Fritz and Ida farmed in the true pioneer tradition of raising everything they
ate. Their crops consisted of corn, oats, wheat, rye, and alfalfa. Some of the wheat
was taken to the mill to be ground into flour, which was used for baking. They had
a large garden and hotbed for vegetables. Berry bushes of every kind, grapevines,
rhubarb, and winter onions were also grown. Their large orchard contained many
kinds of fruit trees and included many bee hives for pollination of the fruit trees as
well as for a supply of honey. They milked about 20 Jersey cows and also raised
hogs and chickens. Their meat supply was raised, butchered, cured, smoked, and
otherwise preserved to last through the year.
The big, red barn that still stands on the Fritz Otte homestead is a tribute to
Fritzs carpentry skills. Fritz and his family built this large barn that was used for
milking and for storage of hay and grain.
Fritz remained on the farm with Ernst and Anna, helping with the farming in a
minor role as long as horses were used. He devoted his later years to the garden,
orchard, bees, and chickens. He provided companionship for the children of Ernst
and Anna as well as a knowledge of gardening and weeding. He died at home on
October 4, 1946, leaving 7 children, 25 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.
written by: Elsa Otte Cattau (grand-daughter of Ida Grotelueschen Otte)
with the help of her three sisters:
Edna Otte Inselman
Rosa Otte Cattau
Leona Otte Kant