Henry Ostermeyer

Henry Ostermeyer, one of the substantial citizens of Sugar Creek township, Hancock county, Indiana, and owner of two hundred and seventy-five acres of land in said township, first saw the light of day at the home of his father, about one-half miles west of New Palestine, January 24, 1855, son of Charles and Catherine (Stumpf) Ostermeyer.

Charles Ostermeyer was born in Germany, in 1826 and while still a youth, mastered the secrets of the tailor's trade. When sixteen years of age, in company with his parents, three brothers and two sisters, he set out for America. They were seven weeks in making the voyage, and landing at the port of New York, came directly to Indiana. They first settled in Marion county, near Five Points, where the elder Ostermeyer purchased eighty acres of land, where he passed the remainder of his life. Charles Ostermeyer found employment in Indianapolis at his trade soon after reaching this state and when twenty-four years of age was married to Catherine Stumpf, also a native of Germany, whose people had come to this country about the same time the Ostermeyers did and located where the immediate subject of this sketch now lives.

After marriage, Charles Ostermeyer gave up his trade and located on the old Stumpf home, west of New Palestine. His wife inherited a portion of this farm of eighty acres and Charles Ostermeyer purchased the balance from the other heirs. The land at that time was not very valuable, there were only fifteen acres under the plow, virgin forest still covered the greater portion and also most of the land was under water the greater portion of the year. Charles Ostermeyer cleared all but ten acres, drained the land and thus rescued from the grip of the wilderness some exceedingly fertile land. He later purchased seventy-eight acres in Buck Creek township. His death occurred at his home in Sugar Creek township on August 15, 1887, when in the sixty-fourth years of his age, and his wife survived him only a year.

Henry Ostermeyer is one of a family of five, namely: Charlie, Henry Conrad, Kate and Annie, the latter being the only one deceased. Henry was born on the old family homestead, where he passed his boyhood, attending the German school of the Old Hickory church and later for a short time, the public schools of New Palestine. He remained at home as his father's assistant until twenty-eight years of age, at which time he was married and in company with his brother, rented the old home and other land. Upon the death of his parents, Henry purchased the interests of the other heirs, paying seventy dollars per acre, there being seventy-five acres in that tract, which is one of the handsomest homes in the county. He also owns one hundred and six acres in section 36, of Sugar Creek township, sixty-five acres in section 31 and another tract of twenty-eight and one-half acres in the same section. Together with his son Henry, Mr. Ostermeyer manages his entire holdings. They plant a considerable acreage to corn and small grains, and feed on an average of fifty head of Poland China hogs per annum. They have fifteen head of cattle, mostly Shorthorn, and eight head of high grade Norman horses for use in the work of the farm. Mr. Ostermeyer has been one of the county's most successful threshermen for thirty years.

Henry Ostermeyer has been twice married. His first wife, Emma Murnan, daughter of Michael Murnan, died ten years after marriage, leaving four children: Carrie, wife of Guy Scotten; Emma, wife of George Ostermeyer; Henry, who married Mary Smith, and one child who died in infancy. Mr. Ostermeyer's second wife was Mrs. L. O. (Ross) Russell, who had one child, Morton Russell, by her first marriage, there being no issued to her second union.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Ostermeyer are devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church and in politics he gives his support to the Democratic party. He served as district supervisor for about twelve years and in other ways has given evidence of his interest in community affairs. He ranks with the foremost citizens of his township in all that makes for manhood at its highest and best. Mr. and Mrs. Ostermeyer give of their earthly possession to the support of the church and other benevolent societies. They have adopted a little girl, Fern Armour Ostermeyer, now fourteen years old, taking her into their home on the death of her mother.

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 1118-1120.

Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI November 20, 2001.

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Tom & Carolyn Ward / Columbus, Kansas / tcward@columbus-ks.com

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