Friday, April 1, 2011

Killed By Her Husband

Mrs. Louise (Dohrmann) Ott, a former Brown County girl, was killed by her husband, Joseph Ott, in a fit of anger at their home near Echo on the night of the 10th of May, 1898.  The particulars were telegraphed to the Sleepy Eye Dispatch as follows;

Mrs. Ott and children had been attending a wedding at the home of a neighbor during the day and at
about seven o’clock in the evening the mother and her eldest son returned home, expecting to get the other children later. When they entered the house, Ott angrily demanded where the other children were, and upon being told, he flew into a passion and sent the boy after them.

As soon as the boy had left the house Ott assaulted his wife with a billy, smashing her head and
scattering her brains upon the floor.  He then called his son back and told him he had killed his mother.  The victim lived for two hours.

Soon after Ott was arrested and Judged in the jail at Granite Falls.  He is exceptionally cool and says the crime was intentional.

The murdered woman is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dorhmann of Sleepy Eye.  Her sister, Mrs. Durbahn, resides at Lamberton, and her brother, Henry, in Leavenworth.

Ever since the birth of her first child, the husband’s conduct towards her has been that of a
brute.  At the slightest provocation he would fly into a passion and vent his anger in assaults upon his wife or some of the children.  Often has he driven her from home and threatened to kill not only her but her father and mother as well.

His fate should be the severest that the law affords.  Nothing short of hanging will satisfy justice and the outraged community in which he lived.

Since his confinement in jail Ott has made this statement of the murder: “My wife had been at a
wedding and was going back and wanted me to go along.  I did not want to go and we got into some
words.  Then I struck her several time with my fist, but I saw I could not give her enough that way and I went and got the billy.  I struck her several times with this and told her that I had been divorced from her once and now I would give her a divorce that would last.  She said ‘O, Joe don’t kill me.  Don’t strike me anymore, and I won’t say any more about it’.  But I told her it was too late and that this time I would finish her.  Then I caught her by the hair and dragged her out of the bedroom and I’ll bet I struck her fifteen times with the billy.”


  1. Wow, what a story! Can you imagine if the same story happened today? The husband's lawyer would have told him to shut his mouth and not admit a thing. He might have gotten off with next to nothing as punishment! Debbie, did the guy hang for this? Is there record of his punishment?

  2. Check out the "Killed By Her Husband - Full Story"!!! It'll offer a few more details to this story!

    - Deb