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Frank Magee Ogden
RUSKIN says that the Creator always gives us strength enough and sense enough for the performance of our allotted tasks, and that whatever we are doing we cannot be pleasing him if we are not happy ourselves. A part of our service to the world in cheerfulness, and unless we are congenial in the life we lead among we are withholding something that is essential to true serviceableness. Good work requires a certain glow of the heart while we are doing it, else it is hampered and declines in quality. For most of us, life has the elements of abundant cheeriness in it. It represents more of encouragement than discouragement, more of satisfaction than disappointment, more of joy than sorrow, more of comfort than of pain, more of success than of failure. These satisfactory conditions existed in the life of the late Frank Magee Ogden, for many years a highly respected citizen and prominent business man of Cincinnati, Ohio; for he was not only sagacious enough to see the true meaning of life and its relations with the world in general, but also developed a high sense of honor and serviceableness, which resulted in a large measure of material success and in gaining the esteem of all with whom he associated.
Mr. Ogden, for many years prominently known in Cincinnati on account of his connection with large business enterprises and his interest in advancing the welfare of the city, will also long be remembered by reason of his genial character and kindly acts. He was a native of Cincinnati, born September 27, 1850, a son of Jonathan and Mary Elizabeth (Gorham) Ogden, both of whom were descendants of old New England ancestry. The father was born at Elizabethtown, New Jersey, June 12, 1807. He was a descendant of one of the two brothers who emigrated from England and settled in New England very early in the history of the colonies. The brothers engaged as architects and builders, and in 1642 erected the first stone church on Manhattan Island.
Jonathan Ogden grew to manhood in his native State, and, believing that the great West offered favorable openings for a young man of ambition and energy, he settled in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1828, and was for a number of years the leading merchant of the city. After retiring from the clothing business, he dealt extensively in real estate and also become [sic.] connected with the lumber business. He was remarkably successful as a business manager and became one of the wealthy men of the city, retiring from active labors in 1868. On December 21, 1834, Mr. Ogden was married to Miss Elizabeth Gorham, a daughter of Parsons Gorham, who was a wholesale grocer of Hartford, Connecticut. Four children were born to this union: Parsons Gorham, who died in 1892; Melvina Belle, who married Philip D. Armour, the famous [meat] packer and philanthropist, of Chicago; Clara Meader, who died in infancy; and Frank M., of this review. Mr. Ogden, the father of these children, continued to live in Cincinnati for a number of years after his retirement from business, but died at the residence of Mrs. Philip D. Armour, of Chicago, June 4, 1888.
Frank Magee Ogden, whose name stands at the head of this sketch, possessed excellent advantages of education, and under his father was systematically inducted into the real estate business, becoming one of the leading real estate men of the city. He possessed good business judgment, a remarkable knowledge of the brightest and most progressive property holders in Cincinnati. He possessed fine executive powers and kept his hand in his dealings with debtors and creditors alike. His name was officially connected with many important enterprises and his operations were always of a character such as to assist in the upbuilding of the city.
On the fourteenth of August, 1899, at Cincinnati, Mr. Ogden was united in marriage to Miss Gussie Debenath, a lady of many accomplishments and a social favorite in that city. Mr. Ogden was of an active, genial temperament and was prominently identified with the Masonic order, being a Knight Templar and a Shriner. He was also a member of the Knights Pythias and the Benevolent and Protective order of Elks. He was reared in the Presbyterian Church, but later in life attended the Episcopal Church, his wife being a life-long member of the Catholic Church. Politically he was in full sympathy with the Republican party, but not through any desire for the honors of office, as his interests centered in his home, being thoroughly domestic in his tastes and in business. Mr. Ogden and his wife were life members of the Young Men's Mercantile Library Association and Mrs. Ogden has placed a window in the new library building as a memorial to her husband. A generous and true-hearted man, he was deeply interested in relieving the wants of those less fortunate than himself, and his charities were many, although quietly bestowed and never made known publicly. He possessed great public spirit and was a leader in many important movements aiming to promote the public good.He died at his home, 621 Richmond Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 9, 1901, in the fifty-first year of his age, and it may truly be said that his departure awakened a deep sense of personal bereavement in many throughout the city.
Mrs. Ogden is of French parentage and came to America early in life with her mother and two sisters, now Mrs. Anna M. Bauer and mrs. W. Taylor, the father having died in his native land. The maiden name of the mother was Nanette Augustin, earlier members of the family having been among the pioneer settlers of St. Louis. Mrs Debenath located with her daughters in Cincinnati and died in 1907. The daughters were all thoroughly educated under accomplished instructors, Mrs. Ogden before her marriage completing her studies in France. She and her sisters became highly proficient in modern languages and taught French privately in some of the leading families of Cincinnati. Mrs. Ogden has never given up literature and linguist studies, and has also acquired a good, practical knowledge of the law, which she has applied in business affairs, having had personal charge of the family estate since the death of her husband. As a writer for magazines an current, civic, and political topics she is well known, and she is especially interested in advocacy of women's suffrage. She is a prominent club woman and is a member of the Twentieth Century Club and the Susan B. Anthony Club. She is active in works of charity and philanthropy, these being considered by her, as they were by her husband, important duties of life and essential in the promotion of the happiness and well being of every community.
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