Team and Their Friends.”48
Otten expected to be out two weeks, but it was a month before he was again behind the plate.49 Miller filled in dutifully for Otten while Heinie Peitz played first. Otten returned on August 10, caught a flawless game, and “hit a hard one down to [third baseman Bill] Gray, of which the latter made a sensational stop.”50 The Browns lost the game on an eighth-inning error by second baseman-manager Quinn, and after a “stormy interview” with Von der Ahe, Quinn resigned as manager.51
In a move indicative of the general direction the Browns franchise was headed, Von der Ahe named as manager Lou Phelan, the brother-in-law of his mistress.52 Phelan had no real knowledge of baseball, and his managerial experience came from a St. Louis saloon he co-owned with Australian-born boxer Dan Creedon.53
Otten hit well upon his return, four hits in four games, but his ability to control runners on base was gone. On August 13, the Cleveland Spiders stole nine bases off Otten, and his two throwing errors were “so bad” that Doggie Miller “relieved him in the eighth” and Otten didn’t start again for three weeks.54 On August 16, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat announced that Otten had reinjured his thumb, and although “Peitz’s hand is not yet strong, and he is not in condition to catch,” Peitz replaced Otten.55
On September 2, Otten caught the second game of the Browns’ doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles. It was his first game back after reinjuring his thumb, and it was arguably the best game he would play the rest of his short career. Otten went 2-for-3 with a run scored and allowed just two stolen bases, both to John McGraw, and caught what was regarded as Red Ehret’s best game of the season56
The rest of the season did not go well for Otten. In fourteen games behind the plate (Otten played two in the outfield), opposing base runners stole 67 bases, an average of 4.8 per game. By the last day of the season, Otten’s arm was “practically useless” and “stealing bases was a mere matter of reach[ing] first and walk[ing]” to second.57 Otten was released from the Browns on March 6, 1896.58
Similar to the spring of 1895, multiple teams were courting Otten — who had put on forty pounds — before the open of the 1896 season.59 The Cleveland Spiders, Grand Rapids Yellow Jackets, and Indianapolis Indians were all reported to have a bead on Otten, but it was the Newark Colts that Otten played for until he was released in mid-May.60 Otten was described as a “first class man, but too high salaried,” and was released to reduce the Newark club’s expenses.61
Days after his release from Newark, the Scranton Miners, desperate for a catcher, took a chance on Otten’s feeble arm and brought him on.62 Otten lasted two games, committing three errors, allowing two passed balls and five stolen bases all while going hitless in seven at-bats.63
After Scranton, Otten signed with San Antonio on May 31, but refused to ride on the “emigrant train” the club arranged for him.64 Just when the Bronchos had given up on Otten actually showing up, he arrived on June 22.65 Otten had “lost all of his former fat” and now with a healthy arm, “hustles the ball down to second so fast that [baserunners] are glad to scramble back to first base.”66 Fans in San Antonio “fairly idolized” Otten, and he played quite well, though not for long. On July 27, Otten missed the train to Houston and was subsequently fined and suspended. The suspension of Otten “disheartened the players [and] materially weakened the team,” but was seen as something manager Mike Lawrence had to do with a team where “every man plays for himself.”67 Otten, though he caught just thirty-three games, led all Texas League catchers with a .983 fielding average.68
Otten spent the winter of 1896 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, training with the likes of Perry Werden and Jake Beckley.69 The New York Giants were rumored to have signed Otten in early March 1897, but the Giants brought back Jack Warner and Otten played his final professional season in Dubuque, Iowa.70
On May 23, 1897, Otten singled off his old friend Dud Risley, pitching for the St. Joseph Saints.71 It would be the last hit of Otten’s professional career as he was released after just 14 games for reasons that are not entirely clear.72 The most likely explanation is that Otten was released after he “had his finger split by the ball” in the May 23 game.73 However, the Dubuque Herald made a vague reference to Otten being involved in “carousals” in a story about four unnamed ball players who “were arrested in a resort of questionable repute late Thursday [May 27] night.”74
After Otten’s January 1898 letter to the San Antonio Bronchos expressing his willingness to return went unanswered, Otten was out of professional baseball.75 In 1900, he was back in Chicago working as a book gilder and living with his mother and stepfather at 734 Ashland Avenue.76 Otten died of pneumonia on October 17, 1905, leaving behind the former Elizabeth Stevens, his wife of just over two years.77 Otten is buried in Forrest Park, Illinois, in Waldheim Cemetery, a popular final resting place for many German immigrant families.78
John Otten’s story could not have been accurately told without Peter Morris so openly sharing his previous research notes with me. I am grateful for those notes and for corresponding with Peter throughout my research of Otten. I must also thank Kevin Clark for selflessly taking the train up from Carbondale to locate documents at the Cook County Clerk’s Office in hopes they would reveal more about Otten’s origin, and the staff of the Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northeastern Illinois University for going far above and beyond in searching their holdings for documents that could also tell us more about Otten’s origins.
