O. E. Karste, cashier of the Bank of Ironwood, Ironwood, Michigan, is a young man of marked business ability, and
as one of the enterprising and public-spirited citizens of the town is deserving of more than a passing notice on the
pages of this work. A brief sketch of his life reads as follows:
O. E. Karste was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, February 11, 1865. His father, Fritz Karste, a native of
Germany, is one of the pioneers of Wisconsin and is now president of the German Bank of Sheboygan. Fritz Karste
and his wife, nee Eva Limmer, also a native of Germany, have had a family of four children, two sons and two
daughters, namely: Fred, deceased; Bertha, wife of Gus Huette, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; O. E., whose names heads this
article; and Emma, deceased.
Mr. Karste attended school in his native town until he was twelve years of age. His time from that age until he
was fifteen was spent in Switzerland, where he continued his studies in a public institute. Returning to America, he was
employed in the bank at Sheboygan with his father, remaining with him two years, after which he was one year in his
father's bank at Sheboygan Falls. In 1883 he went to Chicago, where he was employed one year in the Merchant's Loan &
Trust Company and one year in the First National Bank, At the end of that time he returned to Sheboygan and the following
year was bookkeeper for the C. Reiss Coal Company, of which his father was vice president.
His identity in Ironwood dates from 1886. That year he established the Bank of Ironwood, and was at first its sole
proprietor. The capital stock, however, has since been increased, now amounting to $25,000, and he is cashier of the
institution. Since locating here Mr. Karste has invested largely in real-estate. He is also the owner of one of
the largest insurance agencies of Upper Michigan, and is doing an extensive business in this line. In 1887, after the
great fire in Ironwood, he advanced the city $20,000 with which to rebuild, and he has in various ways aided in the growth
and development of the town.
Mr. Karste was married in 1891 to Miss Gertrude Fitzsimmons, a native of Wisconsin, born at Fond du Lac,
daughter of Captain Mat Fitzsimmons, one of the oldest mining men of the Lake Superior region.
Fraternally, Mr. Karste is identified with the following organizations: F. & A.M., I.O.O.F., A.O.U.W., K. of P.,
I.O.O.K., and M.W. of A. Politically, his views are in harmony with the Democratic party. He has served in various local
offices. In 1891 he was Alderman of Ironwood, representing the Second ward, and at this writing he is Alderman from the
Fourth ward; and he served as Mayor of the city in 1892. In 1894 he was nominated by acclamation for the office of State
Treasurer, and although he was defeated he ran far ahead of his ticket.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer