in a Pecan Shell
incorporates that of two smaller communities. Needmore and
Lonestar joined forces in 1901 and renamed themselves in anticipation
of the arrival of the International-Great Northern Railroad which
was then connecting its line between Waco
The towns namesake could’ve been Charles Otto Leuschner, landowner,
or Henry Otto Stansbury, schoolteacher (one of the consequences of
using a first name). In 1905 Otto had a population of 250 residents
and mostr essential businesses.
It is said that as many as 1,000 residents lived in Otto prior to
the Great Depression and the shrinkage caused by the postwar exodus
from small towns.
From a 1941 estimate of 500, it had declined by half in two short
years. 1950 saw the consolidation of Otto’s students into the Mart
ISD and from the 1964 population of 243, it fell to a mere 85 by 1970.
The estimate for the 2000 census was given as 48 residents.
A Visit to
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact