Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Restrictions

INDEX TERMS

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I. John Patterson Osterhout, 1836-1904.

Series II. Paul Osterhout, 1881-1939.

Series III. Osterhout Family, 1849-1941,

Series IV. The Baptist Church in Texas, 1849-1883

Series V. Architectural Plans, no dates.

POSSIBLE SUBJECTS OF INTEREST

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Osterhout Family Papers, 1836-1941



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Osterhout family
Title Osterhout Family - Papers,
Dates: 1836-1941, Bulk Dates 1851-1905
Abstract: Correspondence, drawings, maps, scrapbooks, pamphlets, newspapers, and other papers, of John Patterson Osterhout (1826-1903), relating to his early life in Pennsylvania, early impressions of Texas, work as a judge, service in the Confederate Army, and leader of the Republican Party in Texas, and of his son, Paul Osterhout (1859-1944), relating to his studies at Baylor University and University of Pennsylvania Dept. of Medicine, activities fighting yellow fever during the digging of the Panama Canal, and his career as a physician, planter, and consul in Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama. Includes material concerning military service during the Texas Republic, Baptists in antebellum Texas, and other Osterhout family members.
ID MS 355
Extent 3 feet, 8 linear inches, 4.5 cubic feet
Language English.
Repository: Rice UniversityFondren Library Houston, TX 77251-1892

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

The Osterhout Family Collection begins with John Patterson Osterhout (1826-1903). John was born in Pennsylvania and completed his education as a lawyer while carrying out a teaching career in that state. In 1851, John moved to Bellville, Texas in Austin County. At first, he continued to be a teacher but, in the years up until his death, John held a number of different positions - lawyer, collecting agent, newspaper editor and owner, officer in the Confederate Army, railroad company president, judge, postmaster, rancher and a store owner. As well as these varied occupations, John was prominent in the Baptist church and Masonic communities and, later in his life, he was involved in state politics. In 1859(?), he made a brief return to Pennsylvania to marry Junia Roberts.

Junia (Roberts) Osterhout was born in Pennsylvania where she met and married John and came back to Texas with him in 1859(?). She was the mother of six children - Paul, Gertrude, John Jeremiah, Ora, Junia and another child that died in infancy - and helped raise them in Bellville and Belton, Texas. Junia died in 1897.

Paul Osterhout (1859-1944), the first child, was born and raised in Bellville and Belton, Texas. He graduated from Baylor College in Texas and Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania. After holding several odd jobs following graduation, Paul moved to Central America in 1888 where he began his professional career. He and his wife, May, lived in Nicaragua, Colombia and Panama where Paul tried his hand variously as a doctor, pharmacist, banana and rubber plantation owner and political consul. In the later stages of his career, Paul and May moved back to Texas and resided in San Antonio.

As for the rest of the family, Gertrude Osterhout, the second child, went to Baylor Female College where she had much success academically. She later went on to become a faculty member at Baylor University. John Jeremiah, who went by the name Jeremiah or Jere, moved to Central America to look for work and lived with his brother Paul. He later held a job as a postal clerk on the Santa Fe railroad. Ora Osterhout attended Baylor University and later married into the Wade Family. It is from Ora that this collection came to Rice University. The youngest Osterhout, Junia, had a career as a school teacher.

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SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The Osterhout Family Papers, consisting of 9 document boxes and 7 architectural plan folders, detail the lives of John Patterson Osterhout and his family in Texas and in Central America during the latter half of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. This collection primarily consists of the correspondence, professional records and personal effects of the Osterhout family.

The first series follows the personal life and professional career of John Osterhout from his schooldays and teaching career in Pennsylvania to his death in Belton, Texas in 1903. With respect to his personal correspondence, the collection holds many of the letters that John sent as well as those that he received; thus, it is increasingly easy to explore the day to day affairs and concerns of the man. Outside of the social value of these papers, John Osterhout's records hold a great deal of information on a variety of subjects such as the American Civil War, legal issues, state and national politics, Indian raids, slavery and the Texas Revolution.

