MORE ABOUT DR. BODO OTTO

Articles Biography DAR SAR CAR Will
National Archives World Family Tree
Photo Album
Portrait of Dr. Bodo Otto



Association Background Contacts Four Generations Book and Links Annual Reunion
Return to the front page

Send all corrections, additions or comments to The Dr. Bodo Otto Association




BIOGRAPHY



Dr. Bodo Otto

  • Early settler of Colonial Philadelphia area (emigrated from Germany, 1755)

  • Served as a Senior Surgeon of the Continental Army, American Revolution

  • in February 1777, Congress appointed him to establish a military hospital for the treatment of smallpox in Trenton, to inoculate the troops

  • December 1777 assigned to the Continental hospital at Valley Forge, where Federal records include specification for construction of hut (windows, chimney, shingles) for the "Flying Camp" (M.A. S.H.)

  • Spring of 1778 he was placed in charge of the hospitals at Yellow Springs where many of the sick from the camp at Valley Forge were treated for epidemics of smallpox and typhus following that famous winter encampment of misery and hardships.

  • Held the title of Hospital Physician and Surgeon until his retirement from the Army at the age of 70, one of the last to leave the service in Feb. 1782, several months after the surrender at Yorktown

  • His three sons, also physicians for the Continental Army, assisted him, serving as Junior Surgeon and Surgeon Mates


    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index



    ARCHIVES


    The following are notes compiled by sixth great granddaughter, Anne Joslyn Mereness Strupp in preparation for a presentation at the SE Regional Archives, Atlanta, GA

    ***Following is a sample of the papers pertaining to Dr Bodo Otto***
    Available to research and copy in the National Archives

    FEDERAL RECORDS:

  • Records of the Adjutant General in Washington War Dept.
  • Collection of Rev. War Records: pension application, and bounty land warrant, compiled military service records - widely used by local patrons to the Research Room, SE Regional Archives

    Some of my favorite finds are among the less commonly searched Papers of the Continental Congress (which are the official records of the pre-Federal government in the United States, 1774 -1789) M247 and the Miscellaneous Numbered Records (known collectively as the Manuscript File) M859

    Such items as a hospital inventory of medical stores, including number of blankets, kettles, and such necessaries as chamber pots, writing paper, and wine

    Ist Jany 1777: receipt for 9 months pay as Nurse at the Yellow Springs "Bettering House" under Dr. Otto M859

    June 27th 1778 : receipt for medicines and attendance for a "Dragoon being bruised by a fall from his Horse in the Continental Service" M859

    May 19th 1780: 'The Memorial (petition) of Bodo Otto, Surgeon of the Hospital at the Yellow Springs to the committee of Congress for conducting the Medical Dept., in which he points out that "the Sick have been obliged these several days past to eat Salt Provisions ... stale dry bread..." He asks "Can it be supposed a Physician or Surgeon can gain any Credit or perfect a Cure under these Circumstances?" He goes on to say that the Physicians "complain daily, they have not received any Money for the Services these Seven Months past, neither are they washed with Cloathing ... The Nurses & Orderlies refuse serving any longer, as they receive no pay ... the Sick and Wounded must unavoidably suffer". He expresses remorse that the hospital he has directed for two years should be rendered useless by these conditions, and gently prods the Committee of Congress with a subtle name-dropping threat, in which he quotes "His Excellency General Washington's Orders to the Officers... That if in Case the Sick are likely to suffer & not be relieved by the Department, they are to report the same to him". It is signed "your most obedient and very humble servant, Bodo Otto, Sr. Phy. Surg" M247

    August 26th 1780: personal letter from Dr. Otto at Yellow Springs to General Charles Pickering, Esq., Quartermaster Gen. for the Continental Army in Phila., in which he describes that his Hospital is entirely destitute of firewood and straw for the patients beds, who "must inevitably suffer greatly". M859

