Francis H. Stallkamp
Francis H. Stallkamp vice-president of the Delphos National Bank, a
venerated citizen and the oldest merchant of the town, has been a resident
of the United States for many years, but was born in Hanover, Germany,
September 25,1824, his parents living at that time in the province of
Osnabruck. Mr. Stallkamp remained in his native land until past his majority,
complying with the laws and securing the education accorded every German
child. In 1847 he embarked on a sailing vessel and crossed the Atlantic to the
shores of America. His first permanent location was at Buffalo, New
York, and he remembers crossing the first iron bridge built in that
city, which structure was looked upon as being as great a feat of
engineering at that day, as some of the notable modern undertaking of the
present appeared to be. In 1848 Mr. Stallkamp came to Ohio and found
work in a saw-mill near Delphos. Game was very abundant in the forest
where he was engaged in cutting and hauling logs, and wolves were
troublesome and sometimes dangerous. The leading inn at Delphos was the
America House, a hostelry which accommodated the traveling public at
this trading station. For a time he acted as hostler here and also did
other work in the neighborhood, butchering and dealing to some extent in
cattle and horses. No railroads had yet been built through this section,
but engineers were making surveys, and he recalls driving one party of
engineers from Delphos to Elida and Lima.
In 1853 Mr. Stallkamp embarked in a grocery and provision business on
the bank of the canal, the greater part of the patronage coming from
boats which would stop and provision at his place as they passed up and
down. This continued for two years then Mr. Stallkamp went into
partnership in the same line with Theodore Wrocklage under the firm name
of T. Wrocklage & Company, which continued until the death of Mr.
Wrocklage in 1890. Since that date the firm has been known in business
circles as F. H. Stallkamp & Company. When Mr. Wrocklage entered the
business, a line of Queensware was added, and the firm soon had one of
the finest grocery and Queensware stores in Allen County. Mr. Stallkamp
also bought cattle and prepared them for shipment, supplying the up and
down canal trade a mentioned. His first quarters were in the rear of a
building right on the canal, and in those days it looked scarcely
possible that from that beginning should grow the present important
wholesale and retail house. By old traders on the canal Mr. Stallkamp is
easily recalled, and the success to which he attained was in great
measure the result of his honest dealings and good management. In
February, 1903, Mr. Stallkamp retired from the grocery and Queensware
business in favor of his sons who still carry it on, using the same
honest methods and progressive ideas that have marked it from the
beginning. Five of Mr. Stallkamp's sons are interested in the business.
In 1853 Mr Stallkamp was united in marriage with Josephine Hedrick, who
died in November, 1880, leaving eight sons and one daughter, viz:
Theodore J., Frank, Sylvester A., Otto W., Edward L., cashier of the
Delphos National Bank; John H., deceased; Josephine M., Louis C., George
H. and Fred.
Mr. Stallkamp has always been interested in the various enterprises which
promised to benefit Delphos, and has contributed liberally in support of
public-spirited movements. For many years he was connected with the Ohio
Wheel Company. In financial circles he stands high as vice-president and
one of the largest stockholders of the Delphos National Bank. He is a
consistent member of St. John's Catholic Church. He has never sought
Theodore J. Stallkamp, the eldest son of Francis H. and Josephine
(Hedrick) Stallkamp, was born in the family home at Delphos, on the west
side of the canal where his parents lived and his father carried on his
business for so many years.
Mr. Stallkamp was given excellent educational opportunities, taking
lessons in both English and German in the public and parochial schools.
Since 1868, with the exception of one year during which he was clerk in
a dry goods house, he has been associated with his father; first as
assistant and later as partner. With his four brothers he now conducts
the largest grocery and Queensware business in the county, and is the
senior member of the Stallkamp Grocery & Queensware Company. The firm
now occupies a fine two-story and basement brick building, with front of
39 by 72 feet and rear of 39 by 38 feet. The first story is devoted to
groceries and the second to Queensware. A complete stock of staple and
fancy groceries of excellent quality is carried and can be supplied in
Theodore J. Stallkamp is an excellent business man and possesses many
of the traits of a father who was for years one of the most successful men in his
line in this section. Since 1903 he has been a member of the City Council.
For the past 18 years he has been connected with the Delphos fire department,
entering as a volunteer, but now only holding honorary membership.
He is also a member of the Catholic Knights of America.
Theodore J. Stallkamp married Isabel Stevenson and they have an
interesting family of four children, viz: Elizabeth, Alexander, Raymond
and Florence. Mr.Stallkamp, like his venerable father, is a valued
member of St. John's Catholic Church.