Frank Ostrander

Men of Progress. Wisconsin. (pages 451-486) A selected list of biographical sketches and portraits of the leaders in business, professional and official life. Together with short notes on the history and character of Wisconsin.

OSTRANDER, Frank, a resident of Superior, engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business, is the son of Dempster Ostrander of Chicago, an insurance lawyer, who occupies the position of general adjuster for the Phoenix Insurance company, and who is the author of two law books, one entitled "Ostrander on Insurance," which is the standard work on the law of fire insurance in this country. Dempster Ostrander came to Wisconsin with his parents when he was two years old, and was educated in the state university. His father was a farmer near Waterloo, Wis., and his paternal grandfather was a native of Holland and a typical Dutch gentleman. Fran Ostrander's mother, Sarah Etta, nee Manville, was born in Aztalan, Wis., and her parents came from England, but died when he was a child. Frank was born at Jefferson, Wis., December 20th, 1861, where he received his primary education in the common school. When he was eleven years old the family moved to Milwaukee, and Frank went through the graded schools and also the city high school. Having completed his school course, he secured the position of messenger in the First National bank of Milwaukee. At the end of a year he took a course in a business college, and after that studied law in the office of Judge Noyes. In 1882 he went to Montana, where he was engaged in driving cattle for a year. Returning to Wisconsin, he spent one winter in a logging camp in the northern part of the state. Again making his home in Milwaukee, he settled down to steady work in the office of Benjamin M. Weil, in the fire insurance business. After a year's experience in this work, he received the appointment of special agent for the Insurance Company of North America, having in charge the state of Wisconsin, under J. H. Warner. Receiving a more favorable offer, in 1886, from the Phoenix Insurance company, he became special agent for it. In the regular course of his business, he visited Superior, and was so pleased with its business prospects that he concluded to settle there; and, resigning his special agency, he became local agent for the Phoenix. West Superior then had only about five hundred inhabitants. In 1887, in company with C. H. Sunderland, he established a real estate, loan and insurance business, under the firm name of Sunderland & Ostrander, which they have steadily conducted since. He has also been interested in many local enterprises, and has been thoroughly identified with its wonderful growth and progress. He has been a director in the Northern Trust company, capital $500,000, since its organization; is a heavy stockholder in the First National bank; a director in the Northwestern National bank since its organization in 1889, when it was a state bank, and is now its active president.

He says that the only war he was ever in was the one between Superior and La Crosse over the location of the new normal school, and in this he was one of the generals of the former city, which won in the struggle. Gov. Upham, recognizing his gallant conduct on the field, appointed him a great regent of normal schools, and this office he still holds.

Mr. Ostrander is and always has been a Republican, but has never held a salaried office, and is not in pursuit of one. He is a member of three Superior clubs: The Rod & Gun club, the Boat club and the Commercial club, but is not a member of any secret society. He has contributed to the establishment of nearly every church in Superior, but does not belong to any of them. His creed is brief, and is: "I believe in God and the Golden Rule."

In 1885 Mr. Ostrander was married to Miss Eliza Wilder White of Fort Atkinson, and they have had two children--a son, Sidney F. Ostrander, and a daughter--Sarah--who died when a year old.


The above transcription has been contributed to this site by Kelly Mullins

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