    Petition (not dated on front) to the Hon. Congress of the U. S. of America from "Bodo Otto, late Phisician & Surgeon to the M. D." [17841 -- a genealogical gold mine, written 3 years before his death at the age of 76, in which he sketches his history with the Army from his residence at the beginning of the war, to his appointment as Doctor for a Battalion of the Flying Camp, during which all his medicine and useful utensils were lost at a surprise attack on Long Island, followed by his commission to act as Sr. Surgeon in the Hospitals of the U.S. in April 1777 ... 1782 his accounts were settled and Certificates [bounty land] received, "But on Account of Necessity, your petitioner was Obliged to sell them to Speculators, for a Mere trifle, Merely to relieve him of his Absolute Present Wants, and has Ever Since been Obliged to Shift for Necessity for himself and Familie ... has yet some hopes of receiving Something for his Great Toil & Service and humbly prays the Hon. Congress Would be pleased to relieve him, in his Distress". M247

    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index






    Articles Listed in PERSI

    Read more about Dr. Bodo Otto. The following articles are listed in the PERIodical Source Index (PERSI) compiled by the Allen County Public Library, Ft Wayne, IN.

    Periodical: Gloucester County Historical Society Bulletin PERSI Code: NJGB

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto House, History, New Jersey
    Volume: 3 Number: 7 (March, 1953)

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto, Smallpox Inoculation, New Jersey, 1775
    Volume: 7 Number: 8 (June, 1961)

    Periodical: Historical Review of Berks County PERSI Code: PAHR

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto (Dr.), Ger., Pennsylvania
    Volume: 2 Number: I (October, 1936)

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto (Dr.), Berks Co., Pennsylvania
    Volume: 27 Number: I (Winter, 1961)

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto (Dr.), Berks Co., Pennsylvania
    Volume: 43 Number: 2 (Spring, 1978)

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto (Dr.), Berks Co., Pennsylvania
    Volume: 50 Number: 1 (Winter, 1984)

    Periodical: Dupage Co Genealogical Society Review PERSI Code: ILRD

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto, Inventor
    Volume: Number: 61 (Winter, 1986)

    Periodical: Atlantic Heritage PERSI Code: NJAH

  • Article Title: Bodo Otto (Dr.), Rev.War, B. 1709, Ger.; Pennsylvania
    Volume: Number: (November, 1994)


    Additional articles not listed in PERSI


    Lutheran Historical Conference Essays and Reports

    Scheidt, David L. "Bodo Otto: Revolutionary Surgeon and Lutheran," Vol 7:58-65

    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index





    DAR MEMBERS

    Excerpt from a letter published in the Summer 1995
    Dr. Bodo Otto Association Newsletter


    To date (1994), thirty-three (33) DAR members have established their descent from Bodo Otto Sr. Of these, twenty-four (24) descend through his son John Augustus, six (6) descend through his son Bodo, Jr. and three (3) descend through his son Frederick. Of these descendants, most were early members and are probably deceased. Recent members all descend through John Augustus.

    If you wish to obtain the names and addresses of the recent members, please contact the Office of the Organizing Secretary General, NSDAR at the following street address:

    NSDAR LIBRARY
    Memorial Continental Hall
    1776 D Street, NW
    Washington, D.C. 20006-5392

    Visit the DAR Web Page


    Some of the members, as found in DAR books in Clayton Library, Houston, TX.

    Through John Augustus' daughter, Mary, who married Gabriel Hiester Jr.:

  • 13753 Sarah Hiester
  • 13754 Annie M. Hiester
  • 27070 Mary Catherine Hiester

    Through daughter Catharine Maria who married Joseph Wood

  • 6065 Mary Otto McAllister married William Smith

    Some of the earlier members, through Bodo Otto Jr.

  • 6876 Eliza Martin Seymour married Henry Clark Perkins
  • 18099 Eliza Otto married Francis Jay Underhill
  • 63155 Abby C. Otto married Arthur J. Hewitt

    Of the recent members who descend through John Augustus the following descend through his youngest son Daniel Hitner Otto. They are:

  • 27388 Elizabeth Leete Otto, an early member
  • 653067 Alelia Otto Mahavier
  • 673792 Margaret Otto Brown
  • 673793 Linda Brown Haslund
  • 673794 Deborah Mahavier Jones
  • 673795 Elizabeth Mahavier Petter



    Additional current DAR members descend through John Augustus' son Dr. John Bodo Otto.

