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Biographical Notes for the Oblinger Family and Correspondents

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Daniels, Asa

Dr. Asa Wilder Daniels was born in 1829 in Stratford, New Hampshire. In 1853 after graduating from medical school in Boston, Dr. Daniels moved to Minnesota. Daniels was appointed post surgeon at Fort Ridgely, and also served as medical doctor for the Lower Sioux Agency. In 1861 he moved to St. Peter, Minnesota, where he practiced until 1903. Dr. Daniels treated Laura Oblinger's broken arm during her stay in Minnesota from April to September 1887.

Deeming, Ida May Oblinger

Ida May Oblinger was the half-sister of Uriah Oblinger, and youngest daughter of Samuel and Frances (Long) Oblinger. Ida was born on November 22, 1869, in Waterville, Minnesota. She married Harry Deeming.

Dewolf, George

George W. Dewolf and his wife, Eliza, were Fillmore County, Nebraska, farmers, originally from Canada. Mr. Dewolf homesteaded near Sam and Giles Thomas, and Uriah Oblinger after 1874. By 1880 Mr. Dewolf and his wife and two daughters, Bertha and Vianna, had moved to Belle Prairie Township, Fillmore County (southeast of Momence Township).

"Doc": See Thomas, Sam.

Elliott Family

The Elliott family lived within two miles of the Oblinger dugout in Kansas. Their home could be seen from the Oblinger dugout.

Elliott, John R.

John R. Elliott homesteaded land directly bordering Giles Thomas's claim in Fillmore County, Nebraska.

Fahey Family

The Fahey family lived north of the sod school house in Gove County, Kansas, near the Oblinger family dugout.

Ferguson, Russel G.

Russell G. Ferguson was a neighbor of the Oblingers in Fillmore County, Nebraska. He homesteaded two miles west of Giles Thomas's place. Mr. Ferguson was born in Illinois, and his wife, Adaline, was born in Iowa. Their four children, Darin, Early, Ella, and Nora were all born in Nebraska. The name is often spelled "Furgison" or "Furguson."

Ferry Family

The Ferry family lived one to two miles away from the Oblinger dugout in Kansas. The Oblinger girls affectionately referred to them as "Grandma and Grandpa Ferry."

Fisher, Anna

Dr. Anna Fisher, along with her husband Dr. W. H. Fisher, practiced as a physician in Le Sueur, Minnesota, from 1883 to 1899. Dr. Fisher treated Laura Oblinger throughout her stay in Minnesota from April to September 1887. Laura usually refers to her as "Mrs. Doctor Fisher."

Foor, Robert C.

Robert Foor served in the Civil War, and was an orderly sergeant when he fought at the battle of Stone's River with Uriah Oblinger. By the late 1880s he was a real estate and collection agent, and an attorney. He lived in Bunker Hill, Indiana.

"Freel," Uncle: See Bacon, Freelon G.


Little is known of this person except that he served in the Civil War and was a friend of the Thomas family. At the time of his letter to Mattie Thomas, April 26, 1865, he was a member of the Seventy-Third Indiana Volunteer Infantry in Alabama.

"Green," Uncle: See Thomas, Giles Green.

Houck, William B.

William B. Houck is the man to whom Uriah traded his mare, Jenny, in January 1873. As part of the deal, Uriah was to get Jenny's colt. A farmer originally from Illinois, Houck came to Nebraska in 1862 and homesteaded near Crete, Nebraska. He was elected as a Saline County commissioner in 1870, serving for one term. Houck and his wife had five children all of whom were born in Nebraska: Loraann, William, Annah, Jessie, and Walter.

Knowland, James T.

James T. Knowland was a pension attorney who practiced with N. C. Newsom in Anderson, Indiana. Knowland was a Civil War veteran and had served in Company F, Eighth Indiana Cavalry. He had a working arrangement with Uriah Oblinger for a short time around 1890, when Uriah contacted Civil War veterans in Kansas regarding their pension applications on behalf of the Newsom & Knowland law firm.


Lili was a friend of Mattie Thomas. Further information about this person is unknown.

Lonesom Lizzie

"Lonesom Lizzie" was a friend of Mattie Thomas. Further information about this person is unknown.

Major, Dr.

When Laura Oblinger broke her arm while helping Uriah in the fields, Dr. Major treated it between January and April 1887. Because Major failed to set the arm correctly, Laura went to Minnesota, seeking the advice of various doctors there. These doctors determined that Dr. Major had been negligent in his treatment of Laura's arm.

McClain Family

William P. McClain and his wife, Debra, were both originally from Ohio. They had three children: Ledden, Arthur, and Amelia. They purchased Sam Thomas's homestead in Fillmore County, Nebraska, sometime in the early summer of 1873. The name is also spelled "McClane" in some letters.

Image: caption following
Loretta Miller

McKenzie, Mat Oblinger

Martha Alice "Mat" McKenzie was the half-sister of Uriah Oblinger, and third child of Samuel and Frances (Long) Oblinger. Mat was born on January 10, 1862, in Cass County, Indiana. She married George McKenzie January 10, 1879, in Rice County, Minnesota. George practiced law with Mat's brother, Jerome Oblinger.

Miller, Loretta "Retta"

Retta Miller married William Rouen Thomas, brother of Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger, September 24, 1874. They had one son, Wilkie Newton. Loretta died August 15, 1943.

Monson, Allie

Allie Monson was the daughter of L. W. Monson. She was a friend of the Thomas family, especially Nettie Thomas.

Monson, L. W. See Monson, Lonson W.

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Lonson W. Monson

Monson, Lonson W.

Lonson W. Monson was a Methodist Episcopal minister in Indiana. He held appointments in various districts from 1843 to1883. Monson performed the marriage ceremony between Uriah Oblinger and Mattie Thomas on March 25, 1869. He compiled a Manual of the North Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, which was published c1890.

Morgan, "Seal"

"Seal" Morgan is probably Marcellus Morgan, who lived approximately one and a half miles southeast of Uriah and Mattie Oblinger's homestead in Fillmore County, Nebraska. Mrs. Morgan was from Coshockton, Ohio. The Morgans filed their claim on April 24, 1874, but at the urging of her parents, they returned to Ohio in 1875.

Mother and Father

This salutation generally addresses William Porter Thomas and Margaret Stafford Thomas.

Mrs. Dr. Fisher: See Fisher, Anna.

Murray, Jacob H.

Jacob H. Murray was Uriah Oblinger's brother-in-law. Jacob married Uriah's sister, Sarah Oblinger, on March 29, 1857, in Cass County, Indiana. Jacob and Sarah farmed in Miami County, Indiana. They had one daughter, Adah.

Murray, Sarah A.

Sarah Ann Oblinger was a sister of Uriah Oblinger, and the oldest child of Samuel and Esther (Zook) Oblinger. She was born March 28, 1839, in Montgomery County, Ohio, and died January 6, 1872, in Miami County, Ohio. She married Jacob H. Murray March 29, 1857, in Miami County, Indiana. They had one daughter, Adah.

Murray, Susie

Susie Murray was Jacob H. Murray's sister, and therefore related to the Oblinger family by marriage. Giles Thomas at one time courted Susie Murray, but her father did not approve of the match, and the couple parted. She was a schoolteacher in Peru, Indiana. In many letters she is referred to as "Sue Murray."

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