Frank Joseph Awerkamp (1868)

FRANK JOSEPH AWERKAMP was the oldest child of WILLIAM AWERKAMP and CATHERINE HESS and was born 12 April 1868 in Quincy , Adams, Illinois.

FRANK grew up in Quincy, Illinois. He became a carpenter by trade and there are a number of references to the Quincy newspaper to him being the president of the carpenters’ union.

Frank was quite adventurous. Following are two articles from the Sacramento, California newspaper.

Sacramento Daily Record-Union August 14, 1890
A Successful Parachute Jump Made at Agricultural Park Yesterday
A young man named F.J. Awerkamp made a successful balloon ascension and parachute jump yesterday afternoon at Agricultural Park. Very few people witnessed it, although no admission fee was charged. Awerkamp ascended in a hot-air balloon to a height of 1,000 feet and then jumped with his parachute. The latter did not open at all until the man had dropped about fifty feet, but it then suddenly spread, and Awerkamp came down easily. He landed in the corner of the Park near Twentieth and H streets. It was the first successful parachute jump ever made in this city.

Sacramento Daily Record-Union August 18, 1890 “A DARING FEAT”
The advertised balloon ascension and parachute jump at Agricultural Park yesterday afternoon turned out to be one of the most successful and finest exhibition of the kind ever seen in this part of the country. As a matter of fact, it was the first completely successful jump that ever occurred in Sacramento.
It was about 4:15 o'clock when Professor F.J. Awerkamp, the aeronaut, began to inflate his immense hot-air balloon, Lila Belle, and a quarter of an hour later the great bag was as "tight as a drum."
"All ready, let her go!” shouted the Professor, as he firmly grasped the trapeze bar, and the next instant he was jerked upward.
As the balloon went up it seemed to increase in speed until Professor Awerkamp's form dwindled away until it looked like a small black spec dangling from the parachute, which hung loose and flapping beneath the balloon.
Then a great cry went up from the thousand or more people assembled in the park, when the professor and the parachute were seen to suddenly part from the air-ship. For about two or three seconds the objects were seen to dart earthward at lightning speed; and then the parachute opened out like a great umbrella. The descent then became more gradual, and the outlines of the professor became more distinct as he neared the ground. He waved his hat to the audience and cut up "monkey shines” on his bar until within about 200 feet of the ground, when he dropped into a hanging position and waited for his arrival upon terra firma.
He alighted gently and safely in an asparagus patch just outside the north fence of the park and near the railroad track.
Meantime the released balloon tumbled and rolled lazily about in the air for several minutes and then turned upside down, collapsed. It landed on the other side of the American river and was recovered about an hour later.
The crowd waited at the park until the aeronaut returned in a hack which had been sent after him. He was heartily cheered and the hand shakes which followed fairly made his arm ache.
The balloon reached probably an altitude of 2,000 feet before the parachute was cut loose. This was professor Awerkamp's seventh successful ascension and jump. It is certainly a daring business, and those who witnessed yesterday's performance went away fully satisfied that they "had seen their two bits' worth."

NORMA AWERKAMP reports from ETHEL that “the city of Quincy offered to furnish their home if they would both go up in the balloon and get married. Aunt KATE said she would rather sit on apple boxes, before she would go up in a balloon.”

Frank married KATHERINE MARGARET SANDERS 9 August 1893 in Quincy. KATHERINE was born 7 July 1875 in Quincy.

They had 7 children: ESTHER AWERKAMP, ETHEL CLARA AWERKAMP, LILA LOUISE AWERKAMP, MAY AWERKAMP, STANLEY FRANK AWERKAMP, ROY JOHN AWERKAMP, AND MILDRED LOUISE AWERKAMP. Specific information will be given on each of these in following paragraphs.

ESTHER AWERKAMP was born June 1894 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois. She died as an infant according Norma Wright.

ETHEL CLARA AWERKAMP was born 12 Aug. 1896 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois. She died 17 Jan 1986 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California and was buried 21 Jan 1986 in Inglewood, Los Angeles, California.

LILA LOUISE AWERKAMP was born 9 Dec. 1898 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois. She died 30 Oct 1965 in Los Angeles, California and was buried 3 Nov 1965 in Glendale, Los Angeles, California. and married GEORGE RUBIO in Los Angeles 10 Aug 1918. He was born 16 Nov 1890 in California and died 29 Jul 1953 in Los Angeles. They had two children: GEORGE STANLEY RUBIO, born 8 Jan 1928 in Los Angeles and died 3 Jul 2007 in West Covina, Los Angeles, California; and ROBERT AWERKAMP RUBIO born 14 Jun 1930 in Los Angeles, died 3 Nov 1980 in Los Angeles. She married ALBERT HENRY JACKSON 14 Nov 1959. He died Sep 1965 in Quincy, California.

MAY AWERKAMP was born 22 Jul 1901 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois. She married LE ROY PARADEE 2 Nov 1922 in Los Angeles. She died 11 Dec 1925. Regarding May, she was killed by someone named Shelly Walden at home. There was much issue with the killing as the coroner originally ruled it suicide but there were issues brought up by the family. She was shot a few times including once through the hand as if she had her had up to stop whomever was shooting her. This is why I need to research this more. May did have a son, named LEROY PARADEE. He was in the military during WWII but died of gall bladder canceer.

STANLEY FRANK AWERKAMP was born 26 Feb 1904 in Quincy, Adams, Illinois. He died 11 Aug 1945 in Los Angeles, California and was buried 15 Aug 1945 in Glendale, Los Angeles, California.

ROY JOHN AWERKAMP was born 1 Feb 1909 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. He married HELEN ELIZABETH MOUNT 1 Feb 1930 in Los Angeles, California. They had a son RONALD GLENN AWERKAMP. ROY died 28 May 1964 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California and was buried 2 Jun 1964 in Inglewood, Los Angeles, California.

MILDRED LOUISE AWERKAMP was born 6 Jul 1911 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California. She married CHARKES L. MARTIN (CURLY.) “In the early 1940’s, CURLY was drunk, shot Aunt Mill with a shotgun and then himself.” Their daughter “Margaret married and had at least two children and killed herself.” According to JOHN CLARK AWERKAMP. Regarding Mildred, her husband killed her and then killed himself. Their daughter, Margaret, found the bodies and Margaret went to live with Aunt Ethel. My Father was given Margaret's horse after Margaret went to Ethel's. Margaret later committed suicide as an adult. Very sad. She had 3 boys and I am trying to reach them. / Yvonne

FRANK died from a fall off the roof of his house in Los Angeles 17 August 1923.
Individuals tagged in this story:
Frank Joseph Awerkamp (12 Apr 1868)
Katherine Margaret Sanders (7 Jul 1875)

<< Back