Ottine is nine miles northwest of Gonzales in western Gonzales County. It was named in 1879 by combining the names of the founding settlers Adolf Otto and his wife Christine. Previously the settlement had been known as Otto's Mill and, briefly, when the railroad arrived, as Otto's Station. Also in 1879 Otto built the town's first enterprise, a water gin, which took advantage of the natural sulfur springs found in the nearby swamp. As a station on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, Ottine became a fairly important trading center. In 1892 Otto's sons, J. A. and Louis, established a general merchandise business and secured a post office. By 1897 Ottine had two general stores, a sawmill, a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop, a saloon, a church, and a gristmill (powered by the San Marcos River). In 1899 alone local farmers produced 7,000 bales of cotton. By 1915 the town had a telephone connection and a population of 200, but by 1925 its population was only 100. On September 11, 1933, the Texas State Parks Board acquired 198 acres of the Ottine Swamp and designated it Palmetto State Park. In 1937 the Warm Springs Foundation for Crippled Children (Texas Rehabilitation Center of Gonzales) was established. Subsequently the population of Ottine grew again and was listed at 200 in 1946, when the town had four businesses. By 1965 Ottine had a population of 100 with one business. From 1975 to 2000 its population was reported as ninety.
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Ottine by the Numbers
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