GEORGE OSTERKAMP. - among the wide-awake and progressive farmers of Honey Point township none is more deserving of success than George Osterkamp, who owns two hundred and eighty acres which he accumulated through his thrift and good management. He is a native of Hanover, Germany, a province that has furnished many of the most respected men in Illinois, and was born October 10, 1853, a son of Herman and Gertie (Schaeffer) Osterkamp. Grandfather John Osterkamp was a farmer and served in the French army in 1812. The father of Herman Osterkamp was born in the same house as the grandfather and after arriving at manhood he became a soldier in the German army. In 1864, desiring to seek more favorable conditions for his children, he went aboard a sailing vessel at Bremerhaven, with his wife and four sons, and landed at New York city, proceeding direct to Alton, Illinois. After engaging for five years in farming near Staunton, the land being in both Madison and Macoupin counties, he removed to Bond county, where he died in 1875, his wife having been called away four years previous.
George Osterkamp received his preliminary education in his native land and had no opportunity of attending school after arriving in America, as his services were needed in support of the family. He went to Bond county with his father and worked under him for one year, spending the following year as a farm hand in the same county. After working for two years in Madison county, he came to Macoupin county and continued to work for wages. After thirteen years of practical experience under other persons, he rented a farm in Cahokia township, but at the close of a year came to Honey Point township. In 1878 he purchased one hundred and twenty acres, upon which he took up his permanent residence in 1880. He now owns two hundred and eighty acres, one hundred and twenty of which are in Cahokia township. He has engaged in general farming and by good business management has secured very gratifying results. He has brought his fields under a high state of cultivation and has added many modern improvements upon his farm. He is an energetic and successful business man and has taken an active part in promoting the welfare of this region.
On September 15, 1878, Mr. Osterkamp was married to Miss Mary Weyen, a daughter of Weye H. Weyen, record of whom appears elsewhere in this work. To this union seven children have been born, namely: Weye, who is engaged in farming in Cahokia township; Gertie, the wife of Ernest Delaney, of Oklahoma; Mate, who married Othie Moore and now resides in New Mexico; and Herman, Emma, Frieda and George, all of whom are living at home.
In politics Mr. Osterkamp is a stanch supporter of the principles and candidates of the democratic party. He has served as a member of the board of road commissioners for the past sixteen or seventeen years and has also filled the offices of school treasurer and school trustee, displaying an ability in public affairs that has met the hearty approval of the people. He is a member of the Mutual Protective league of Montgomery county, and he and his family are identified with the Lutheran church, of which he is a trustee. In his boyhood Mr. Osterkamp was taught the value of labor and by denying himself as a young man he secured the foundation which enabled him to accumulate a competency, assuring him of abundance during the remainder of his life. His example of energy, industry and self-reliance is worthy of emulation by all who would accomplish noble aims.