Biography - JOHN B. OSTRANDER
John B. Ostrander, proprietor of the Covel Creek House in South Ottawa township, LaSalle county, is one of the well-known men of the township. He has himself been a traveler to a considerable extent, having made the trip to the Pacific coast three times, and understands the business of catering to the traveling public.
Mr. Ostrander is a New Yorker by birth. He was born near Corinth, in Saratoga county, of the Empire state, May 31, 1824, a son of New York parents. His father, Joseph P. Ostrander, was a native of Rensselaer county, while his mother, whose maiden name was Rachel Barber, was born in Tompkins county, both representatives of old and well-known families. John Ostrander, the grandfather of John B., was a Revolutionary soldier. His parents came to this country from Holland. Joseph B. Ostrander and wife came to Illinois in 1852 and settled in Livingston county, where he died. The mother of our subject died in Boone county, Iowa, at the age of seventy-three years. The father was twice married, and had two children by the first wife and five by the second. Of this number three are now living: John B., whose name initiates this review; Mrs. Jane Tombaugh, of Livingston county, Illinois; and Mrs. Hannah Clark, of Boone county, Iowa.
John B. was reared in Erie county, New York, and there learned the trade of carpenter. He came out to Illinois in 1844 and was employed in work at his trade here until the California gold "fever" broke out in 1849, when he was among its victims. He made the trip overland by stage to California in 1863. spent some time at "Hangtown," or Placerville. and returned east by way of the isthmus of Panama, again taking up his abode in Illinois. He was variously employed for some years, made several moves, going in 1875 to Colorado, where he remained a short time, and finally settled down to the hotel business. He conducted a hotel at Marseilles, Illinois, for some years previous to his taking charge of the Covel Creek House, which he is now running, and which has long been a favorite resort for travelers.
Mr. Ostrander was married in 1849, at Deer Park, LaSalle county, Illinois, to Miss Nancy Latham, a native of Bradford county, Pennsylvania, born in 1834. a daughter of Lyman S. and Mary A. (Gollop) Latham, both natives of Connecticut. Mr. and Mrs. Latham came west to Livingston county, Illinois, in 1838, and resided here until 1862, when they went to California. Both parents died in the Golden state, - the father at the age of sixty-five years, the mother at eighty-four. In their family were eight children, four sons and four daughters, Mrs. Ostrander being the only one now living in LaSalle county. Mr. and Mrs. Ostrander have had nine children, six of whom are living, viz.: Helen, wife of Ed Udell, of Rantoul, Illinois; Bellzora, wife of John Poundstone, of Grand Rapids township, LaSalle county; Mary, wife of John A. Sale, of Rantoul, Illinois; Charles H., principal of a public school in Chicago; Frank M., a carpenter at Mazon, Grundy county, Illinois; and Albert N., at home, a carpenter. The three deceased are Viola, who died at the age of five years; Augusta J., at the age of fifteen months; and Arthur, at the age of twenty-one years. The last named was a promising young man and successful teacher.
Politically Mr. Ostrander is a Republican, taking a commendable interest in public affairs, and has filled several local offices. As a citizen he stands in high esteem.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 247-249.