Charles Ostrander, one of the extensive cattle feeders and dealers of northeastern Kansas, residing in Seneca, was born on the bank of the Hudson river in Albany county, New York, December 25, 1845. His parents were Peter and Margaret (Strafford) Ostrander, representatives of old families of the Empire state. The paternal grandfather was born in New York and there married a Miss Westfall. The maternal grandfather, Charles, was a native of New York and a son of George Strafford, who was born on the river Rhine in Germany. The Ostranders, however, were of Dutch lineage and the great-great-grandfather was Peter Ostrander. The great-grandfather also bore the name of Peter Ostrander and was a native of Albany county, New York.
Charles Ostrander, of this review, is the second in order of birth of a family of six brothers, the others being Samuel, John, Peter, Martin and Ira. He spent his boyhood days on the home farm and pursued his education in the district schools near his home. In the ninth year of his age he accompanied his parents on their removal to Kankakee, Illinois, where he entered the common schools and through the summer months he assisted his father in the work of the home farm. There the latter died in 1868, while the mother's death occurred in Shawnee county, Kansas, in 1885, she having removed to that place after the death of her husband. Three years before his father's death Charles Ostrander began to earn his own living, entering upon an independent business career as a dealer in live stock. In 1866 he came to Kansas, after disposing of his interests in Illinois. In the spring of that year he made his way to Nebraska, where he began work on the Union Pacific Railroad as a contractor and subsequently became interested with J. H. Wilson, one of the prominent and active business men of Nemaha county, Kansas, in farming and cattle raising. The firm met with quite a high degree of success, but after a time the partnership was dissolved and Mr. Ostrander began dealing in stock on his own account. His present farm comprises five hundred and sixty acres of choice land and is improved with a substantial residence, good barns, granaries and other necessary outbuildings, together with cattle pens and feeding lots. He is now considered one of the most successful as well as extensive cattle dealers in this township, feeding from three hundred and fifty to five hundred head of cattle annually. He makes his shipments to Kansas City and Chicago markets, and his extensive dealings bring to him an excellent income.
In 1872 occurred the marriage of Mr. Ostrander and Miss Carrie Edwards, of Pawnee City, Nebraska. She was born in McLean county, Illinois, and is a daughter of William Edwards. By her marriage she has become the mother of two children, Gertrude, and Jessie, deceased. Mr. Ostrander is a Populist in his political affiliations, but has never sought or desired office, preferring to devote his time and attention to his business interests. His career has not been one of unbroken success, for he has met difficulties and obstacles, but his resolute purpose has enabled him to overcome these and he has steadily worked his way upward to a position of affluence. To-day he is one of the most prosperous cattle dealers in his section of the state and his competence is certainly well merited.