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O. T. Renning
Trondhjem, Norway

From History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States, comp. by O.N. Nelson, 1897. p. 457-458

Renning, O. T., alderman and undertaker - Milwaukee - born 23 July 1847, in Trondhjem, Norway. His father was a merchant, and after graduating from a college, young Renning took a position as clerk in a store.  He emigrated to this country in 1866, and his first five years were spent among the saw mills and lumber camps of Michigan.  In 1871 he came to Chicago, and took charge of the cloth covering department of the then largest funeral furniture manufacturing establishment in the West.  In 1881 he left Chicago, and came to Milwaukee, and took charge of the same branch of manufacture with the Milwaukee Casket Company.  Shortly after he started an undertaking establishment for himself, which he has continued ever since.  In 1894-96 he was deputy sheriff, and served as constable for five years, being elected four times by large majorities.  In 1892 he was elected alderman, to represent the Fifth ward in the common council, and re-elected in 1894-96, being the first Scandinavian in Milwaukee to exercise any influence upon public affairs.  During the smallpox epidemic in the winter of 1895 he held the important office of chairman of the committee on health.

In the present council he holds the most prominent position in the council next to present, namely, chairman of committee on finance.  In the city's Semi-Centennial celebration he was a member of the executive committee, and chairman of the committee on processions.  He was also member of the executive committee and chairman of the committee on halls for the convention of the National Educational Association which was held in Milwaukee.  Politically, he is a staunch Republican, and is chairman of the executive committee of the Republican county committee of Milwaukee.  He is a member of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church, and belongs to several secret organizations.  In 1873 he was in Chicago married to Louise Fallan; they have six children, but only one son is living.

12 May 2001 08:27 PM

Copyright 2001 Linda K. Schwartz