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Biographical Notes for the Oblinger Family and Correspondents

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Puterbaugh Family

Members of the Puterbaugh Family were good friends of both Uriah Oblinger and Mattie Thomas in Indiana. Puterbaugh family members mentioned in the Oblinger Letters include: Moses, David, Emery, Nerve, Phebea, Eli, and Sam. Uriah sometimes referred to them as the "Puterband."

Puterbaugh, Moses

Moses Puterbaugh was a good friend of Uriah Oblinger in Indiana. He was born in 1843. In 1866 he was a student at the Normal Institute of Penmanship learning the Riderian system of penmanship, a style distinguished by elaborate flourishes. Moses died on October 24, 1915, in Peru, Indiana.

Raum, Green B.

Green B. Raum was born December 3, 1829, in Golconda, Pope County, Illinois. He married Maria Field in 1851. The couple had ten children. In 1853 Raum became an attorney in Illinois. At the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted in the Fifty-sixth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and was commissioned major. By the end of the war he was a colonel. He was U.S. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 1876-83, and from 1889 to 1893 he served as the U.S. Commissioner of Pensions. Uriah Oblinger wrote a detailed letter to the Hon. Green B. Raum in April 1890 describing his Civil War service, past addresses, occupations, and health history.

Robinson Family

George and David Robinson were farmers who homesteaded in Fillmore County, Nebraska, and lived approximately one mile south of Uriah and Mattie Oblinger's claim. Both men were born in England. George and his wife, Ann, also born in England, had two sons, David and William.

Roesch, Ella: See Oblinger, Ella Ermina.

Roesch Family

The Roesch family, Oblinger family friends, lived near Samuel Oblinger's home in Waterville, Minnesota. They took a claim northwest of Quinter, Kansas, a year or two before the Oblingers arrived in Gove County. Their son Jake Roesch, had a claim northeast of Quinter, and married Ella Ermina Oblinger in 1886.

Roesch, Jacob Christian "Jake"

Jake Roesch was born July 3, 1863. He married Ella Ermina Oblinger, eldest daughter of Uriah and Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger, on December 19, 1886. Ella and Jake had a daughter, Jessie Leanna, ten days before Uriah and Laura Oblinger's youngest daughter, Lillie, was born. Jake homesteaded land northeast of Quinter, Kansas. He died March 24, 1936, in Quinter.

Sandon, Maggie: See Oblinger, Maggie Esther

Spratt, Charles

Dr. Charles Spratt worked in Le Sueur from 1870 to 1883 as a general practitioner. After a short course on ear and eye treatments in New York, he relocated to Minneapolis where he practiced until his death in 1915. Jerome Oblinger sent Lillie Southurst, his secretary, to see Dr. Spratt to "take care of" her unwanted pregnancy. See letter of June 12, 1887.

Stafford Family: See also the Descendants of Ralph Stafford.

Stafford, M. F.: See Stafford, Mary F.

Stafford, Mary F.

Mary F. Stafford was Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger's cousin. Mary was born in 1832, and was the daughter of Jacob and Sarah Stafford, Mattie's maternal uncle and aunt. Mary mentions in her letter dated May 24, 1863, that "Lissie was at home last Thursday." This is likely a reference to her sister, Melissa (Stafford) Buswell. Mary died October 29, 1908.

Stafford, Sallie A.

Sallie A. Stafford was Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger's cousin. She mentions her recently deceased sister Margaret, brother Joe, and brother Sam in a letter dated March 22, 1863. Stafford genealogies show that they were the children of John and Elizabeth Stafford. Margaret (Stafford) Thomas, Mattie's mother, was first cousin to John Stafford, and sister to Elizabeth Stafford. Sallie died in 1914.

Stilgebouer, Estella: See Oblinger, Stella

Stilgebouer, Neta

Neta Agnes Stilgebouer was born August 26, 1896, near Danbury, Nebraska. She was the second child and oldest daughter of Estella Oblinger Stilgebouer and Solomon H. Stilgebouer. She married William A. Lennemann on August 17, 1918, in Stamford, Nebraska.

Stilgebouer, Solomon H.

Solomon H. Stilgebouer was born on September 28, 1869, in Hermann, Missouri. He married Estella Oblinger on August 6, 1893, in Wheatland, Missouri, and moved to the Danbury, Nebraska, area immediately after the wedding. Estella refers to him as "Sol" or "Sollie."

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Solomon H. Stilgebouer

Stilgebouer, William Dell "Willie"

William Dell Stilgebouer was born January 31, 1898, in Danbury, Nebraska, and was the son of Estella (Oblinger) and Solomon Stilgebouer. He died from cholera and inflammation of the stomach in Danbury, Nebraska, on August 10, 1900.

Straitgate, Short

"Short Straitgate" was a friend of Mattie Thomas. Further information about this person is unknown.

Thomas, Charlie

John Charles "Charlie" Thomas was born May 23, 1857, near Onward, Indiana. He was the eighth and youngest living child of William P. and Margaret Thomas. He married Mary Jenette Beale on January 17, 1886. They had five daughters: Olive, Mabel, Ursula, Eulalie, and Margaret. Charlie died November 21, 1950.

Thomas, Clara Bell

Clara Bell Thomas was the daughter of Giles and Sarah "Sadie" Thomas. She was born July 31, 1877. She married Saul Steel on January 6, 1937. On September 18, 1961, she died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was buried in Geneva, Nebraska.

