Sketch of Rudolph Otteni

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Rudolph Otteni
1786 - 1865

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Rudolph Otteni was born in Germany in Mar 1844. The name, Rudolp Ottin, appears in the "Passenger and Immigration Lists: Germans to America 1850-1874 Archive". The 1900 U.S. Federal Census lists his immigration date at 1861.

It is interesting that Rudolph must have enlisted in the Grand Army of the Republic to fight in the U.S. Civil War soon after his arrival in the United States. The Civil War Pension Index lists Emma Otteni as the widow of Rudolph Otteni, which she filed in the State of Delaware. From Session 1 of the Sixtieth Congress in 1908, the following entry was made:

The name of Emma Otteni, widow of Rudolph Otteni, late of Company L, Third Regiment New Jersey Volunteer Cavalry, and pay her a pension at the rate of twelve dollars per month and two dollars per month additional on account of a minor child of said soldier until such child shall arrive at the age of sixteen years.

The Philadelphia City Directory of 1890 lists Rudolph Otteni as running a printing business at 4500 Brown, Philadelphia, PA and Emma Otteni, his wife, was running a dry goods business at the same address.

According to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Rudolph and family were living in Wilmington Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware.  His occupation was listed as a printer.

Rudolph married Emma in 1876.  She was born Mar 1853 in Germany.  Together, they had 5 children.  They were:
  1. Ernest Joseph Otteni, born Mar 1879 in PA; died Apr 1942 in Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

  2. Rudolph Paul Otteni, born 16 Mar 1881 in PA; died May 1963 in DE

  3. Charles Harry Otteni, born Jan 1887 in PA

  4. Louis J. Otteni, born 31 Jul 1891 in DE; died Dec 1972 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York

  5. Percival F. 'Percy' Otteni, born 11 Oct 1896 in Wilmington, New Castle County, DE

Rudolph's son, Ernest Otteni, was in the newspaper business.  His obituary appeared in the Journal-Every Evening, 13 Apr 1942, Wilmington, DE.  


E. J. Otteni, 62, Newsman, Dies

Funeral of Veteran Newspaperman to Be Held In City Tomorrow Morning

Funeral services will be held tomorrow morning for Ernest J. Otteni, 62 years old, veteran Wilmington newspaperman, who died of a heart attack Saturday night at his home, 215 North Connel Street.


The funeral will be from the Yeatman Funeral Home, 819 Washington Street, at 9 o'clock with requiem mass at 9:30 in Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  Interment will be in Cathedral Cemetery.


A native of Philadelphia, he was a son of German parents who come to America in their childhood.  His father was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.


For many years active in the editorial and advertising departments of the then Evening Journal and the Sunday Star, Mr. Otteni was a founder and former publisher of the Brandywine News.  Lately, he had engaged privately in the real estate and insurance businesses.  He also was connected with the Century Indemnity Company.


For 10 years, Mr. Otteni was the executive secretary of the Brandywine Business Men's Association.  He was also a member of the Democratic League, the Elks and the A.O.U.W.


His widow, Mrs. Agnes H. Otteni, and one daughter, Mrs. Weldon H. Cloud, both of this city, survive him as do four brothers:  Rudolph P. of this city; Harry M. or Buffalo, N.Y.;  Louis J. of Huntsville, Ala., and Percy F. Otteni of Philadelphia.


Another son, Louis Otteni, served in World War I.  According to a newspaper article in the Delmarvia Star, Wilmington, DE, Sunday, 30 Jul 1919, he was cited for his actions during the war.


In an interesting history of the 1st United States Engineers 1st United States Division, printed at Coblenz Germany, April 15, 1919, appears in the regimental roster, officers and men serving between October 16, 1917 and November 11, 1918, the names of six Wilmingtonians who served in the famous regiment.  Of the six men, one died of wounds received in action, one gassed in action, and one cited for distinguished conduct.

Sergeant Otteni on a recent visit for a month at the home of his brother, Ernest J. Otteni, having languishing in a hospital in France for two months, suffered with nervous breakdown, spoke very little about the exploits of the First Engineers.  He recoiled from any discussion on the subject.  The first intimation that he had been cited became known here yesterday.

Sergeant Otteni is now in charge of the Army recruiting Station at Worcester, Mass.  He does not know of this publication.

The citation in extract, follows:


Mostahear, Germany  30 December 1918

General Orders 101  

The Division Commander cites the following officers, nurses and men for distinguished conduct in the operations between the Argonine and Meuse (ten were cited).

"Sergeant 1cl Louis J. Otteni, Co. A, 1st Engineers 'displayed .... and distinguished bravery in securing information confirming the location of the enemy machine gun nests, and by tactfully leading his platoon caused the destruction of enemy strong points and established the advanced outposts."


The descendants of Rudolph Otteni spell their name OTTENI


     Click on the following link to view information on the descendants of Rudolf Otteni to the present.  (Report with documentation also available)

Descendants of Rudolph Otteni (1844-1903) - a privatized (dates & places of living people omitted) 5 Generation Descendant Book (PDF), starting with Rudolph Otteni - 5 pages plus index.

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Last modified: August 27, 2016