The second series contains Paul Osterhout's personal and professional records. They chronicle his life from his academic career at Baylor College and the Jefferson Medical College in Pennsylvania, through his stay in Central America and his return to Texas. Paul's letters from school provide a good look at life in a boarding school and an out-of-town university. The records, especially the correspondence, from Nicaragua, Colombia and Panama detail a number of topics from running a plantation, to being an American in a foreign country, to combating yellow fever, to lengthy descriptions of the political changes and turmoil that Nicaragua and Colombia endured in the later 1800's and early 1900's.

Since the records of John and Paul Osterhout make up the bulk of the papers, they have been placed in their own series. The third series is dedicated to the other members of the Osterhout family and general family materials. The letters of Gertrude and Ora Osterhout, as well as Gertrude's journal, provide information on the daily affairs of the all female boarding school, Baylor Female College. The letters of Junia (Roberts) Osterhout generally are either to or from her siblings in other states. Jeremiah's correspondence is solely from his stay with his brother Paul in Nicaragua and sheds some more light on the political affairs of the country in 1894. The Wade family papers, which were added to the Osterhout family papers when Ora married into the Wade family, are dated from the 1860's and give more evidence on the American Civil War.

The Osterhout's were active Baptists and with their collection came a number of printed materials concerning the Baptist religion in Texas in the later half of the nineteenth century. Also included in this series are letters of standing for various individuals that moved to new Baptist communities. These letters give testimony to the good standing of the persons within their old church community.

The last series is made up of a number of architectural plans for houses that were designed by P. Herbert. It is assumed that they may be some of the homes that the Osterhouts resided in; however, as there is no information about these plans, it is difficult to be sure for whom these homes were designed. A few of the houses have their complete plans including the front and side exteriors, the various floors, the roofs and the foundation plans. Other houses are only partially complete.

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Restrictions

RESTRICTIONS AND PERMISSION TO PUBLISH

There are no restrictions but permission to publish material from the Osterhout Family - Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

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INDEX TERMS

Political parties--Texas.
Medical colleges--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia.
Universities and colleges--Texas.
Plantations--Central America.
Yellow fever--Central America.
Agriculture--Colombia.
Agriculture--Panama.
Agriculture--Nicaragua.
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Panama.
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Nicaragua.
Diplomatic and consular service, American--Colombia.
Yellow fever--Panama.
Canals--Panama.
Baptists--Texas.
Pennsylvania--History--19th century.
Texas--History--19th century.
Texas--History--20th century.
Texas--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Texas--Politics and government--1865-1950.
Texas--History--Republic, 1836-1846.
Texas--Social life and customs.
Texas--Education--Universities and colleges.
Panama Canal (Panama)
Colombia--Foreign relations--United States.
Panama--Foreign relations--United States.
Nicaragua--Foreign relations--United States.
United States--Foreign relations--Colombia.
United States--Foreign relations--Panama.
United States--Foreign relations--Nicaragua.
United States--Foreign relations-.
Panama--Transportation--Canals.

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Related Material

See also The Bellville Countryman (also known as The Texas Countryman), John P. Osterhout's newspaper, for more information on Texas in the 1860's. These newspapers are in the Fondren Library at Rice University in microfilm and in their original form at the Woodson Research Center (Call Number AN2.H4 T4). For further research into the Osterhout family history, contact the Osterhout Free Library in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. See also the collection of Austin College, Sherman, Texas, Copies of finding aids in the control file.

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Administrative Information

PREFERRED CITATION:

Osterhout Family - Papers, 1836-1941, MS 355, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

PROVENANCE

A majority of the papers were purchased by Rice University from Mrs. Ora Osterhout Wade in 1958 and a second group of records arrived in October 1962. The collection register of John P. Osterhout was added to the collection in October 1965 as a gift from Herbert Herrick Fletcher. And in November 1992, Harry Yeager donated the book "History of the Roberts Family" to add to the collection.

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SERIES DESCRIPTION

 

Series I. John Patterson Osterhout, 1836-1904.
19 linear inches (3.5 document boxes).

