Obit: Walter, Otto F. (1844 - 1941)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Walter, Ritter, Schoengarth, Degener, Lange, Belden, Maach, Baumann
----Sources: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) Thurs., 23 Jan. 1941
Walter, Otto F. (30 Sept. 1844 - 19 Jan. 1941)
Otto F. Walter, one of the oldest residents of Clark County, died at his home at 310 South Grand Ave., Neillsville at 2 p.m., January 19, 1941. He was the last of a family of six children.
Mr. Walter was born September 30, 1844, to Andreas and Johanna (Ritter) Walter, near Jena, Saxony, Germany. He had, therefore, reached the age of 96 years, three months and 19 days.
In 1853, the family came to America, Embarking upon a sailing vessel at Havre, France, seven weeks in New York harbor. Boarding a train in New York City, they came west by rail, their destination being Washington County, Wisconsin.
Otto Walter came to Clark County in 1868. On December 26, 1873, he was married to Augusta Schoengarth in the town of Grant. They started housekeeping on 80 acres of wild land upon which he had built a crude one-room log cabin, adding more land from time to time as their finances permitted. Cash for carrying on house-hold expenses, clearing and equipping the farm with machinery, stock and buildings, were provided in party by Mr. Walters through work in the western harvest fields, selling insurance and farm machinery, while his faithful companion carried on the farm work and cared for the family. He wrote fire and hail insurance for the Concordia Insurance company of Milwaukee, a concern which is still in existence. As the first farm machinery, salesman in this county, he sold the first reaper ever placed upon a Clark County farm. At various times he held town offices, having acted as a member of the town board, assessor, and clerk of the school board in his district.
Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Walter, namely: Hulda Agnes, Mrs. Albert Degener, Neillsville; Albert C., town of Grant; Melvina Amelia, Mrs. Max Lange, St. Paul; Otto Julius, Hillsdale, Mich.; Pauline, Mrs. Archie Belden, Dickinson, N. Dak.; Ida Mary and Selma Martha, Mrs. Claus Maach, preceded their parents in death.
After years of struggle industry and thrift, the wild acres were transformed into beautiful tillable land upon which were erected a fine set of farm buildings, included a lovely brick farm house. For a long period of time the Walter property was the highest assessed farm in Clark County.
In the year, 1914, the couple sold their farm and purchased the home on South Grand Avenue., where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Here they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 1938. Mrs. Walter passing away July 29 of the following year.
Mr. Walter is survived by the above-mentioned children, 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at the Jaster Funeral Home, Wednesday at 2 p.m., Rev. William A. Baumann officiating at the rites. Burial was made in the Neillsville Cemetery.
Relatives who came from distant place to attend the funeral included: Mr. and Mrs. Max Lange of St. Paul; Otto J. Walter and son, Wilbur, of Hillsdale, Mich., and Dorman Belden of Dickinson, N. D.
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