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Humboldt County, Iowa
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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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)