This biography was reviewed by Bill Lamb, Rory Costello, and Phil Williams, and fact-checked by Terry Bohn.
1 Baseball Reference lists 28 players having caught at least twenty games in 1895. Among those catchers, only four were younger than Otten, and the average age of all 28 was 27.6 years.
2 For years it had been believed that Otten was born in Holland based solely on the 1880 United States Census. However, an error in the Ottens’ listing discovered by historian and author Peter Morris paired with Morris finding the Richard Otten family in Chicago city directories from 1867 through 1870 cast doubt on the accuracy of the 1880 Census and invited new research into Otten’s origin. That research has led to the discovery of, first, Caroline Otten’s application for a Civil War veteran’s widow’s pension wherein Dr. John Schaller, physician of the late Richard Otten, attested that Otten was born in Germany and had been living in Illinois since 1855, 15 years before John Otten was born. The second discovery was the 1892 index of registered Chicago voters in which John Otten stated he was born in Illinois. At some point in the early 1870s — likely after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 — the Ottens moved to Iowa, where William Otten was born in August 1872. The Ottens next appear in the Chicago city directory in 1877 living at 12 North Peoria Street, just two doors up from where they lived in 1870. In addition to the sources noted above, see also, Edwards’ Thirteenth Annual Directory of the Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, and Manufacturing Establishments of the City of Chicago (Chicago: Richard Edwards, 1870), 635; and The Lakeside Annual Directory of the City of Chicago (Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd, and Company, 1877), 767.
3 1880 US Census; and “Near West Side,” Encyclopedia of Chicago (website), accessed July 6, 2021, www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/878.html.
4 Ray Schmidt, “The Golden Age of Chicago Baseball,” Chicago History 28, no. 2 (Fall 1999): 39-40.
5 Robert Pruter, “Youth Baseball in Chicago, 1868-1890: Not Always Sandlot Ball,” Journal of Sport History 26, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 15.
6 “Wholesale Grocers’ League,” Chicago Tribune, June 23, 1889: 11; and “Work of the Amateurs,” Chicago Inter Ocean, September 22, 1889: 10.
7 “Other Games,” Chicago Tribune, May 13, 1889: 3.
8 The Echos were reported to have reorganized on June 2 and again on July 14. “Wholesale Grocers’ League,” Chicago Inter Ocean, July 7, 1889: 3; and “Amateur Ball Players,” Chicago Inter Ocean, March 30, 1890: 6.
9 “Amateur Ball Players,” Chicago Inter Ocean, March 10, 1890: 2.
10 “The Commercial League,” Chicago Tribune, July 27, 1890: 3.
11 “Standings of the Commercial League,” Chicago Tribune, August 17, 1890: 5.
12 “Amateur Baseball Notes,” Chicago Tribune, July 21, 1891: 6.
13 Lanark (Illinois) Gazette, April 13, 1892: 1.
14 Lanark Gazette, June 29, 1892: 1.
15 “The City in Brief,” Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Evening Gazette, July 5, 1892: 1.
16 “Rivals the Winners,” Chicago Tribune, July 18, 1892: 8.
17 Lanark Gazette, October 5, 1892: 3.
18 Lanark Gazette, October 12, 1892: 3.
19 “West Ends on Top,” Chicago Inter Ocean, October 10, 1892: 6.
20 “City League Games,” Chicago Inter Ocean, October 17, 1892: 6.
21 “Rivals Land on Top,” Chicago Inter Ocean, October 24, 1892: 6.
22 “Dud Risley,” Baseball Reference (website), accessed December 6, 2021, www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=risley001dud.
23 “City League Teams Complete,” Chicago Tribune, February 5, 1893: 4; “Players for City League Clubs,” Chicago Tribune, January 27, 1893: 7.
24 “The New West Ends,” Chicago Inter Ocean, April 2, 1893: 11.
25 Peter Morris, Catcher: How the Man Behind the Plate Became an American Folk Hero (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2009), 189-196.
26 Morris, 197.
27 Morris, 198-199.
28 “Confronted by His Two Wives,” Chicago Tribune, April 8, 1893: 3; and “Base Ball Man Insane,” Decatur (Illinois) Republican, November 9, 1893: 8.
29 “City League Season Opened,” Chicago Inter Ocean, May 8, 1893: 4; “City Baseball League Averages,” Chicago Tribune, December 17, 1893: 7; and “Brands Win Honors,” Chicago Tribune, October 9, 1893: 6.
30 “City Baseball League Averages;” and “Base Ball Man Insane.”
31 “City League’s Good Prospects,” Chicago Inter Ocean, April 8, 1894: 9.
32 “City League’s Good Prospects.”
33 “Base Ball, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 27, 1894: 9.
34 “Clarkes Gone to Pieces,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 3, 1895: 10.
35 “Base Ball Briefs,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 3, 1895: 10.
36 “Aurora’s New Team,” The Sporting News, March 30, 1895: 6; “Amateur Notes,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 14, 1895: 11; and “City League Games,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 28, 1895: 11.