Thomas, Ellen Annette: See Bailey, Nettie Thomas

Thomas Family

Many letters in the Oblinger collection are addressed to the Thomas Family in various combinations (e.g., "Father and Mother;" "Father and Mother and Brothers and Sister;" "To all at Home"). The composition of Thomas Family members at home in Indiana changed over time, depending on when a letter in the collection was written. Generally, letters were intended for the entire family to read and for sharing with other relatives and friends in the area.

For further information, see individual Thomas biographies and the Descendants of Giles Wheeler Thomas.

Thomas, George Wheeler

George Wheeler Thomas, son of William Porter and Margaret (Stafford) Thomas, was born December 16, 1840, near Onward, Indiana. He and his twin brother, Giles, were Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger's oldest brothers. George married Grizzie Black on March 23, 1870. They had four children: Earnest, Frank, Bertha, and May. George died on January 14, 1922, at the home of his daughter, Bertha, in Purcell, Oklahoma.

Thomas, Giles Green "Uncle Green"

Giles Green Thomas was the youngest brother of William Porter Thomas, and uncle of Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger. He was born April 29, 1835. Green Thomas married Julia McCarter and together they had two children, Eva and Charles.

Thomas, Giles Stafford

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Giles Stafford Thomas

Giles Thomas was Mattie Thomas Oblinger's brother. The twin brother of George Thomas, and eldest child of William Porter Thomas and Margaret (Stafford) Thomas, Giles was born December 16, 1840, in Cass County, Indiana. He served as color guard in the Civil War with Company K, Ninety-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and the Twentieth Company, Second Battalion, Veteran Reserve Corps. In 1872 Giles moved to Nebraska to homestead with his brother, Samuel "Doc" Thomas, and brother-in-law, Uriah Oblinger. He married Sarah "Sadie" Wheeler in 1876 and they had one child, Clara Bell Thomas. Giles died February 16, 1929, in Geneva, Nebraska.

Thomas, John Charles "Charlie": See Thomas, Charlie

Thomas, Josias Wheeler "Uncle Wheel"

Josias Wheeler "Wheel" Thomas, born April 16, 1819, was a brother of William Porter Thomas, and uncle of Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger. He married Lavina Neff and they had one child, William Neff Thomas. Lavina died on August 20, 1850. Wheel married Eliza Black, with whom he had another son, John S. Thomas. Eliza Thomas died September 16, 1873, and Wheeler Thomas died February 27, 1903.

Thomas, Margaret "Maggie" Stafford

Margaret "Maggie" Stafford was born February 19, 1820, and died March 11, 1885. She married William Porter Thomas on April 15, 1840. Margaret and William had ten children, three of whom died in infancy. Those who lived to adulthood were: George, Giles, Martha "Mattie," Ellen Annette "Nettie," Samuel "Doc," William, and John Charles "Charlie."

Thomas, Martha Virginia "Mattie": See Oblinger, Mattie

Thomas, Nettie See Bailey, Nettie Thomas.

Thomas, Sadie

Sarah "Sadie" Wheeler was born in 1847. She married Giles Stafford Thomas on January 13, 1876, near Ottumwa, Iowa. They had one child, Clara Bell, born July 31, 1877. Sadie died on June 3, 1901, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and was buried in Geneva, Nebraska.

Thomas, Sarah Wheeler: See Thomas, Sadie

Thomas, Sam "Doc"

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Samuel Green Thomas

Samuel Green Thomas was born January 16, 1850, near Onward, Indiana, the sixth child of William and Margaret Thomas. In the fall of 1872 he homesteaded in Nebraska with his brother, Giles, and brother-in-law, Uriah Oblinger. Finding bachelor life as a Nebraska homesteader lonely, Sam returned home to Indiana in December 1873. He married Sarah "Sallie" Panabaker on December 25, 1878, and they had two children, Owen Fielding and Jennie June. He died October 28, 1927, at Middletown, Indiana. In the Oblinger letters Sam is referred to both by his given name and by his nickname, "Doc."

Thomas, William Porter

W. P. Thomas was born April 1, 1817, in Logansport, Indiana . He was the son of Giles Wheeler Thomas and Agnes (Black) Thomas. On April 15, 1840, William married Margaret Stafford. William and Margaret had ten children. Only seven survived into adulthood: George, Giles, Martha "Mattie," Ellen Annette "Nettie," Samuel "Doc," William, and John Charles "Charlie." Three of their children, Mattie, Sam, and Giles, homesteaded in Nebraska. William died January 19, 1896, in Tipton, Indiana.

Thomas, William Rouen "Will"

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William Rouen Thomas

William Rouen Thomas, a younger brother of Mattie (Thomas) Oblinger, was born February 24, 1852, on his parents' farm near Onward, Indiana. He was the seventh child of William P. and Margaret Thomas. He married Loretta "Retta" Miller on September 25, 1874. They had one son, Wilkie Newton, born August 25, 1875. Retta died August 15, 1943. Will died June 6, 1930, near Logansport, Indiana.

Traver, Mary Elizabeth Oblinger

Mary Elizabeth Oblinger was the half-sister of Uriah Oblinger, and second child of Samuel and Frances (Long) Oblinger. Mary was born on February 24, 1860, in Cass County, Indiana, and married Harrison Traver on November 7, 1879, in Rice County, Minnesota. She was sometimes called "Mollie."


The Troup family was the Oblinger family's nearest neighbor in Kansas.

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