This series is arranged in two sub-series--Personal Life and Professional Life. In the sub-series Professional Life, the Legal and Public Service Correspondence and the Legal Documents include some of the letters and records of Abram Frear, John Osterhout's legal partner. Some of the subjects exhibited in this series are the Civil War, state and national politics, slavery, and the Texas Revolution.
Personal Life
box folder
1 1 Bills, Receipts and Promissory Notes
folder
2 Circulars and Public Announcements
folder
3-12 Correspondence, 1842-1873
box folder
2 1-6 Correspondence, 1874-1904
folder
7 Legal Documents, 1857-1879
folder
8 Masonic Activities
folder
9 Newspaper Clippings
folder
10 Phrenological Chart of John Osterhout
folder
11 Schoolwork, 1842-1847
folder
12 Testimonials, 1844-1851
folder
13 Unidentified Original Compositions
folder
14 Wyoming Seminary Annual Exhibition Programs, 1845 and 1846
Professional Life
folder
15 Bellville Town Meeting Minutes, 1858
folder
16 Belton Voting List, 1876
folder
17 Bills, Receipts and Promissory Notes of Clients
folder
18 Certificates and Commissions
folder
19 Civil War Documents
box folder
3 1 Collection Register, 1857-1860
folder
2 Correspondence, Civil War, (not by John Osterhout) 1861-1865
folder
3 Correspondence, Countryman Newspaper, 1860-1866
folder
4-8 Correspondence, Legal and Public Service Career, 1848-1889
folder
9 Correspondence, Political Career, 1876-1886
folder
10 Correspondence, Railroad Company, 1869
folder
11 "Handbook of Songs and Rhymes" by J. P. Osterhout
folder
12 Land Survey and Building Sketches
box folder
4 1-2 Legal Documents, 1845-1876
folder
3 Petitions for Reinstatement
folder
4 Republic of Texas Veterans' Case, Correspondence, 1836-1856
folder
5-6 Republic of Texas Veterans' Case, Legal Documents, 1836-1855
folder
7 Republic of Texas Veterans' Case, Muster Rolls
folder
8 Speeches and Compositions
folder
9 Teaching Contract, 1852
folder
10 Unused Court Forms

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Series II. Paul Osterhout, 1881-1939.
11.5 linear inches. (2.5 document boxes).

This series has two sub-series--Personal Life and Professional Life. May Osterhout's personal correspondence has been kept among Paul's correspondence because it is addressed primarily to Paul's family and are written in part on Paul's behalf. Topics in this series include education, the Yellow Fever Epidemics in Central America, World War I, rubber and banana plantations, the overthrow of the Nicaraguan government in 1894, the Nicaraguan-American Conflict in Mosquito Reservation 1894-1895 and the War of a Thousand Days in Colombia 1899-1902.
Personal Life
folder
11 Anti-German War Propaganda, 1917
folder
12 Baylor Female College Cornerstone Ceremony Program, 1907
folder
13 Bills and Receipts, 1903-1911
folder
14 Class List of 1887
folder
15-19 Correspondence, 1881-1888
box folder
5 1-10 Correspondence, 1889-1897
box folder
6 1-6 Correspondence, 1898-1939
folder
7 Essay, "Facts Concerning the Cause of the War of 1812" by Woodrow Wilson
folder
8 Invitations and Benefits
folder
9 Maps and Sketches
folder
10 Newspaper Clippings
folder
11 Photograph
folder
12 Power of Attorney Statement by Paul Osterhout
folder
13 Reward Statement
folder
14 Unused Postcards
Professional Life
folder
15 Advertisement of Plow Manufacturer
folder
16 American Medical Directory Information Sheet, 1905
folder
17 Annual Efficiency Report on Consular Subordinates, 1917
folder
18 Applications
folder
19 Booklet, "A Simple Method of Identifying the Anopheles Mosquitoes of the Canal Zone" 1918
folder
20 Clinical Charts, 1905-1908
folder
21 Correspondence, Professional, 1904-1918
box folder
7 1 Employee Work Records, 1909-1913
folder
2 Professional Career of Dr. Isaac McLean
folder
3 Quarantine History of the Nor. S.S. Belvernon, 1905
folder
4 Yellow Fever Victim List 1900-1906

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Series III. Osterhout Family, 1849-1941,
10 inches. (2 document boxes).

