Biography of Dr. Florence H. Ottmer
Humboldt County, CA Biographies





FLORENCE HENRY OTTMER, M. D. - It is the privilege of successful men to have a hobby aside from the specialty that forms a large part of their very existence, and Dr. Ottmer, in the midst of engrossing duties as a physician and surgeon at Eureka, is no exception to other professional leaders in having a line of recreation that gives him both work and refreshing change of occupation. Always a lover of animals, he has become an expert both with the gun and the fishing rod, and many of his vacations are spent in the woods or along the streams. As he wandered through fields and forests he came to observe and study the birds of Humboldt county, and this study led to the making of a collection which is now almost complete. His office possesses unusual interest, for in addition to the equipment to be found among the possessions of all modern physicians, there is also an exhibit of birds native to the county, as well as the skins of bears and other animals that have fallen beneath his unerring marksmanship. Almost every year he goes to the mountains for a bear hunt and, in the air of the forest and in search for game, he finds needed change from the arduous and at times exhausting duties of his profession.

A taste for materia medica and a love for the country come to Dr. Ottmer as an inheritance from his father, the late H. C. Ottmer, M. D., who was born, reared and educated in Germany, and was a graduate of the St. Louis Medical College in Missouri. For perhaps twenty five years he engaged in practice in Warren county near Warrenton, Mo., and there his son, Florence Henry, was born December 4, 1861. Three other children were born of that marriage, his wife being Helen Archer, who was born in Missouri of Virginian parentage. After her death, which occurred at the age of thirty two, the Doctor married her sister, by which union he became the father of two children. During 1877 the family came to California. About eight miles from Healdsburg in Sonoma county the Doctor bought a large fruit ranch on Dry creek and there he conducted extensive fruit enterprises with excellent results. Longevity was characteristic of his family, his father living to be ninety five and his mother one hundred and three, while his own death occurred at the age of nearly eighty years.

It was not the wish of Dr. Henry C. Ottmer that his son, F. H., should enter the profession in which he himself had achieved noteworthy success, and his opposition to the plan was so great that he refused to pay the expenses of a medical education. With sturdy resolution of purpose, the young man set about earning his own way through college. After graduating from the State Normal School at San Jose he taught for two years at Bodega, Sonoma county, and then took the course of lectures in Cooper Medical College, San Francisco, from which he was graduated in 1887. A year was then spent in post graduate work at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City. On his return to California he began to practice in the southern part of Humboldt county, but in 1891 removed to Eureka, where since he has established an important practice, ranking as one of the foremost physicians of the city. His love of nature finds expression in the cultivation of a farm of one hundred sixty acres near Yuba City, Sutter county, which he is developing into a fruit farm, setting it out chiefly to peaches and almonds.

With his wife, who was Miss Annie Hutchinson, a native of Santa Rosa, this state, he shares in the good wishes of the people in every class of society and forms a distinct accession to the citizenship. Having no children of their own, they adopted two orphans, Alice E. and Esther M. For some time Dr. Ottmer officiated as president of the Gentlemen's Driving Club of Eureka. His fraternities are the Elks, Woodmen of the World and Red Men. Partisanship has not appealed to him in political issues and he maintains an independence of thought that finds expression in a ballot for such candidates as he deems best qualified to represent the people, irrespective of party ties. In his chosen field of professional labor he has been prospered and abundantly merits the prestige and popularity accorded him.

From:
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915


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