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Humboldt County, Iowa


Page Contents for Ottosen, Iowa

Statistics & Facts

History & History-related items

Historical Events

Statistics & Facts

The Iowa state capital is Des Moines.
The population of Ottosen is approximately 72 (1990), 55 (2010).
The approximate number of families is 38 (1990), 23 (2010).
The amount of land area in Ottosen is 1.476 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0 sq kilometers.
The distance from Ottosen to Washington DC is 991 miles.
The distance to the Iowa state capital is 99 miles. (as the crow flies)
Ottosen is positioned 42.89 degrees north of the equator and 94.37 degrees west of the prime meridian.

History & History Related Items

Ottosen, Iowa was founded in 1896 by Chris Ottosen, a grain dealer in Russel Switch, Iowa. Chris Ottosen petitioned the postmaster general to have a post office in Russel Switch but it was rejected because of a similar name in use.. Senator Doliver became aware of this and resubmitted it under the name of Ottosen and it was granted. Chris Ottosen then then tried to get the railroad to build a depot and passing tracks there but they did not want to build it on the curve in the tracks. The RR surveyed an area 1/2 mile north of Russel Switch for the tracks and depot. They also platted it out. Chris Ottosen brought this to the attention of William Wehrspann a local farmer who bought 40 acres from Mr. Sorlien and deeded enough land for the right-of-way and side tracks. He then sold the rest of the land to Horrace Gage of Mason City, Iowa. Mr. Gage then platted out part of it and sold small tracts. In 1896 the first buildings were built. Among them were the Quimby Hotel and a double brick building, built by Chris Ottosen. The town of Ottosen was now established and Russel Switch was abandoned. Chris Ottosen died November 25, 1941 and is burried at the Union Cemetary. Ottosen later boasted of many businesses and was called the fastest growing town in Humboldt County and surrounding area. Two devestating fires and changing times reduced Ottosen to a small bedroom community. Ottosen once had three churches but only the Lutheran church remains. It will be celebrating it centennial this year, 2000. (This history was taken from the Ottosen Centennial Book - 1996)
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The founding of Ottosen


Ottosen Historical Events

1996, June 22 & 23
Ottosen, Iowa held its centennial celebration.
Centennial items sold and prices were Centennial doll-$ 50.00; Sweatshirt-$ 25.00; History book-$ 25.00 Bell-$ 20.00; Plate-$ 19.96; Holders-$ 5.00-$ 6.00; T-shirt-$ 15.00; Video tape-$ 10.00; Hat-$ 8.00; Cup-$ 5.00; Calendar-$ 5.00; Coin-$ 5.00; Butter box-$ 3.00; Button-$ 1.00; Raffle tickets for quilt-$ 1.00. Saturday events were a Parade, Craft show,Quilt show, Historical display, Volleyball, Tractor pull, Variety Talent show, Iowa Chop Barbecue, Auction, Beard contest, Drawings, Dance. Sunday events were Breakfast, Church, Ottosen High School Alumni Banquet, Monument dedication & Quilt raffle.

A "Memory Lane Style Show" was held at the Commercial Club building March 16 and March 17,1996 showing the fashions of the turn of the century.
(Information from the 1996 Centennial booklet)

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