Biography of William D. Otter
North Central Ohio Biographies

William D. Otter. One of Ashland's best known citizens is William D. Otter, who has been identified with the hotel business in this city for more than 30 years as proprietor of the Hotel Otter. He was born in Ashland, Feb. 27, 1863, the son of Frederick William and Catherine (Michael) Otter.

Frederick William Otter was a native of Germany, as was his wife. He was reared in Coburg, and in 1861 emigrated to the United States. He followed his trade as a locksmith for several months in Philadelphia, and afterward located in Ashland where he became well known as the owner of a brewery. He also owned and operated a brewery plant at Wooster, as well as a restaurant business in Ashland. Mr. Otter died Jan. 19, 1874. He was a Democrat in politics. To Mr. and Mrs. Otter was born one son, William D., the subject of this sketch. By a former marriage to John Herbrand, Mrs. Otter was the mother of eight children, all of whom are deceased except Frank P. Herbrand, who lives in Mansfield.

William D. Otter has always lived in Ashland. After his graduation from high school he attended Ashland College. He spent several years as a watchmaker with Henry Van Tulburg. In 1899 Mr. Otter became interested in the hotel business and has since owned and operated Hotel Otter. It was originally a 32 room hotel and has since been enlarged and remodeled on several occasions. The addition of the Ashland Hotel serves as an annex and gives the hotel a total of 82 rooms. Hotel Otter is the leading hotel in the city and is widely known throughout the entire state, both for its service and cuisine. He is also extensively interested in the real estate business in Ashland.

Mr. Otter was married (first) in 1881 to Miss Etta Wood, of Ashland, the daughter of Henry Wood. They had a daughter, Ethel W., who is the wife of Frederick Gordon. They live at Cincinnati. On May 19, 1890, Mr. Otter was married (second) to Miss Fannie Jane Crippen, of Ashland, who died in October, 1924. They were the parents of three children: Edna Kate, born Feb. 28, 1891, died in 1901; Gus W., born Feb. 1, 1893, lives in Chicago; and Fred W., born Nov. 13, 1899, lives in Ashland.

Mr. Otter is a Democrat, a member of the Christian Church and belongs to the Elks Lodge. He has always been interested in the progress of Ashland, and the energetic and unselfish part, which he takes in the promotion of all movements for the betterment of the city is widely recognized.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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