  • Patricia Otto Godwin - 686935
  • Connie Otto Barton - 686936 and
  • Rita Otto Jones - 790038

    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index




    SAR MEMBERS

    Information pertaining to the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution is available by contacting the organization at 1000 South Fourth Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40203 (502) 589-1776.


    # 4103 - JOHN OTT0 Jr., - Buffalo, N. Y.
    Son of John and Eliza Shipman (Coming), grandson of Jacob S. and Phoebe (Whitehead), great-grandson of Bodo Otto Jr., Colonel, Surgeon New Jersey troops; Great-great-grandson of Bodo Otto Sr., Surgeon in charge of Hospital at Valley Forge

    #4153 - WILLIAM EDMUND OTTO - Buffalo, N. Y.
    Son of John and Eliza Shipman (Coming), grandson of Jacob S. and Phoebe (Whitehead), great-grandson of Bodo Otto Jr., Colonel, Surgeon New Jersey troops; Great-great-grandson of Bodo Otto Sr., Surgeon in charge of Hospital at Valley Forge

    #6250 - FRANK R. OTTO - Williamsport, PA.
    Son of John A. and Caroline F. (Mohr) Otto; grandson of John B. and Esther (Whitman) Otto; great-grandson of John Augustus Otto, Surgeon Penna. Militia; Great-great-grandson of Bodo Otto, Surgeon PA militia

    #123001 - DAVID HENRY MAHAVIER - Houston, TX.
    Son of Alelia Otto and James A. Mahavier, grandson of Claud and Elizabeth (White) Otto, great-grandson of Harvey B. and Anna (Compton) Otto, great-great-grandson of Daniel Henry and Sophia (Sawkins) Otto, 3rd-great-grandson of Daniel Hitner and Sarah (Whitman) Otto, 4th-great-grandson of John Augustus and Catherine (Hitner) Otto, Surgeon Penna. Militia; 5th-great-grandson of Bodo Otto Sr. Surgeon in charge of Hospital at Valley Forge.


    #123138 - Claud Daniel Otto - Wharton, TX.
    Son of Claud and Elizabeth (White) Otto, grandson of Harvey B. and Anna (Compton) Otto, great-grandson of Daniel Henry and Sophia (Sawkins) Otto, great-great-grandson of Daniel Hitner and Sarah (Whitman) Otto, 3rd great-grandson of John Augustus and Catherine (Hitner) Otto, 4th great-grandson of Bodo Otto Sr. Surgeon in charge of Hospital at Valley Forge.

    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index




    CAR Members

    On February 7, 1997, Heather Mignerey, an eighth great granddaughter of Bodo Otto, descending through his only daughter Maria Elizabeth, was approved for membership in CAR. Her national number is 143753.

    Also descending through Maria Elizabeth are:
    Jenna Lynn Mendy Anderson - #144430
    Marissa Elaine Catherine Anderson - #145875

    Otto family members descended through John Augustus Otto belonged to the Isaac Hunter Tavern Society CAR chapter in North Carolina. They are:
    Jeffrey Barton - #134313
    Nikki Elizabeth Jones - #146248

    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index



    Will of Dr. Bodo Otto

    Will of BODO OTTO
    In the name of God Amen I Bodo Otto of the Borough of Reading in the County of Berks and State of Pennsylvania Medical Doctor being aged, but of perfect memory and understanding. Thanks be to God therefore, having taken into consideration the mortality of mankind do hereby make my last Will and Testament in manner and form following that is to say Principle and first of all I recommend my Immortal Soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, and my body to be buried in the Earth in a Christian and decent manner at the discretion of my herein after named Executors, and as touching my worldly Effects wherewith God was pleased to help me with, I give and devise in manner and form following:

    I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Margaret, all and singular my household furniture of what nature forever, be the same plate, Pewter, Brass, or Copper utensils, beds, bedsteads and their furniture, and all I hereby order my hereinafter named Executors to pay unto her as long as she shall remain my widow yearly and every year the interest money arrising from one thousand pounds; but should she again intermarry it is my will that she shall receive yearly during her life only one third part of said interest, which said household furniture and interest shall be in full and in lieu of all her claim against my Estate.

