The Ott Family

The Ott family became related to the Bender family when Elizabeth Ott married Henry Charles Bender on August 2nd, 1894. Elizabeth Ott is the daughter of Sophie Becker and Wilhelm Ott. Edward Paul Bender is the son of Elizabeth and Henry Bender. Edward Bender married Marie Dahl on August 25th, 1934. Nancy, Michael, Sandy, Bill and Doug are the children of Edward and Marie Bender. Warren, Linda, Donna and Craig Stephens are the children of Nancy. Michelle, Michael and Doug Jr. Bender are the children of Doug Bender.

The Ott family originated in Baden-Baden in the black forest of Germany. Wilhelm Ott is our great grandfather who is the son of Peter Ott and Carolina Knapp Ott. Peter Ott was a shoemaker in the black forest in the first half of the 1800s. He is famous in our family for having killed a wolf in the black forest with his bare hands. Peter Ott was persuaded to leave the Black Forest and immigrate to Michigan at the persistence of his cousin Charles Knapp, who had a flourishing business on Atwater street on the Detroit River in downtown Detroit which he founded here around 1840. David Knapp and Charles Knapp were stone cutters who built a number of impressive buildings in Downtown Detroit including the Detroit Library on Farmer Street behind the J.L.Hudson company. Wilhelm Ott came to Detroit in 1870 with his wife Elisabeth Braun Ott, his son Adolph (spelled Adolf in German) born in Baden-Baden in 1864, and his daughter Pauline, born in 1869. Also traveling with him to America was his mother, Eva Carolina Knapp Ott and sister Angeline Ott. His father Peter apparently died in Baden Baden as we have no record of him. All of the above named family members moved in with Wilhelm in his home on 514 Alfred Street. Elisabeth Braun Ott succumbed to cancer at the young age of 43 in 1877, leaving Wilhelm disconsolate.

Wilhelm went to work for his cousins, Charles and David Knapp in their stone yard on Atwater St. as a stone cutter together with his Knapp cousins. Wilhelm’s lungs were destroyed by the stone lung disease from inhaling stone dust for years. He passed way in 1893 after suffering horribly from this. Most of his cousins bled to death from the stone dust destroying their lungs and causing them to succumb to severe hemmorhage.

Wilhelm made good money cutting stone which gave his second wife Sophie sufficient income to live out her life in comfort to her death in 1926.

Our grandmother Elisabeth Ott was born on August 19, 1879 in either her grandmother Eva Ott’s house or in Saginaw, Michigan according to two different records.

Ott Family Links:

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