Charles F. Ostermeier

Charles F. Ostermeier, a retired farmer now living in Cumberland, Hancock County, Indiana, was born in Sugar Creek Township on April 18, 1858, and there lived and farmed until some eight years ago. He is a son of Christian H. and Christina (Miller) Ostermeier, the former born in Frille, Germany, October 14, 1827, a son of Christian Ostermeier and wife. The elder Christian was born and reared in Germany, where he was a farmer and the father of five children, two of whom had died in infancy. The others were Christian, father of the subject of this sketch; Mary, now Mrs. Wilson, and Christiana (now Mrs. Clapper), all deceased except the last named. The elder Christian was married two or three times and after the death of his first wife, mother of the family just mentioned, he and his son Christian came to America in 1841 or 1842, when the younger Christian was but fourteen years of age. Arriving in America, they came direct to Sugar Creek Township and for probably a year afterward, both father and son worked industriously to earn sufficient money for the passage of the rest of the family. When this was accomplished, they entered eighty acres of land from the government, being part of the southwest quarter of section 11 all covered with heavy timber. Here both father and son worked to erect a small cabin and barn, which cabin home answered for a few years and was followed by a more pretentious two-room hewn log house with porch and there the elder Christian passed his remaining days. Both his second and third wives were from Germany, the latter, named Christina, surviving him. She was the mother of two children: Elnore (now Mrs. Brusking) and Louisa (now Mrs. Woempeur).

As above state, Christian Ostermeier was fourteen years of age when he came with his father to this township, where his youth and manhood were spent. When twenty-three years of age he was married to Christina Miller, born on the Miller homestead in Sugar Creek Township on December 4, 1832, and died at her home in this same township, April 8, 1892, at the age of fifty-nine years, five months and four days. Christian Ostermeier and wife were the parents of eight children, namely: Christian, deceased; Charles F.; Christina, who died when eighteen years of age; Mary, deceased; Willie, died in infancy; Emma, wife of Chris Schakel; Henry and William. Both Christian Ostermeier and wife were devout members of the German Lutheran Church, as was also his father before him, and he espoused the cause of the Democratic party upon attaining his majority. Christian Ostermeier died at his home in Sugar Creek Township on October 12, 1899, at the age of seventy-one years, eleven months and twenty-eight days.

Charles F. Ostermeier passed his childhood and youth on the family homestead in Sugar Creek Township, and attended the German school taught by the Rev. J. G. Kunz. He continued to help his father with the work of the homestead until thirty years of age and the following six years found him working out among the neighboring farmers. On December 20, 1894, he was united in marriage with Laura Sargent, born in Tipton County, this state, near the town of Windfall, on April 25, 1874, a daughter of James and Susan (Sanders) Sargent. James Sargent was a native of Hancock County, born on April 1, 1833, and died at Fortville, January 17, 1900, a son of Samuel Sargent and wife. Susan Sanders was born near Windfall, Tipton County, August 8, 1854, and died on December 31, 1891. She was the mother of nine children, namely: Laura, wife of Mr. Ostermeier; Charlie, died in infancy; Samuel, Jess, Mary, Delphia, Josephine, died in infancy; Elvina and Joseph. James Sargent had been twice married, his first wife being Eliza Bennington, who bore him six children, as follow: John R., Frank, Jane, Martha, Bell and Jimmie; all dead except Bell and John Richard.

After marriage, Charles F. Ostermeier took his bride to his forty-acre farm which he had just purchased from his father and they took possession of the five-room house, which was just being completed, and where they lived for a number of years. The following summer he erected a good barn and in 1902 bought fifteen acres to the south of his farm, making fifty-five acres in all, and in April of 1908 he sold this farm and the following fall moved to Cumberland, where he bought a residence and his since resided. Mr. Ostermeier has been active in threshing work for the past twenty-five years, but has practically retired for the active affairs of life. Both Mr. and Mrs. Ostermeier are members of the German Lutheran Church, of which he served one year as vorsteher. Politically, he is a Democrat and is one of the best-known men of Sugar Creek Township, where he has spent practically all his life. He has lived a busy life and enjoys the confidence and respect of his fellow men.

Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 866-868.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI September 12, 2001.

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