Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
OTTO AUGUST MENGER, one of the
prosperous and enterprising merchants of Reardan, Lincoln county, was born
in Lawrence, Kansas, January 8, 1864, son of Herman M. and Sophia (Epple)
Menger. The father is a native of Thuringen, Germany, where he was
born July 8,1831. In 1847 he came to the United States and located
at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a baker, in which vocation he continued
until he removed to Lawrence, Kansas, which was in 1853. Here he
conducted a bakery until 1867 when he entered the ministry in the German
Methodist Episcopal church, and was one of the pioneer circuit riders covering
territory in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. During the progress of the
Civil war Rev. Menger was pursued by guerillas during the notorious Quantrell
raid, and narrowly escaped with his life. Until 1897, when he was
called from earth, he continued in the ministry, was pastor of numerous
churches in three states, was widely known and universally respected.
He died at Parsons, Kansas, June 14, 1897. In a concise summary of
the character of Rev. Menger it can be truthfully said that he belonged
to that class of rugged pioneers in whose vocabulary there is no such word
as fail. His wife, to whom he was united in Philadelphia, was a natives
of the Province of Schwaben, Germany, born in 1832. To Rev. and Mrs.
Menger were born seven children, Edward, Otto A., Louisa A., Mary S., Emma,
Albert, and Agnes, all of whom are living.
The elementary education of Otto A., our subject,
was obtained in Kansas, and when at the age of sixteen years he is found
in the capacity of a clerk in a grocery store at Cameron, Missouri.
One year subsequently he was manager in a store in Chase, Kansas, and he
then removed to Enterprise, same state, and was connected with a general
store in that city six years. Coming to Davenport, Lincoln county,
in 1889, he officiated as bookkeeper for McGowan Brothers, and in 1890
was manager of a sawmill in Creston. He then opened a hardware store
in Reardan in company with John Raymer. In March, 1891, our subject
was united in marriage to Lizzie Nagle, a native of Switzerland, who came
to the United States when thirteen years of age. Until 1893 Mr. Menger
continued in the hardware business, when the partnership was dissolved
and he entered the employment of John Wickham, who conducted a general
merchandise store. He afterward purchased the property of Mr. Wickham
and engaged in business for himself. Mr. and Mrs. Menger have four
children, Oscar, Clarence, Inez and Gladys, all of whom were born in Reardan.
He is a member of the A. O. U. W., and W. O. W. Coming to Reardan
with limited capital Mr. Menger is now one of the well-to-do and influential
citizens, one of the wealthiest and best known men in Reardan.