August Bentkamp

West Hoboken (now part of Union City)

August Bentkamp (1881-1953)

In December 2005 Anne Bentkamp sent me an email inquiring about how to find information on August Bentkamp a German from Bielefeld, Wesfalia, Germany who immigrated to New Jersey.

AUGUST CARL BENTKAMP was born 27.3. 1881. First he lived in Hoboken, later in 1925 he bought a mansion at the "Millionaires Row" in Alpine. He was a wealthy manufacturer of artificial flowers and married around 1910 Delphina ... of Italian origin.
I replied in part that the Ellis Island Web site showed the following entries for August Bentkamp:
  • In 1902 he was listed as a 21 year old clerk born in Bielefled, Germany going to his uncle at 73 Franklin Street
  • In 1909 he was listed as born in Germany having his nearest relative or friend in Germany being Mr Carl Bentkamp of Bielefeld, Germany. At this time he was traveling with his wife. He says he had been in the US 6 years before which is in keeping with the census information. In 1909 his address was Washington Place, NY city and it says he was born in Bielefeld, Germany.
  • In 1919 he again arrived in the US. This time he was listed as being naturalized in Hudson County Court and living at 7 Washington Place NYC.
  • He entered the US in 1922 with his family including his wife, Delphine, daughter, Delphine, daughter Elsa and son Karl. He was listed with a US passport #31669 April 4, 1922. The dates of the children births were also listed. His home was listed at 172 Palisade Ave West Hoboken. Peter and Emily Baldini listed at the same address. The 1930 census indicates that Emily Baldini was a servant in the Bentkamp house.
  • He entered again in 1923 when his naturalization information was listed March 27, 1917, Court of Common Pleas Hudson County, NJ
  • He came in again in 1924 with his wife, Delphine and daughter Delphine. On this occasion he was listed as naturalized in Hudson County Court in Jersey City on March 27, 1917. It says the date of his marriage was June 24 , 1908. His daughter was born in West Hoboken, New Jersey (which is now Union City) June 29, 1914. They were still at 7 Washington Place NYC.

Further information from Anna:

To search for Bentkamp in the Internet is rather easy as there seems to be only one family in the whole world. So I found that Karl Bentkamp visited Exeter high school and that his father was named August, residence Alpine NJ. An article in a NJ newspaper described "Millionaires Row" and the, local news: "...Alpine notables such as Bentkamp".....and so on. Our Bentkamps in Bielefeld were very poor workers on the farms around, so I was curious enough to write to an Alpine historical society. A very nice lady named Wilson wrote to me that August Bentkamp bought the Brookwood mansion (constructed by the famous architect J. Cleveland Cady) in 1925, that he was a wealthy New York flower and artificial feather manufacturer and very active in local affairs, even acting mayor in 1950.

In Bremerhaven they opened a new emigration museum. In the archives there, we found Heinrich with his familiy and August with his family; that his wife Delphina was from italien origin, but not her maiden name and a World War I registration card 1917/18 (Registration Place West Hoboken Hudson NY) of August Carl Bentkamp, born 27.3.1881. And we found a new Bentkamp Emigrant: Fried. Bentkamp arrived the 16.1. 1867 with the "Preussen" from Bremen and was born in 1848. May be, he was the contact person for August.

His marriage must have been in 1908.

August had three children. Karl died at the age of 22 from a streptococcus disease (see Exeter allumni). Delphine, Augusts daughter, married at first George K. Oliver, a well known polo player of his time. A child of this couple is Karel D. Oliver, who married in 1966 Mark Mattison (a grandchild of a certain Ridder -> Knight-Ridder). Delphine married Henry Meyer in Fairfield, Connecticut, where she died in 1997. I don't know anything at all about his daughter Elsa, who was born in 1915.

So with your information, I at last entered the Ellis Island shipping lists and as August is naturalized in 1917, he must be born in Bielefeld. There is one church in Bielefeld which lost its books in World War II, maybe he was baptized there. I have got a couple who might have been his parents : Carl August Bentkamp, born 14.9. 1837, and Hanne Friederike Bockermann, but I cannot prove it.

Anne has a lot more Bentkamp information at: Familienforschung Bentkamp

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