John Henry Peavler Stufflebean never knew his father. John Stufflebean married Matilda Peavler on 9 June 1853 in Linn County, Missouri. They farmed and made a life for themselves as the children came along, five in ten years with John Henry being the youngest. I am sure they were thankful that all were strong and healthy, but when John Henry was born on 5 November 1863, the country was in the midst of the Civil War. His father died in a Nashville hospital on 10 June 1864, leaving Matilda a widow with five young children.
Family life wasn’t ever quite the same. Although Matilda remarried to John Hall, that marriage didn’t last and they were divorced. By 1880, 16 year old John Henry was living with his brother-in-law, Charles Hannon, and working in his blacksmith shop. In spite of the hardships faced by the family, all five Stufflebean children grew to adulthood and raised families of their own.
John Henry married Mary Elizabeth Hollen on 27 June 1886 in Linn County. By 1900, they had a growing family with Ernest, Iva Myrtle (known as Myrtle), James, Owen Wayne, Earl, Henry and Nolan. In January of 1897, they buried their ten month old daughter, Lila Hazel. John was a farmer, although I don’t know what crops he grew.
The start of the 20th century was difficult for this family although one more child, John Kenneth, was born to them in March 1902. First, son Owen Wayne died in August 1902. Mary Elizabeth’s widowed father, James Hollen, who lived with them, died in December 1903. A short year later, on 2 Jan 1905, Mary Elizabeth herself passed away. Unfortunately, no photo of her has survived.
With a house full of young children, John Henry didn’t wait long to marry again. On 21 May 1905, still in Linn County, he married widow Addie Belcher Wilson. Sometime between 1906 and June 1908, John Henry and Addie decided to move their family to Oklahoma and they settled in Noble. John Henry also gave up the farming life and became a dry goods merchant.
By 1910, two more children had joined the household – Bernice, born in 1906 in Missouri and Gladys, born 30 June 1908 in Noble. Between 1910 and 1920, three more children came into the family – Harry Glenn in 1911, Eula Lee in 1915 and Mary Frances in 1919.
Here is a photo with John Henry, Addie, and, I think, Glenn and Eula Lee, taken about 1916.
John Henry lived out the rest of his life as a merchant in Noble, dying there two days before his 76th birthday on 3 November 1939. Addie survived him by 35 years. My husband and his family knew Addie – she was called Grandma Stuffy. She passed away in Norman, OK on 15 July 1974.
John Henry was buried at the Noble IOOF Cemetery where many relatives are also buried.