37 “On the Diamond,” Chattanooga Times, April 21, 1895: 15; and “At Nashville Today,” Chattanooga Times, May 3, 1895: 3.
38 “Illinois Amateur League,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 5, 1895: 9.
39 Otten, perhaps foreseeing problems ahead for many of the clubs pursuing him, chose to stay with the Clarkes. The Aurora, Illinois, team disbanded on May 22 when the manager skipped town without having paid his players, the Chattanooga franchise went broke and moved to Mobile on July 18, and four days later, the Omahogs moved to Denver, citing poor attendance in Omaha. “Other Games,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 13, 1895: 7; “Western Interstate League Abandoned,” Chicago Record, May 23, 1895: 6; “Dying, Egypt, Dying,” Chattanooga Times, July 13, 1895: 6; “Vale Base Ball!” Chattanooga Times, July 18, 1895: 3; and “Omaha’s Team Goes to Denver,” Omaha Bee, July 22, 1895: 2.
40 “The Colonels Won One Game,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 5, 1895: 5.
41 “When Greek Meets Greek,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 6, 1895: 6.
42 “When Greek Meets Greek.”
43 “Browns’ New Catcher,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 1895: 8.
44 “Browns’ New Catcher.”
45 “When Greek Meets Greek.”
46 “Beat the Champions,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 8, 1895: 5.
47 “Brilliant Base Ball Battle,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 10, 1895: 5; and “Catcher John Otten,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 13, 1895: 5.
48 “The Browns Won at Murphysboro,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 11, 1895: 5.
49 “Catcher John Otten.”
50 “The Browns’ Daily Defeat,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 11, 1895: 8.
51 “Manager Lou Phelan,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 11, 1895: 7.
53 “Manager Lou Phelan.”
54 Otten pinch hit for Pietz in the top of the eighth inning of the Browns’ August 27 game against the Brooklyn Bridegrooms, driving in the Browns’ first run with a single, and remained in the game to catch the bottom of the eighth. “The Browns’ Career of Ruin,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 14, 1895: 5; and “St. Louis Series Ended,” Brooklyn Eagle, August 28, 1895: 5.
55 “The Base-Ball Club Returns,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 16, 1895: 5.
56 The St. Louis Globe-Democrat credits McGraw with only one stolen base, but since Baltimore was the home team, the box score in the Baltimore Sun is honored. “Pennant Baseball,” Baltimore Sun, September 3, 1895: 6; and “The Browns Beat Baltimore,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 3, 1895: 5.
57 “Breitenstein Downed Hawley,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 28, 1895: 6.
58 “Base Ball Notes,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 7, 1896: 5.
59 “Great Behind the Bat,” Chicago Tribune, March 24, 1896: 8.
60 “Breitenstein Free Man,” Chicago Tribune, March 3, 1896: 8; “Base Ball Notes,” March 7, 1896; “The Gold Bugs,” The Sporting News, March 21, 1896: 1; and “Little Notes of the Game,” Scranton (Pennsylvania) Tribune, April 15, 1896: 9.
61 “Base Ball Notes,” Brooklyn Eagle, May 18, 1896: 11
62 “Base Ball Gossip,” Scranton Tribune, May 19, 1896: 6.
63 “Base Ball,” Scranton (Pennsylvania) Times, May 21, 1896: 3; and “Base Ball,” Scranton Times, May 23, 1896: 3.
64 “Base Ball Notes,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 20, 1896: 5.
65 “Diamond Dots,” San Antonio Light, June 1, 1896: 8; and “Baseball,” San Antonio Light, June 22, 1896: 4.
66 James Nolan, “Texas League Race,” The Sporting News, July 25, 1896: 6.
67 “Baseball,” San Antonio Light, August 8, 1896: 8; and “Baseball,” San Antonio Light, August 10, 1896: 8.
68 Henry Chadwick, ed, Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide for 1897 (New York: American Sports Publishing Company, 1897), 131.
69 “In the World of Baseball,” San Antonio Light, February 14, 1897: 8.
70 “Diamond Dust,” Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette, March 1, 1897: 5.
71 “The Saints Win,” Dubuque (Iowa) Times, May 25, 1897: 6.
72 “Brief Ball Notes,” Rockford (Illinois) Register-Gazette, June 4, 1897: 3.
73 “The Saints Win.”
74 “The Sporting World,” Burlington (Iowa) Evening Gazette, June 1, 1897: 3.
75 “Food for the Fans,” San Antonio Light, January 16, 1898: 6
76 Otten’s father, Richard, had died on January 7, 1890, and Caroline Otten remarried Leonhard Lendy in October 1894. 1900 US Census; “Richard Otten,” Find a Grave (website), accessed August 2, 2021, www.findagrave.com/memorial/117516211/richard-otten; and “Marriage Licenses,” Chicago Tribune, October 19, 1894: 8.
77 Cook County, Illinois, Coroner’s Inquest Number 34621: John G. Otten. Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois; and Cook County, Illinois, Marriage License Number 370246: John G. Otten to Elizabeth Stevens. Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Illinois.