For years historians, as well as the citizens of Ostrander, have
believed the village was named after Jacob Ostrander. So much so,
they named the community center after him. Even then the plot
thickened as the village government decided to give Jacob a middle initial
(C.) because it read better that way. No one knows who was first to
claim Jacob was Ostrander's namesake, but one can easily understand how
the mistake was made.
The History of Delaware County, written in 1880, informs the reader
that the village was named for Mr. Ostrander, a civil engineer
for the railroad. No first name is mentioned in the history
book. Now turn to the cemeteries surrounding Ostrander, Ohio and you
will find but one tombstone in all the cemeteries with the name of
Ostrander. And that tombstone, is the tombstone of Jacob Ostrander,
and his wife Mary E.
The correspondence to the right tell the story of how local historians working
with historians with the Ostrander Family Association solved the mystery
surrounding the namesake of Ostrander, Ohio. Facts were uncovered
that changed our history forever; Shelemiah R. Ostrander was a civil engineer
working for the railroad built in Ostrander. There is a newspaper ad
announcing bids being taken for supplies and contract labor with Shelemiah
Ostrander being the point of contact. And, Shelemiah has a residence
in Springfield, Ohio. A Delaware Gazette article in _____ is already
attempting to end rumors that Ostrander was named for Jacob.
On the contrary, Jacob never claims to be a civil engineer.
Instead, U.S. Federal Census record his occupation as stone mason or
The fact that Jacob is not the namesake of Ostrander, Ohio does take
from the other contributions he made to the community and to the nation.
more about Shelemiah
more about Jacob