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Fayette County, Iowa  

 History Directory

Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910

Author: G. Blessin


B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana


Vol. I, Biographical Sketches



~Page 1425~


Edgar F. Ostrander


The subject of this sketch was born in Jefferson county, Wisconsin, January 9, 1856, being a son of Leander L. and Mary Ostrander, both natives of New York. Hiram and Sarah (Beebe) Graves, the subject's grandparents, were born in the latter state also, but in an early day migrated to Illinois, thence to Wisconsin, where they lived until their removal to Fayette county, Iowa, in the year 1865. Purchasing one hundred and twenty acres of land in what is now Bethel township, Mr. Graves, the grandfather, improved the same and in 'due time became one of its leading farmers and representative citizens of his part of the county; after the death of his wife he returned to Wisconsin, where he ended his days. Leander L. Ostrander, the father of Edgar, whose birth occurred in Tompkins county, New York, September 19, 1827, accompanied his parents to Illinois when six years old and grew to maturity on a farm in Cook county, a part of the place now included in the city of Chicago. He married in the latter state, in 1852, Mary Graves and the following year removed to Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where he worked for a while for his father, later purchasing land of his own and achieving considerable success as a tiller of the soil. After making several changes in the above county, he disposed of his interests in Wisconsin and in 1860 came to Fayette county, Iowa, making the trip by wagon and bringing with him quite a number of cattle and a large flock of sheep, by means of which he was enabled to make a substantial beginning in what was then a comparatively new and undeveloped country. He too bought land in the township of Bethel and it was not long until he forged to the front among the enterprising farmers and representative men of his part of the county.


Leander and Mary Ostrander had children as follows: Maria, Frank E., Edgar F. and Adelaide, Frank and the subject being twins.


The early life of Edgar F. Ostrander was spent in Wisconsin and on the home farm in Bethel township, and his educational training embraced a knowledge of the branches taught in the public schools. He was reared to agricultural pursuits and on arriving at the age of young manhood selected farming for his vocation, which he has since followed with most gratifying results. At first he cultivated a part of the family homestead as a renter, but after a few years purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land in Bethel township, which he at once proceeded to improve and to which he subsequently added eighty acres, the meanwhile bringing the place to a high state of cultivation and making it one of the most productive and valuable farms in the locality. In 1906 he sold one hundred acres and invested the proceeds in an eighty-acre tract two miles west of West Union, also purchased a fine residence property in that town where he has since made his home.


Mr. Ostrander's career as an agriculturist has been successful from the beginning and as a breeder and raiser of fine live stock he has achieved a reputation much more than local. His horses, especially those for farm and draft purposes, are of the Percheron and Norman breeds and have always commanded high prices, while his Shorthorn cattle, Poland China hogs and Cotswold sheep are also in much demand and among the best in this part of the state. Although primarily interested in farming and stock raising, he also keeps in touch with the affairs of his township and county, being at this time a stockholder in the Alpha Telephone, of which he was for six years treasurer and secretary, and the Alpha Farmers Creamery Company, having served the last named enterprise six years as director. In politics he votes the Republican ticket and takes an active part in the welfare of his party. He served six years as trustee of Bethel township, was president of the school board three years and for a period of nine years held the important office of assessor, in all of which capacities he demonstrated fine business abilities and was untiring in his efforts to promote the welfare of the public. Religiously, Mr. Ostrander holds to the Methodist Episcopal creed and to him as much as to any one man is due the credit of establishing the church of that denomination at Alpha and erecting the present house of worship. He has been trustee of the society since its organization, is a liberal supporter of the same and manifests a lively interest not only in religious work but in all enterprises having for their object the material, social and moral good of his fellow-men. Fraternally, he belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, being an active and influential worker in both organizations, and with his wife holds membership with the Rebekah lodge connected with the latter.


Mr. Ostrander was happily married in 1876 to Margaret Jennie Rogers, daughter of James and Nancy (Chamberlain) Rogers, who came to Iowa in 1858 from Albany, Vermont, and settled originally at Fort Atkinson. Mr. Rogers and family experienced the vicissitudes which usually fall to the lot of early settlers in a new country and during the first few years in this state endured many hardships and privations and not a little suffering. Mr. Rogers was a farmer and miller in the East, but by reason of failing health followed no regular vocation after moving to Iowa. He died in the year 1864. His family consisted of the following children: Rosamond R., Luther, Reuben, Abilena, Joseph, Charles, Mary, Almira, Sarah, Nancy, Newell, Augusta, James, Ephraim, Margaret, Jennie. At the beginning of the Rebellion, Luther, Reuben, Joseph and Newell enlisted and served with honorable records in defense of their country, Newell dying at St. Louis before the struggle ended, the others returning home at the close of the war. A little later the mother and children bought a small farm in Bethel township, Fayette county, to which the family removed. Mrs. Rogers afterwards went to California, where she spent the remainder of her life with her oldest daughter.


Mr. and Mrs. Ostrander have had four children: Clyde Elverton, a farmer of Westfield township, Fayette county; Clinton R., a farmer at Groton, South Dakota; Elton, who died in infancy, and Harold, who is still at home.



~transcribed for the Fayette Co IAGenWeb Project by Chuck Taylor




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