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Dr Henry Otto Clauss, Sr
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Birth: Aug. 22, 1833, Germany
Death: Sep. 19, 1898
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

An immigrant, Henry was one of three Clauss brothers who came to the U.S., son of Johann Peter Clauss, a wine merchant on the Moselle, of the Traben-Trarbach area. Henry's original name seems to have been Henry Othon Clauss, his middle name becoming Otto during his life. Perhaps at one time he was also Heinrich, as I have seen this version of his name once.

May 10th 1868, he married Maria Spitz in Manhattan, shown by certificate 2079. At some point the marriage ended in divorce or separation. This might be Maria's memorial.

Living family from this branch say that they had heard that Dr. Clauss was compelled to leave Germany over a sword duel with with a royal or nobleman, wherein he did not kill his opponent but apparently beat him rather badly, and was subsequently asked to leave the country. True or not, it's a wonderful story, and suggests his scrappy nature and use of fighting implements came to him early. After his death, his son said his father may have been in a duel in Bonn Germany with a student, which seems like it may dovetail with what living family says today about a duel in Germany leading to his departure.

Dr. Clauss served as a physician in New York City. Sadly, he is best remembered for two tragedies, both of which he instigated, one upon himself.

He fatally stabbed an English saloon keeper, Charles Carson, who'd stepped in to keep score in the card game of bagatelle, when Dr. Clauss' opponent appeared to be cheating. It then seemed the saloon keeper appeared dishonest to him as well, causing him to draw his sword cane, and deliver the fatal wound. He must have thought his action justified, as Dr. Clauss' next move was to step to the street and call for a policeman.

Many years later Dr. Clauss would take his own life by gunshot, leaving no clue to his family of his motivation. It seems the doctor suffered from some form of neuralgia which might have made his life quality very bad, and perhaps may have been his final straw.

Henry Otto had stipulated that when he died he wished to be examined by two doctors, and then cremated. His wishes were honored. A record of his cremation exists from the Fresh Pond Crematory, September 21, 1898, Case #2625. His family, presumably his son, kept his ashes until they were finally interred May 31, 1914.


Charles E. Clauss
Rudolf E. Clauss

Family links: 
  Henry Otto Clauss (1870 - 1939)*
*Calculated relationship
Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery
Middle Village
Queens County
New York, USA
Plot: Family Lot 1, Map 3/a, owned by Henry O Clauss Sr
Created by: sr/ks
Record added: Aug 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95682548
Dr Henry Otto Clauss, Sr
Added by: sr/ks
Dr Henry Otto Clauss, Sr
Added by: sr/ks
Dr Henry Otto Clauss, Sr
Added by: sr/ks
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- sr/ks
 Added: Sep. 3, 2012

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