Hicke Osterkamp (1819-1889)

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Osterkamp coat of arms specific

Coat of Arms

Hicke Osterkamp's 1857 land purchase

Hicke Osterkamp's 1857 land purchase

Hicke Jansen Osterkamp was the first of his family to come to the United States.

He was born on December 9, 1819, in East Friesland, Hanover, Kingdom of Hanover, now in north-central Germany. At age 29, he immigrated to the United States by sailing on the Amy from the German port of Bremerhaven to New York, arriving on June 14, 1849. He settled in St. Louis.

Hicke was approximately five feet, ten inches tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair.

On January 9, 1853, in St. Louis, Hicke, age 33, married 24-year-old Caroline Nicolai, an immigrant from the Kingdom of Württemberg. In the next five years, they had three children: Emil (1853), Robert (1855) and Julius (1858). Julius died before his second birthday, but Emil and Robert reached adulthood. The family was Lutheran, and attended Robert Immanuel Lutheran Church at Eleventh Street and Franklin Avenue.

On June 10, 1857, Hicke took advantage of the Land Act of 1820 to purchase 80 acres in St. Louis' German-American Soulard neighborhood. He and Caroline then opened a grocery and liquor store at the northeast corner of Soulard Street and 13th Street, later known as 1221 Soulard Street, and lived there for about 25 years. The business was successful, and by 1860, their real estate was valued at $5,000 (about $110,000 in current dollars), with their personal property worth $900 (about $20,000 in current dollars). On October 22, 1860, Hicke filed his second set of naturalization papers, thereby fulfilling the requirements for U.S. citizenship.

Hicke citizenship

Hicke Osterkamp's naturalization papers

Although he suffered from epilepsy, Hicke enlisted in the Union Army for three years on August 23, 1861, shortly after the Civil War began, and was assigned as a private in Company B of the Second Regiment, U.S. Reserve Corps, Missouri Infantry, a newly formed unit consisting of mostly German-American citizens of St. Louis' Second Ward, between the Soulard neighborhoodand Chouteau Avenue. Although much of Missouri's population sympathized with the Confederacy, the state's numerous German immigrants were generally pro-Union, in part because "many could see the parallel between the Southern 'slave baron' vs. the feudal baron that denied peasants the right to own land in the old fatherland." During much of his service, Hicke's company guarded a railroad near Rolla, Missouri. Hicke was discharged on February 6, 1862, because his epileptic condition apparently worsened to the point that he was, in the words of the officer who filled out his disability discharge form, "hafing the fits."
Hicke Osterkamp's Civil War certificate of discharge

Hicke Osterkamp's Civil War certificate of discharge

After his Civil War service, Hicke returned home and continued to operate the family grocery/liquor store with Caroline. However, times were hard. By 1870, the value of the family’s real estate remained $5,000 (about $110,000 in current dollars), while their personal estate declined to $500 (about $8,000 in current dollars). To help his parents, 14-year-old Robert worked in a brickyard.

By the late 1870s, Hicke's epilepsy had worsened to the point that he was listed as an invalid on an 1879 military pension application card, and as retired on an 1880 U.S. Census form. Caroline continued to run the grocery, while Emil, a leather tanner and currier, and Robert, a leather whitener, continued to live at home. Hicke's health was so poor that when Caroline made her will in 1883, she arranged for the couple's assets to be held by Robert in trust for his father.

Hicke Osterkamp's burial certificate

Hicke Osterkamp's burial certificate

After Caroline died in 1884, Hicke and Robert moved to 1117 Soulard Street, and, soon afterward, to 1121 Soulard Street, both of which were on Hicke's original 1857 land purchase. On July 25, 1889, Hicke, then 69, died at home of epilepsy. He is buried at Gatewood Gardens Cemetery, formerly Picker's Cemetery.

Family Edit

Hecke & Carolina Osterkamp marriage record

Hecke Ostercamp marriage certificate


 Caroline Osterkamp (Nicolai) (1829-1884)


 Emil Osterkamp (1853-1914)
 Robert Osterkamp (1855-1915)
 Julius Osterkamp (1858-1860)


 Charles Osterkamp (1884-1947)
 Fred Osterkamp (1885-1947)
 Arthur Osterkamp (1887-1974)
 Walter R. Osterkamp (1888-1916)
 Walter H. Osterkamp (1890-1963)
 Cliff Osterkamp (1892-1959)
 Ella Osterkamp (1893-1894)


 Roy Osterkamp (1912-2002)
 Nanon Masconi (Osterkamp) (c1921-1962)
 Walter H. Osterkamp, Jr. (1924-1993)
 Sue McConnell (Osterkamp) (b. 1935)
 Waite Osterkamp (b. 1939)

Trivia Edit

Hicke's name was commonly misspelled, particularly as "Hecke," "Heke" and "Hirte." It was also sometimes Americanized to "Henry."

Sources Edit

State of Missouri marriage record for Hicke Osterkamp and Caroline Nicolai.

Index of Immanuel Lutheran Church Records (entry for Robert Osterkamp).

Certificate for purchase of public land by Hicke J. Osterkamp.

Immigration record for Hicke Osterkamp.

Missouri State Archives naturalization records (entry for Hicke Jansen Osterkamp).

1860 U.S. Census Report (entries for Hicke Osterkamp and family).

National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, (entries for Hirte Osterkamp and 2nd Regiment, US Reserve Corps, Missouri Infantry).

Civil War service records for Hicke ("Hirte") Osterkamp.

Missouri excise tax records, 1863-64 (entries for Caroline Osterkamp).

St. Louis City Directory, 1864-72, 1874-75, 1877-83, 1885, 1887-88 (entries for Hicke Osterkamp).

1870 U.S. Census Report (entries for Hicke Osterkamp and family).

St. Louis City Directory, 1871, 1874-75, 1877-83, 1885, 1887-88 (entries for Emil Osterkamp).

St. Louis City Directory, 1874-75, 1877-83, 1885, 1887-88 (entries for Robert Osterkamp).

Military pension card for Hicke Osterkamp.

1880 (June) U.S. Census Report (entries for Hicke Osterkamp and family).

1880 (Nov.) U.S. Census Report (entries for Hicke Osterkamp and family).

Last will and testament of Caroline Osterkamp.

Burial certificate for Caroline Osterkamp.

Burial certificate for Hicke Osterkamp.

Background on Immanuel Lutheran Church, at

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