Village of Otoe

Otoe-Townshipelement24PO Box 91
314 N. Locust St.
Otoe, NE 68417
(402) 265-2211
Deana Bennett - Clerk
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Office Hours:
Monday through Friday

8:00AM - 12:00PM/1:00PM - 5:00PM

 

 


View Larger Map

 

 

"Otoe is a small town in Otoe County. Located 18 miles northwest of Nebraska City, it is just 40 miles southeast of Lincoln and 50 miles south of Omaha. Otoe typifies today's trend to peaceful small-town living and access to larger cities for employment and entertainment.
 
Berlin precinct, established early in territorial days, was probably named for pioneer and Civil War veteran E. D. Berlin. Churches and schools were the first concern of the early settlers, who were primarily of German descent. In 1860 -- long before we were a town -- a Methodist church had been founded. County records list District 78 in the school census in 1876, with a schoolhouse just west of the present town site. A Lutheran church was established in 1878.
 
Our town was founded in 1880 by Aureluis Bowen, who owned 160 acres in Berlin Precinct. At that time, the Missouri Pacific Railroad was building its line from Kansas City to Omaha. Bowen gave 20 acres to the railroad, and another 20 acres to a town, which he called "Berlin." The original plat -- only four blocks square -- was quickly outgrown, so the first of several additions were made.
 
The first passenger train made its entry in 1883. The railroad was an important part of our village life, with two passenger and two freights every day. The old schoolhouse had been moved into Berlin when the town was established. Soon, a larger school built and a high school was added. In January 1896, when the population reached the required 200, Berlin incorporated.
 
Our town has survived a number of disasters. The 1913 Easter Sunday tornado did great damage to our town. The entire business district was destroyed and 75 homes were in shambles. After flattening Berlin, the storm ripped through several other towns on its way to Omaha where hundreds of people were killed. The citizens of Berlin gathered up the pieces and rebuilt.
 
Then, in 1918, numerous fires "broke out" along Berlin's main street. After a full block was destroyed, thought to have been because of the intense anti-German feelings during World War I, a group of citizens petitioned to the town's name changed to "something else." The name "Otoe" was chosen, and became official on October 18, 1918, less than a month before the end of the war. (Postal records show no other town by that name in the United States.)
 
In the 1920s, Otoe was a thriving town with two churches, a bank, two grocery stores, a light plant, two elevators, a butcher shop, a hardware store, a blacksmith, a newspaper, a livery stable, and two barber shops. Even though passenger train service was discontinued in 1932, Otoe's population peaked in 1940 with 298 citizens. After World War II, various shifts in both the rural and urban population occurred so that in 1958 the high school closed its doors. The railroad abandoned this branch of its line in 1960.
 
There have been many changes since then. Today Otoe has a population of 196. Still governed by a five-member board of trustees, the community supports a 14-member volunteer fire department, with a nine-member quick response team, and a K-8 elementary school. A new Lutheran church was built in 1971 to replace the structure destroyed by fire earlier that year. In addition to our post office, we have a grocery-catering service, two taverns with eating facilities, a radio and TV shop, a construction company, a small plant that manufactures car crushers, a plumbing shop, and an elevator.
 
Otoe has a very nice park. The ball diamond was dedicated in 1982, in connection with the Otoe centennial celebration. An annual barbecue is held the second Saturday in September as a community-wide project, with proceeds going to benefit the community. A booklet written for the centennial provides more details about our town, Otoe."
 
By Verena Paap and Loris Roettger, Box 85, Otoe, NE 68417. (1)
 
 
Cemeteries:
 
 
Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery
 
North Branch Lutheran Cemetery
 
Otoe (Union) Cemetery
 
Whitten Family Cemetery
 
 
Otoe-Townshipelement280Churches:
 
St. John's Lutheran Church
726 2nd St.
Otoe, NE 68417-8848
(402) 265-2901
 
 
History:
 
 
 
 
 
Works Cited:
 

(1) CASDE | Otoe -- Otoe County." CASDE | Virtual Nebraska. University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2005. Web. 23 October 2010.

Genealogy Events

Did you pay your 2019DUES?  Thank you for your continued support - we need your membership to maintain our school signs and to keep our website.  If you haven't - please go to the Membership page for membership form/address. Be sure to check out the Syracuse, Elmwood, Seward and many other area newspapers ONLINE !!  Links are provided to the left of this side bar.

 

OCGS EVENT:

 Happy Thanksgiving - Resource Room will be available by appointment only for the Months of Dec/Jan.  Please contact Barb Wilhelm.  

February 9th - 1st Meeting of 2019 - Unadilla Resource Room 9:30AM - please share your program ideas to the Officers - they're planning events/programs for 2019!!

 

April Workshop - attaching your digital records to your ancestors and printing your family history book - Details TBA in January 2019!!  

 

 Program Ideas - Come & share with us!!!  We want to make the Society interesting to all Otoe County area residents or descendants of Otoe County Pioneers!!


New Online information & research tips

(find more FREE sites on Our MEMBERS ONLY PAGE!)

Pennsylvania Vital Death Records - Download in PDF format!  1906-1967

http://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/Research-Online/Pages/Vital-Statistics.aspx

 

MONSTER DATABASES - Each STATE!

CLICK HERE

Let us know if this was helpful with your research by commenting on our Facebook Page.  These will be here for about 30 days and then we'll share some new sites.  

 

Syracuse Museum of Memories - Looking for Volunteers.  They meet every Wednesday, 9AM.  Open every Sunday afternoon - May-October, else by Appointment.  See their page on our site for further details. 

 

2018 Meeting Minutes

March 2018 Minutes

February 2018 MinutesMinutes