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Alameda County



Frank Burroughs Ogden, Justice of the Peace of the city of Oakland, was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1858, a son of Jonathan Towneley and Rosalie (Burroughs) Ogden, both natives of New Jersey, the father of Elizabethtown and the mother of Newark.  John Ogden, the first known settler of that name in New Jersey, from whom are descended most, if not all, of the Ogdens in America, first came to New England, locating probably in Connecticut.  About the period of the cession of the government of New Jersey by the "proprietors" to the crown, early in the eighteenth century, he led a colony into New Jersey and settled on a large tract.  Judge David Ogden, born in Newark, New Jersey, about 1707, a graduate of Yale in 1728, perhaps the first thoroughly educated lawyer in the province, deceased in Whitestone, New York, in 1800.  His son, Abraham, born in Morristown, New Jersey, December 30, 1743, also a lawyer, a member of the Legislature in 1790, and a United States Commissioner to the Indians in Northern New York, became with others, interested in lands in that section, Ogdensburg, New York, being named for him.  He died in Newark, New Jersey, in 1798, holding the office of District Attorney at his death.  His son, Thomas Ludlow, born in Morristown, December 12, 1773, a graduate of Columbia College in 1791, by profession a lawyer, died in New York city December 17, 1844.

     Ichabod Ogden, the grandfather of the subject of this sketch, probably a son or grandson of the original settler, John, was for many years a merchant in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, was married to a Miss Towneley, a native of New Jersey, both living to the advanced age of about eighty.  His brother John, a carriage manufacturer, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is living, in 1890, at an advanced age.  The father of our subject, Jonathan Towneley Ogden, moved to Detroit, Michigan, about 1866, became a member of the firm of Berry, Ogden, & Berry, paper-box manufacturers of that city, where he died in 1869.  The mother came to this coast in 1870, with her two sons, Robert Clarence, born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1856, official court reporter of Alameda county from 1878 to his death in 1884, and Frank B. Ogden, the subject of this sketch.

     Arriving in Oakland at the age of twelve, Frank B. Ogden received four years' education in the schools of this city, and at sixteen went to work first as clerk in a hotel, and then as bookkeeper for a bill-collecting firm.  He began to read law under A. A. Cohen, of San Francisco, devoting all his spare time to that study.  He spent a short time in farm work in this county, still keeping up his law studies, and was admitted to practice in 1881, and before the Supreme Court August 9, 1882.  He then went into general practice, which he continued until elected to his present office in 1886, for the term January 1, 1887, to December 31, 1888.  He was re-elected in 1888 for the term beginning January 1, 1889, which he is now filling.

     Justice Ogden has given very general satisfaction in the discharge of his official duties, dispensing justice with such fairness that his judgments have almost invariably been sustained in the appellate courts.  His law practice is almost entirely confined to probate business, of which he enjoys a good portion for the time he can spare from his judicial services.  He is the nominee of the Republican party for re-election in 1890.  He is a representative to the Grand Lodge of California, of Enterprise Lodge, No. 298, I.O.O.F., of Oakland, and belongs also to the Encampment and Patriarchs' Militant of that order.

     Mr. Ogden was married in this city, December 20, 1886, to Miss Laura McDonald, born in Nova Scotia January 10, 1862, a daughter of M. and Susanna (Brown) McDonald, who came here about 1890.  Mr. and Mrs. Ogden have two children --Marguerite and Robert Clarence.

Transcribed 10-10-04  Marilyn R. Pankey

Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 1, page 541-542, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.


Marilyn R. Pankey.