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Richard Otter


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Mr Richard Otter, 39, was born in 1873 in Portland, Dorset, England the son of William and Mary Otter. The 1881 British census lists William (aged 49 in 1881) and Mary (48). William's occupation was listed as "quarryman". William and Mary Otter had three children, (ages in 1881) William (17), Elizabeth (15), and Richard (7).

Richard Otter emigrated to the United States in 1889 and was married to Kate Rauch (born September 1877) on 22 September 1898. A son Clarence Otter was born 22 July 1899. They lived on Sheldon Road in what is now Middleburg Heights, near Cleveland. Richard was a stone cutter by trade and worked at the Berea quarries in the Southwest suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. His brother William also lived in Cleveland and their sister is also thought to have emigrated to America. Because work in the Berea quarries was seasonal, Otter, returned to England with his sister (and ? his brother) in the winter of 1912 to visit his parents. Richard had not been back to England for 10 years. While in England, Otter received word that the quarries would soon be opening and booked return passage, second class, on the Titanic. Because of the cost of the trip, Elizabeth and William remained in England and Richard travelled alone.

Richard Otter perished in the disaster, he is mentioned on the family gravestone in St. George's Cemetery, Portland, Dorset.

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(Courtesy of Mark Housby, UK)

IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF
MARY
THE BELOVED WIFE OF WILLIAM H. OTTER
WHO DIED FEBRY 27TH 1888 AGED 55 YEARS.
ALSO OF THE ABOVE
WILLIAM H. OTTER
BORN DEC 29 1831 DIED JAN 2 1909
ALSO RICHARD SON OF THE ABOVE WHO WAS LOST ON THE TITANIC APRIL 15 1912 AGED 39 YEARS.
GOD BE WITH US TILL WE MEET AGAIN.
ALSO 3 CHILDREN OF THE ABOVE WHO DIED...

In a newspaper story published days after the disaster, Kate Otter said she "was glad her husband had gone down with the Titanic if it meant another woman or child saved." "I have lost him," she said as the tears welled, "but I am glad that if he had to die he died a hero." Kate told the story that Richard would often sing a song about a man who went out to sea and was never seen again.

Mrs Otter filed an insurance claim (#20) for loss of life to the value of $10,000 and received financial relief from the American Red Cross.

Case number 361. (English).
The husband was drowned. He was a stone cutter, 39 years of age, and had lived in this country for 22 years. His wife 34 years of age, has a son of 13. He had gone to England to visit relatives, using all of his savings for the trip and left his family destitute, except for $1,000 life insurance. The widow is a partial invalid, and never will be able to earn her own living. The boy is in good health and promising. The husband had two brothers and sisters in England, but all have large families to support and cannot assist. From other American relief funds she has received $1,152.46. ($1,500).

Kate Otter continued to live in the area for many years, working as a housekeeper in the home of Dr. Louis G. Knowlton at the Southeast corner of Church and Seminary streets (now the site of the Berea Post Office). She never remarried and died 26 January 1972. Clarence, their son died 5 July 1960.


Articles
Cleveland Plain Dealer
(Ohio), 18, 19, 20 April 1912

References
American Red Cross (1913) Emergency and Relief Booklet (#361)
Sun Newspapers, 26 March 1998
The Free Portland News (Portland, Dorset), April 1998, Letter

Contributors
Robert L. Bracken, USA
Mark Housby, UK
Charles M. Otter, USA
(Grandson)
Danny Rigby, UK
Homer Thiel, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK

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