Fred Ossanna

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Fred Albin Ossanna (August 13, 1893 – September 1978) was a Minnesota lawyer who oversaw the dismantling of the Minneapolis-St. Paul streetcar system as head of Twin City Rapid Transit Company in the 1950s.[1] Ossanna had been hired by Charles Green, a Wall Street speculator who had purchased a large number of TCRT stock shares and ousted D.J. Strouse as head of the company soon after. When it was discovered that Green had connections to organized crime, Ossanna took control. In a period of 22 months ending in June 1954, rails were removed from city streets where trolleys once traveled to be replaced by General Motors buses. Ossanna and associate Barney Larrick were both convicted of fraud on August 6, 1960 for activities that had taken place during the conversion from streetcars to buses. Ossanna had been a prominent local attorney, and left marks in various places. He helped found the Sunset Memorial Park and Funeral Chapel in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1922 by providing funding. In 1938, he had acted as counsel in a debacle known as the "Bemidji Affair" where bidding irregularities had appeared on a project for the Bemidji State Teachers College (Bemidji State University). At some point, Ossanna had done some work for National City Lines, a company that became infamous for buying up streetcar lines and converting them to bus systems.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diers & Isaacs; John W. Diers; Aaron Isaacs (2007). Twin Cities by trolley: the streetcar era in Minneapolis and St. Paul. U of Minnesota Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-8166-4358-X. 

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