Charles Osterkamp (1884-1947)

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Charles Emil Osterkamp, the first child of Emil Osterkamp and the former Christina Hanewinkel, was born on July 25, 1884 at the family home, 1918 S. 3rd Street, St. Louis.

It is not clear whether Charles finished high school. By 1899, he was already working as a clerk for Martin & Bass, a law firm. The June 1900 U.S. Census report, collected when Charles was 15, stated that he had not been in school during the previous 12 months. At about age 16, Charles took a job as a clerk with the Simmons Hardware Company, where he would stay for seven years. In about 1908, Charles accepted a position as a buyer with International Shoe Company, also known as Roberts, Johnson and Rand Shoe Company, and became a department manager two years later. At the time, he still lived with his family at 2261A Indiana Avenue.

In 1910, Charles married the former Emma Christine Sandvoss, who was born in Missouri on April 23, 1884 to German immigrants Andreas Sandvoss, who worked in the vinegar trade, and Wilhelmina "Minnie" Sandvoss. Charles and Emma moved to 3415A Dunnica Avenue. In about 1916, they purchased a house at 5215 Lisette Avenue. Charles was described at the time as tall, with a medium build, with gray eyes and brown hair.

In the 1930s, Charles and Emma moved to 4125 Holly Hills Blvd., where they would live for the rest of Charles' life. Charles remained with International Shoe Company as a department manager, office manager and assistant general manager.

Charles had an unusual passion for his job. Following one detailed tour of the shoe factory for a boy scout group, one adult participant wrote that Charles was "truly a Christ-like man whether he belongs to any church or not." In the 1930s and early 1940s, Charles also was a frequent participant in "goodwill tours" by groups of 50-to-75 St. Louis businessmen of towns in Missouri and nearby states, including Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, designed to promote "cooperation" between the areas. In its 1939 tour, the group traveled with its own 12-piece military band to announce its arrival. During one March 25, 1941 stop in Greenville, Mississippi, Charles served as chairman of the day's program, which began with a presentation to the group of souvenir cotton balls from "Greenville The Cotton Capital."

Charles also was, in the words of one newspaper, "a popular speaker" on topics such as "Shoes Through the Ages," and was "much in demand for community gatherings of a wide variety." Charles had a large collection of shoes from around the world to share with his audiences, including a size 25 pair made to order for Robert Wadlow, the tallest recorded person in history; a bearskin moccasin reputed to have been worn on a Kentucky hunting trip with Daniel Boone; a Chinese coolie's wooden platform shoe; and shoes worn by the former Archbishop of St. Louis, John Joseph Glennon, when in Rome to be made a Cardinal.

In about 1940, Charles contracted Hodgkin's disease (cancer of the lymphatic system). The effects caused him to be admitted in early January 1947 to Barnes Hospital, where he had a stroke known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Charles died on February 11, 1947, and was buried two days later at Sunset Burial Park, 10180 Gravois Road.


Offspring of Charles_Osterkamp and Emma Christine Sandvoss (1884-1970)  ¢
Name Birth Death Joined with
Roy Osterkamp (1912-2002) 1 August 1912 St. Louis, United States 18 February 2002 Lucille Kurusz (1915-2002)


(See also the "sensor" subpage)

Sources Edit

  • City of St. Louis birth registry, 1884 (entry for Emma Sandvoss).
  • Charles E. Osterkamp birth certificate.
  • St. Louis City Directory, 1882, 1884, 1893 (entries for Andrew Sandvoss).
  • St. Louis City Directory, 1898 (entry for Wilhelmina Sandvoss).
  • St. Louis City Directory, 1899, 1901-17, 1919, 1921-23, 1925 (entries for Charles Osterkamp).
  • U.S. Census Report, 1900 (entries for Emil Osterkamp and family).
  • U.S. Census Report, 1910 (entries for Emil Osterkamp and family).
  • Charles E. Osterkamp military registration card.
  • 1920 U.S. Census report (entry for Charles Osterkamp and family).
  • "Boy Scout News," The Ada (Okla.) Evening News, July 16, 1929, p. 3.
  • 1930 U.S. Census report (entry for Charles Osterkamp and family).
  • "70 St. Louisans To Visit Moberly," Monitor-Index and Democrat (Moberly, Mo.), April 18, 1938, p. 5.
  • "Finds Treasure In Garbage Can," The Bend (Or.) Bulletin, June 3, 1938, p. 3
  • 1939 St. Louis City Directory (entry for Charles Osterkamp).
  • "Good Will Tour To City Soon," The Sikeston (Mo.) Herald, October 19, 1939, p. 1
  • "C'Dale Host To Visitors From City," The Free Press (Carbondale, Ill.), Oct. 24, 1939, p. 1.
  • "St. Louis Men Arrive Here On Goodwill Tour," The Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, Miss.), March 25, 1941, p. 5.
  • 'Ladies Night' For Rotarians At Local Country Club Tonight," Edwardsville (Ill.) Intelligencer, September 27, 1945, p. 1.
  • "Rotarians Have Special Meeting," Edwardsville (Ill.) Intelligencer, September 28, 1945, pp. 1-2.
  • Death certificate for Charles E. Osterkamp.
  • "Santa Fe Trail starts at Arrow Road Park," Post-Tribune (Jefferson City, Mo.), June 17, 1970, p. 1-A.

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