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The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: Otter Tail County Historical Society, Minnesota

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Otter Tail County Historical Society, Minnesota

The Otter Tail County Historical Society is located in the city of Fergus Falls, which is the county seat of Otter Tail County. Otter Tail County is in west central Minnesota. The historical society has made some of its resources available online. First click on the Research tab in the site contents bar to open a new page. Click on the link to the resource you would like to open, located in the contents list on the right side of the page.

Cemetery Database Search
The cemetery database contains nearly 85,000 records, and can be searched by last name, first name, and year of death. The way the search function works is a bit different than others I have encountered. You must enter data in all fields in order to retrieve any results. You cannot simply browse through the records by entering a last name or burial year. The data fields in the search results are last name, first name, birth date, and death date. Two additional fields contain links to order further information (internment details and an obituary search) for a fee. Click on the Cemeteries link on the Research main page to open a new page with a list of Otter Tail County cemeteries. Many of the cemetery names in this list link to maps.

Multi Index Search
Click on the Multi Index Search link to open the search page. The search fields are last name, first name, business name, township name, and year. You can limit your search by choosing from one of the eleven sources that comprise the database. These are: annuals, city directories, obituaries, pioneer stories, plat books, rural school officers, rural school students, rural school teachers, tax lists, tombstone pictures, and WPA interviews. You can enter information in any of the search fields to start your search. The data fields in your search results are first name, last name, business name, publication year, township name, and document type. There is an additional field with a link to order a copy of the record for a fee.

Other Resources

This section contains a description of the location and geography of Otter Tail County, along with a list of its more than sixty townships. The townships are alphabetically listed by name with the range and date of organization. The historical society has provided a link to the Otter Tail County GenWeb site, which includes historical information about the townships.

Military History
In this section you will find lists related to the military service of Otter Tail County residents in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Fergus Falls State Hospital
You should read the frequently asked questions section if you had an ancestor or other relative who was a patient at the Fergus Falls State Hospital, or if you are researching someone who was buried in the State Hospital cemetery.

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