9An artist, photographer, and Lincoln historian, Lloyd Ostendorf was born in Dayton in 1921. A gifted child artist, he became fascinated with Abraham Lincoln’s face on a penny which his mother had given him. When Lloyd entered Stivers in 1935, he fell under the tutelage of an equally gifted art teacher, Martha Schauer, who helped him develop his talent. His teachers tried in vain to get Lloyd to draw subjects other than Abraham Lincoln. Many of his sketches appeared in the Stivers News during his student days. Upon graduation Lloyd attended the school of art at the Dayton Art Institute. His formal education was interrupted with service in the Army Air Corps. After the war, he took a job as a commercial artist for the Journal Herald. Along the way, Lloyd worked with other artists, including another Stivers alumnus and Hall of Famer Milton Caniff and in 1950 he became a self-employed commercial artist, producing religious art, greeting cards, portraits, and innumerable pencil sketches of Lincoln.
Lloyd collected and owned the largest collection of Lincoln pictures and memorabilia in the United States. He wrote two biographical books about Lincoln (both illustrated by the artist), created two books of illustrations about Lincoln, and edited and illustrated another biography of his beloved Lincoln. Even in his other hobby – boating – Lloyd carried over his love of Lincoln by naming his steamboat replica Abraham Lincoln.
Mr. Ostendorf was a longtime member of and served as president of the Dayton Civil War Roundtable, and other such groups. Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee is the beneficiary of much of Lloyd’s collections, and he received an honorary doctorate from them for his work and generosity. He remained in the Dayton area, working until his death in 2000. Even his home on Lookout Drive in Oakwood had a Lincolnesque split rail fence surrounding it. This home he shared with his wife (whom he met at the Dayton Art Institute), the former Rita Hoefler, a renowned dancer, instructor, and first director of the U.D. Flyerettes. Rita died in 2013. The couple had three children – Dan, Tom, and Roxanne (McDade), all of whom still live in the Dayton area, and eight grandchildren.