    I give and bequeath unto my Eldest son Frederick Christopher Otto, all my apparel and whatsoever thereto belonging, and Sundry serviceable books and instruments belonging to his profession.


    Will of Bodo Otto


    Page 2 of 2


    I give and bequeath unto my son John August Otto all my capital instruments together with the remainder of all my books. If the principal sum of one thousand pounds should be paid, I give said sum to my sons, Frederick Christopher Otto and John Augus Otto or their representatives, they paying annually to my beloved wife as above directed and out of said sum to pay the children and heirs of my deceased son Bodo Otto the sum of fifty dollars in speci to be divided amongst them in equal shares, alike, and also of said sum to pay unto the children of heirs of my deceased daughter Maria Elizabeth Marxen the like sum of fifty dollars in speci to be divided to and amongst them in equal shares alike or to either of their representatives, and which said sum shall be in full of all their inheritance of and from Estate having fully assisted their parents in their life time - the residue- when of said Principal sum shall be divided amongst them my two sons Frederick Christopher Otto, and John August Otto or their representatives in equal shares, and should my beloved wife Margaret die as my widow it is my will that all and singular the residue of her household furniture of what nature shall be divided to and amongst my said two sons Frederick Christopher and John August Otto, or their representatives, share and share alike and I hereby Constitute and appoint my beloved wife Margaret and my loving son John August Otto to be Executors of this my last Will and Testament, In Witness, whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty second day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven.


    Bodo Otto signature and Seal




    By the time Bodo Otto wrote his will, Maria Elizabeth had been dead for nineteen years and her husband for two years. It had long been believed that Bodo Otto had mistakenly referred to the husband's first name when writing his will.

    The will states "said sum to pay unto the children of heirs of my deceased daughter Maria Elizabeth Marxen the like sum of fifty dollars in speci to be divided to and amongst them in equal shares alike or to either of their representatives, and which said sum shall be in full of all their inheritance of and from Estate having fully assisted their parents in their life time"

    The descendents of Maria Elizabeth had difficulty proving that even though her father's will states that Marxen was her husband's name, his name was in fact Mark Carman. With the discovery of a receipt among the papers of James E. Gibson the necessary proof was finally located.

    Nineteen years after Bodo Otto's death and five years after the death of his third wife, Frederick Carman, Maria Elizabeth's only son, signed a document acknowledging receipt of the legacy left to him and his sisters in their grandfather's will.

    Following is a transcript of the receipt


    Received August the thirtheenth One Thousand
    Eight Hundred and six of Doctor John Augustus
    Otto, Executor of the last Will and Testament of
    of Bodo Otto Practioner of Physic late of
    the Borough of Reading in Berks County
    deceased the sum of Fifty Dollars a Legacy
    bequeathed by the Last Will & Testament of the
    said deceased unto Frederick Carman, Mary
    Saul, Catharina Bender, and Elizabeth Davis.
    I say received by me in full.

    Frederick Carman


    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index




    WORLD FAMILY TREE CD


    Family Tree Marker's Family Archive CD from Broderbund Software contains family trees submitted by people throughout the world. Known family trees for Bodo Otto are:

  • On World Family Tree Vol. 4, Tree number 1549 contains Bodo Otto's descendents through his son Frederick Christopher and granddaughter Margaret who married Jonathan Morgan.

  • On World Family Tree Vol. 5, Tree number 3237 contains Bodo Otto's descendents through his daughter Maria Elizabeth and granddaughter *Anna Marie who married Henry Saul.

    *This daughter was called Catharina Marie when she was baptised June 25, 1760.
    She is called Mary Saul in the 1806 receipt signed by her brother Frederick Carman
    acknowledging receipt of the legacy left to him and his sisters by their grandfather.


    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index






    Association Background Contacts Four Generations Book and Links Annual Reunion

    Return to the frontpage

    Return to More About Dr. Bodo Otto Index



    Send an e-mail to The Dr. Bodo Otto Association


    Graphics by Mousepad