A Wandering Kansan: John Driesbach, Part II

The discussion of John S. Driesbach and Sophia (Dirks) Driesbach continues.

In February of 1914, Sophia (Dirks) Driesbach died in Coatsburg, Illinois. She was survived by her husband John S. It’s not entirely clear if he was living in Coatsburg when she died. His residence is not mentioned in her obituary and the reference to her funeral in the records of Coatsburg’s St. James Lutheran Church refers to her as being “foresaken” by her husband.

As mentioned in our first installment in this series, John was in front of judge in December of 1914. He was not in any legal trouble–he was getting married.

On 23 December 1914 John S. Driesbach married Nellie Jacobs in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma (Oklahoma County Marriage Record 23, page 243). The forty-three year old groom was living in Oklahoma City as was his twenty-seven year old bride. There are no parents’ names given on the application, but the age is consistent with the John Driesbach who was married to Sophia Dirks. Can it be the same John S. Driesbach who was married to Sophia Dirks of  Coatsburg, Illinois?

There’s one more thing. As mentioned earlier, John S. Driesbach (the husband of Sophia) was known to have been living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, during the 1915 time period. A 1 March 1915 order from the Adams County, Illinois, County Court indicated that John S. Driesbach had been sent notice in regards to the final settlement of the estate of his wife, Sophia. The 1 March 1915 order indicated an address for John S. of 16 N. Harvey Street, Oklahoma City.

The order does not indicate how long he had been living in Oklahoma (it’s not relevant to the estate settlement), but there seems little doubt that it’s the same man.  John’s absence from Illinois is suggested by the fact that he is not appointed to administrate his wife’s estate in Adams County, Illinois. Oklahoma City directories for time period in question may help in determining approximately when he arrived in Oklahoma City. They will not allow us to determine precisely when he moved there or whether he was living there when his wife died in February of 1914. Sometimes records are not as specific as we would like for them to be.

The court order was a significant clue in determining that the men were one and the same. One does not want to assume two people are the same simply because the name matches.

Unanswered questions are what brought the Kansas native to Carthage, Illinois, and how he met the Coatsburg resident. We will see a possible answer to one of those questions in our next post.



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