Consisting of the correspondence and personal effects of the remaining members of the Osterhout family, this series has been divided into two sub-series - Correspondence and Subject Files. The folder noted as Miscellaneous Correspondence holds the letters that are not from or addressed to any of the members of John Osterhout's family in Texas and are in chronological order. The personal effects of the Wade and Bouldin families come from the family that Ora Osterhout married into. This series deals with subjects such as education, the Civil War, state and national politics and the Nicaraguan-American Conflict 1894-1895.
Correspondence
folder
5 Miscellaneous, 1849-1918
folder
6-9 Osterhout, Gertrude, 1880-1920
folder
10 Osterhout, Jeremiah, 1894
folder
11 Osterhout, Junia, 1904-1922
folder
12 Osterhout, Junia (Roberts), 1859-1897
folder
13 Osterhout, Ora, 1886-1941
folder
14 Wade Family, 1865-1868
box folder
8 1 Wade Family, c. 1860's-1891
Subject Files
folder
2 "Address of Judge Peter W. Gray to the Citizens of Houston on the African Slave Trade", May 30, 1859
folder
3 Baylor College Record, 1902
folder
4 Civil War Documents of Captain H. M. Bouldin
folder
5 Envelopes without Letters
folder
6 History of the Roberts Family, 1927
folder
7 Invitation to the Inauguration of James Ferguson - Governor of Texas 1915
folder
8 Journal of Gertrude Osterhout
folder
9 Newspapers
folder
10 Personal Memorabilia of Junia Osterhout
folder
11 Photographs and Sketches
folder
12 Scrap Book (Bouldin Family)
box folder
9 1 Shipping Invoice, January 15, 1868
folder
2 Speeches and Poems

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Series IV. The Baptist Church in Texas, 1849-1883
3 inches (.5 document box).

This series provides information on the Baptist Church in the state of Texas in the nineteenth century. Most of the records are minutes, pamphlets and newspapers that circulated throughout Texas. These records were separated from the other family materials upon their arrival at Rice University and have been maintained in this order.
folder
3 Baptist State Convention of Texas' Annual Meeting Minutes, 1857-1859; 1861-1867; 1883
folder
4 Letters of Standing, 1849-1860
folder
5 Pamphlets
folder
6 Texas Baptist and Herald Newspapers
folder
7 Union Baptist Association Annual Meeting Minutes, 1856-1859; 1864-1866; 1869

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Series V. Architectural Plans, no dates.
(7 architectural plan folders)

These plans were drawn by P. Herbert. Sets of plans are separated into individual homes.
folder
1 House 1
folder
2 House 2
folder
3 House 3
folder
4 House 4
folder
5 House 5
folder
6 House 6
folder
7 House 7

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POSSIBLE SUBJECTS OF INTEREST

(The first number followed by a period is the box number. The second number(s) is the folder(s) where the record can be found.)


Baptist Church:   9.3-7;   See also personal correspondence of John P. Osterhout.

Baylor Female College:   4.12;   7.6-8;   7.11;   8.3;   8.8.

Civil War and Slavery:   1.1-2;   1.5;   1.7-9;   2.4;   2.7;   2.9;   2.19;   3.2-3;   3.11;   7.12;   7.14;   8.2;   8.4;   8.12;   9.3;   9.7.

Nicaragua Political Affairs, 1892-1895:   5.5-8;   7.10.

Plantations in Central America:   4.18-19;   5.1-10;   6.1-6;   6.21.

Rice, William Marsh:   2.17;   3.1;   3.6-7.

Texas Revolution:   4.4-7.

War of a Thousand Days, Colombia 1899-1902:   6.2-4.

Yellow Fever in Central America:   6.19-21;   7.3-4;   See also Paul Osterhout's personal correspondence.

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