Helen Amanda Ostrom was the youngest daughter of Leonard Lewis and Polly Jackson Ostrom, and was born on a farm near Medina, Orleans County, New York, August 5, 1851. July 4, 1865 the family moved to Holly, NY, going by boat on the Erie Canal. Here she attended the public school and later the academies at Holly and later Medina New York.
In the fall of 1869 the Ostroms came to Albion, Michigan, and bought a small place of 18 acres, just east of the village. The spring term of 1870, Helen entered Albion College and also attended the following year but did not graduate. Her father died June 6, 1872.
After her fathers death, she and her mother purchased and moved into the home at 210 Michigan Avenue. February 15, 1882, her sister, Emma, married George McCormick, and moved to his farm west of Albion.
February 25, 1885, Helen was married to William Farley Eldridge, and went to live on his father’s farm, east and north of the town, known as the Clark Eldridge farm, later occupied and owned by R.Y. Hicks. Here two children were born to Helen and William, Mildred who died in infancy and Florence, later Mrs. Robert Reynolds.
After Mr. Eldridge’s death which occurred April 19, 1902, Mrs. Eldridge and her daughter returned to the family home on Michigan Avenue to live withher mother, Mrs. Ostrom, whose death occurred April 3, 1907. In her home in which shehad lived for very nearly fifty years, after a brief illness, from which it was hoped that she would rally, Mrs. Eldridge passed away on February 18, 1932.
Throughout her life Mrs. Eldridge had been connected with the First Methodist EpiscopalChurch, was a member of the Woman’s Bible Class, Woman’s Christian TemperenceUnion, a charter member of the Three-Quarters-CenturyClub, and also its first secretary and treasurer, which office she held efficiently for two years. She loved children and was one of the club’s most ardent workers for the Interlochen music project.
Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.
Helen Amanda Ostrom was born August 5, 1851, in Ridgeway, Orleans County, New York, and moved to Holley, New York, about four years later. Her family moved to Albion in 1869 to join relatives already settled in the area. Leonard Ostrom, Helen’s father, bought 18 acres of land east of town. In a reminiscence of her father, Helen wrote that he owned one of the first coal stoves in Albion.
Helen’s father suffered from asthma and heart problems, finally dying in 1872. The family, which then consisted of Helen, her mother and sister, remained in the home another ten years before moving to a house at 210 Michigan Avenue.
Helen received her education at Medina and Holley academies in New York before attending Albion College. She married William Eldridge, an area farmer, in 1884. He preceded her in death in 1902. At the time of her death in 1932, the house on Michigan Avenue was owned by Helen’s only child, Florence Reynolds.
Helen was affiliated with the Three-Quarters-Century Clubsince its organization in 1929, serving as its first secretary. She was also a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and the First MethodistChurch.
Sources: Albion Recorder, February 18, 1932; Albion Public Library, Local History Room, Ostrom family file
From: Albion AAUW. Some Notable Women of the Albion Area. Albion, Michigan: American Association of University Women. 1998.