OTSEGO is an Algonquin name with "ot" meaning a place of meeting and "sego" a form of greeting. Pre-dated only by the nearby and now vanished village of Pine Creek, Otsego is the earliest multi-family pioneer settlement in Allegan County. Dr. Samuel Foster and his family arrived from Vermont ot this area in the fall of 1831, just months after a group of families located at Pine Creek, two miles west of Otsego.

Much of the early lands were purchased for development as a town by Horace Comstock in 1832. Comstock was married to a niece of author James Fennimore Cooper, and it was Horace who named Otsego after the county from which he came in western New York.

For much of the nineteenth century, Otsego was typical of other small, rural towns. It was a necessary center of economic, religious and educational activities for many living in eastern Allegan County. Farmers from miles around brought their grain to Otsego mills; doctors and druggists found a sufficient supply of folks in need of their services and industries such as factories and lumber mills quickly took advantage of the power of the Kalamazoo River in the North Farmer Street area of town. During the 1870s, Otsego was widely known as a health-reviving tourist location. throngs of travelers would visit the Otsego Mineral Springs Bath House in order to take part of its medicinal waters. In 1887, the Bardeen Paper Mill established itself here on the north banks of the river (where Menasha is today), and this quickly changed the complexion of the town. This type of business thrived and by the early 1900s, Ot