Sedgwick County KSGenWeb

Portrait And Biographical Album of Sedgwick County, Kan.

Chapman Brothers 18887

Pages 356- 359

HENRY SEEKAMP, a native of the Prussian Province of Hanover, and born not far from Hamburg, on the 21st of June, 1838, sought for a home leagues and leagues from his birthplace and the Fatherland. Like hundreds of that class to whose efforts the State of Kansas owes so much for its development and prosperity, the subject of this history came to this section of country armed only with his strong hands and willing heart, and the elements of character which descended to him from a line of honorable ancestry, conspicuous chiefly for its plodding industry and uniform success in life.

     John H. and Annie (Woobse) Seekamp, the parents of our subject, were also of German birth and parentage, and natives of Hanover, where the mother passed away May 15, 1864, and in 1866 the father came to this country, and now makes his home with our subject. Henry was reared to manhood under the parental roof, and in accordance with the laws and customs of his native country, was placed in school at an early age, and remained under the tutelage of excellent masters until reaching his fourteenth year. He was given the wisdom which enabled him to make the most of his opportunities, and emerged from the school-room with an excellent knowledge of the common branches of study in his native tongue.

     Upon leaving school young Seekamp employed himself principally at farming, until reaching manhood, and remained upon his native soil until the spring of 1865. His progress then, however, both mentally and financially, was not satisfactory, and he resolved to seek his fortunes in the New World. Bidding adieu to the friends of his childhood, he engaged passage on a steamer bound from Hamburg to New York, at which latter place he arrived after a voyage of fourteen days, four of which had been spent in the harbor of Southampton, where the vessel was obliged to put up for repairs. Soon after landing upon American soil, Mr. Seekamp made his way to Will County, Ill., where he engaged as a farm laborer for one year, receiving for his labor $140 and his board. This contract having expired, he determined to invest his somewhat limited capital in a locality on the other side of the Mississippi, and took up his residence, first in Wabaunsee County, this State, where he resided until 1870, and was employed as before. That year he pre-empted a quarter-section of land lying partly on sections 24 and 25, in Salem Township, and which he still occupies.

     It is hardly necessary to say, considering the reputed character of the man, that the land which Mr. Seekamp thus secured possession of bears now a wide contrast to its original condition. He settled on the raw prairie, in a region where Indians and buffalo still abounded. His nearest neighbor was a mile distant, and not the faintest attempt at improvement had been made on his own land, and very little upon that within his vision around him. He had arrived here with a capital of $200, by means of which he provided himself with the implements of agriculture and a structure to shelter himself from the storm. This latter had been erected with a view of a prospective family, Mr. Seekamp after his arrival here having been married, Aug. 18, 1870, to a young lady of his own country, Miss Mary Rohrs. Mrs. Seekamp was born in Hanover, Sept. 14, 1850, and is the daughter of Frederick and Sophia(Bunk) Rohrs, who are both living and remain upon their native soil.

     Mrs. Seekamp came to America alone, in 1870, and settled with friends in Ohio, remaining there, however, but a short time, when she joined her intended husband in this county, and they were made one in Wabaunsee County, Kan. The record of their seven children is as follows: Christopher H. was born Aug. 9, 1871; Martha M., Oct. 3, 1873; Frederick, Nov. 19, 1875; August, March 9, 1878; Annie, Aug. 17, 1880; Henry, Jan. 14, 1883, and Adaline, April 26, 1885. The home circle remains unbroken, all the children living, and all at home. The Seekamp farm comprises 312 acres at present, Mr. S. having added to his first claim by subsequent purchases. In addition to general farming he is quite a horticulturist and stock-breeder, and in each department has been very successful. Both he and his estimable lady are general favorites in their community, and recognized as among its solid, intelligent and reliable people. The wife has labored with her husband in building up the homestead, which is noticeable throughout that section of country as being a beautiful and valuable estate. The dwelling is a commodious structure, built in modern style, and the barn and other out-buildings form a suitable background, while the assortment of fruit and shade trees adds both to the beauty and value of the premises.

     Mr. Seekamp has been quite prominent in public affairs, serving as School Treasurer, and giving both moral and substantial encouragement to the various enterprises inaugurated for the general welfare and progress of the people around him. Politically he votes for the best man.

     A lithographic view is shown in this connection of Mr. Seekamp's beautiful property.

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