Walter Henry Osterkamp, the third child of Emil Osterkamp and the former Christina Hanewinkel, was born on February 6, 1890, at the family home, 1121 Soulard Street, St. Louis, on property purchased by his grandfather Hicke in 1857. The family soon moved to 2261A Indiana Avenue, where Walter would live until he married in 1920.
In 1907, at age 17, Walter started working as a clerk for Bridge & Beach Manufacturing Co., 501-503 S. Main Street. In about 1916, Bridge & Beach promoted him to a position as a traveling salesman. In his late 20s, he was described as tall, of medium build, with grey eyes, brown hair and slightly balding.
In June 1917, two months after the United States entered World War I by declaring war on Germany--the homeland of all four of his grandparents--Walter registered for military service. However, like his brother Arthur, he claimed an exemption on the basis that he was needed at home to support his mother. This assertion possibly exempted him from the draft for a time, but on June 24, 1918, he was inducted into the U.S. Army as a private, and was assigned to to an infantry unit. Upon discharge, he was reported to be "10 percent" disabled.
In 1920, Walter married the former Ruby Gall, who was born in Illinois on May 6, 1898, to Scottish immigrants James Gall, a stableman, and the former Sarah Milligan, who worked at various times as a waitress and clerk. Walter and Ruby moved to 2825A Magnolia Avenue.
Nanon, the couple's first child, was born in 1921 or 1922, followed by Walter, Jr. in 1924. By 1925, Walter was working as an agent with Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co. and had moved the family to a rented home at 3819A Minnesota Avenue, where he would live for the rest of his life. Throughout the 1930s, and for years afterward, he was a clerk and cost accountant with International Shoe Company, also known as Roberts, Johnson and Rand Shoe Co., in St. Louis, where his brother Charles also worked for years.
As he aged, Walter began to suffer from arteriosclerotic heart disease. On December 5, 1963, Walter died at home of a heart attack. Ruby, who later moved to 5849A Eichelberger Street, died of heart failure on October 11, 1974 at Forest Park Manor Nursing Home, 6220 Oakland Avenue. Both of them are buried at Sunset Memorial Park and Mausoleum, outside St. Louis at 10180 Gravois Road, Affton, Missouri.
Ruby Osterkamp (Gall) (1898-1974)
Emil Osterkamp (1853-1914) Christina Osterkamp (Hanewinkel) (1856-1927)
Nanon Masconi (Osterkamp) (c1921-1962) Walter H. Osterkamp, Jr. (1924-1993)
Charles Osterkamp (1884-1947) Arthur Osterkamp (1887-1974) Ella Osterkamp (1893-1894)
Hicke Osterkamp (1819-1889) Caroline Osterkamp (Nicolai) (1829-1884) Joannes Heinrich Hanewinkel (1810-1897) Josephina Kurten Hanewinkel (1819-1891)
Walter was a member of Aubuchon-Dennison Post 186 of the American Legion, an organization of war veterans.
St. Louis birth registry for portion of 1890 (entry for Walter Henry Osterkamp).
St. Louis City Directory, 1893 (entry for Emil Osterkamp).
St. Louis City Directory, 1907-17, 1919, 1921-23, 1925 & 1939 (entries for Walter H. Osterkamp).
U.S. Census Report, 1910 (entries for Emil Osterkamp and family; and James Gall and family).
St. Louis City Directory, 1910 & 1915 (entries for James and Sarah Gall).
Military registration card for Arthur Osterkamp, June 5, 1917.
Military registration card for Walter H. Osterkamp, June 5, 1917.
Missouri Digital Heritage: soldiers' records (entry for Walter H. Osterkamp).
U.S. Census Report, 1920 (entries for Christina Osterkamp and family).
U.S. Census Report, 1930 (entries for Walter H. Osterkamp and family).
Death certificate for Walter H. Osterkamp.
Obituary for Walter H. Osterkamp, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 6, 1963, p. 2D.
Death certificate for Ruby Osterkamp.
Social security index entry for Walter H. Osterkamp, Jr.