Strothkamp, Charles (1896-1983) | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Strothkamp, Charles (1896-1983)

Historical Note:

Charles Strothkamp (1896-1983) was born in Manhattan, New York on November 2, 1896.  His parents were Charles C. and Louise Strothkamp.  He had two younger siblings, Elmer J. Strothkamp who was born in 1899 and Ruth L. Strothkamp who was born in 1903.

Charles began studying clarinet in 1911. He joined the Sousa Band for its 1926 tour as a clarientist and continued on both of the band's 1927 tours, an off-tour concert on June 15, 1929 held in Princeton, NJ, the 1929 tour, and one or more of the 1930 and 1931 tours. In addition he performed in the band's two radio broadcasts held in 1929 and 1930, as well as its March 12, 1931 recording and final April 9, 1931 radio broadcast. While on tour Charles was an avid amateur photographer who took numerous candid photographs of the bands's members, performance venues, and the communities the band played in.

In the first half of 1930, Strothkamp studied stenography and typewriting while attending New York's Drake School of Business. He successfully completed his course work and graduated that same year. During both World War I and World War II he served as a sergeant in the U.S. military. After leaving the Sousa Band he eventually worked for thirty years for the United States Postal Service, serving as a railway postal clerk. He retired from the postal service on December 30, 1965 and remained a lifetime member of the Sousa Band Fraternal Society. Strothkamp remained a bachelor throughout his life and died on July 10th, 1983.

Sources: Bierley, Paul E. The Incredible Band Of John Philip Sousa. Urbana : University Of Illinois Press, 2006.
Note Author: Joshua Shelly

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