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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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OTT, Carrie

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald
OTT, Carrie. (Dubuque, IA, Apr. 9, 1879--Dubuque, IA, Aug. 24, 1978). "Queen of FARMERS' MARKET." Ott, a spry cheerful gardener was known at FARMERS' MARKET for her kidding conversation, sweet corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes. She began selling produce at Farmers' Market when she was twelve years old and helping her parents. She later sold produce from her own gardens every week until she was eighty-eight.

Frugal living and inheritance allowed her to accumulate 229 acres of land scattered around the city in nine sites. Some of the land had been purchased by Ott in 1939, the year her husband was killed by lightning while cutting lettuce. On March 10, 1980, nearly one and one-half years after her death, the land was sold at an auction held in the basement of the Chateau Supper Club. The sale price of $782,416 exceeded the appraised value by 136 percent. Upon her death this kindly woman, remembered for putting an extra tomato or two in each sack of produce she sold, left an estate valued at over $822,000.



1. Buckley, E. A. "The Queen is 97," Telegraph Herald, May 9, 1976, p. 3