The Osterhout Papers

What's Inside this Collection.

The Osterhout Papers

As a collaborative project, Austin College and Rice University contributed each of their collections of the Osterhout family papers to the Portal. The two institutions pooled their respective collections to provide access to almost 500 items comprising an extensive collection of official documents, postcards, and letters.

John Patterson Osterhout (1826-1903), emigrated to Texas in 1851 and settled at Bellville in Austin County where he taught school, practiced law, and published a secessionist newspaper, the Bellville Countryman, from 1860 until 1869. In 1870 he requested and received an appointment from Governor E. J. Davis as state district judge of the 34th judicial district of Texas. As a result, the family moved to Belton where Osterhout also served as postmaster. He became a leader of the state Republican Party in which he was active until his death. He was also a leader in the Baptist church and local temperance movement.