John Stufflebean was born on 30 June 1821 in Estill County, Kentucky the second of ten children born to Michael Stufflebean and his wife, Elizabeth Baker.
Although John was born in Kentucky, he likely had just a few memories of living there as his family moved to Morgan County, Indiana in the late 1820s. Making the trek with them were a number of collateral relatives and friends.
Michael Stufflebean, wife Elizabeth, along with five sons and a daughter, were enumerated in Morgan County in 1830.
John spent the next decade – his teen years – growing almost to adulthood when his father decided to uproot the family one more time. Again, an extended cadre of relatives and friends made the move together.
This time, the Stufflebeans headed to Linn County, Missouri in the latter part of the 1830s. They were settled into their home before the 1840 census enumeration.
At the age of 24, John Stufflebean married Gulielma Beals on Christmas Day of 1845 in Linn County.
Married by the undersigned A Minister of the Gospel of the regular Baptist Church on the 25th day of December 1845 John Stufflebean to July Elma Bales all of Linn County Missouri. George W. Baker
Filed for record on the 6th day of March 1846
and Recorded on the 27th day of March 1846.
By 1850, John and Gulielma had two children, daughter Elizabeth Jane, born in 1846 and son Daniel Boone, born in 1849.
However, the Stufflebean family’s life took a turn for the worse in the following years. First, a cholera epidemic spread in the summer of 1848 and again in 1849. John’s father, Michael, died during this time period, likely a victim, as he was only in his 40s. Then, in late summer of 1850, John’s mother, Elizabeth, also died. She, too, was only in her 40s. John served as the estate administrator for both of his parents.
As if losing both parents at relatively young ages wasn’t enough, Gulielma died sometime between the 1850 census and 9 June 1853 when John married (2) Matilda M. Peavler, daughter of Lewis Peavler and Catherine Head. Exactly when Gulielma died and where she was buried has never been determined.
I Balaam M. Baker a minister of the Christian Church do hereby certify that I solemnized the rites of Matrimony between Matilda M. Peavler of Sullivan Co. MO and John Stufflebean of Linn Co MO on the 9th day of June 1853. Given under my hand this 25th day of July 1864. Filed for record July 29th 1864 Balaam M. Baker
George Thompson Recorded Five one cent Stamps
for John M. (?) Deputy Book 2A:111
(Notice that the marriage wasn’t recorded until after John died! His cousin Balaam must have forgotten to file the paperwork!)
John now had a mother for his two young children. He and Matilda went on to have five more children of their own, the first four of whom were born before the start of the Civil War – Mary Docia, Lewis Michael, Thomas James, Matilda Sarah Catherine and John Henry Peavler.
John Stufflebean enlisted in the U.S. Army on 1 May 1863 in St. Joseph, Missouri, which is about 100 miles due west of Linn County. I have never figured out why he went so far from home to enlist. He certainly wasn’t under age. He was assigned to Company F, 25th Regiment of Missouri Infantry Volunteers and shipped out to Tennessee.
For the first month after enlistment, John’s unit fought guerrillas in northwest Missouri. From there, they were sent to New Madrid, Missouri on garrison duty until February 1864. His las tposting was to help rebuild the road along the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad in Nashville, Tennessee.
Many more soldiers were lost to illness than to death on the battlefield. John Stufflebean was one of those thousands of men. He died in hospital in Nashville of dysentery on 9 June 1864.
Unless he was granted some type of leave to visit home in November of 1863, he never met his youngest child, John Henry Peavler Stufflebean, born on the 5th of that month.
Wife Matilda and his children, all minors and living at home, received a survivor’s pension, which provides the birth dates of John and Matilda’s children:
Pension File for John Stufflebean
The Stufflebeans never recovered from the loss of their husband and father. Matilda married John Hall on 22 March 1869 in Linn County, but they separated and divorced soon after. The 1870 census shows John and Matilda living next door to the Stufflebean household where 15 year old Mary Docia was listed as its head with her younger siblings living with her.
John Stufflebean was buried at the national cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee with his name misspelled as Stufflebeam:
Jno. Stufflebeam, #13598
Children of John Stufflebean and Gulielma Beals:
- Elizabeth Jane, born 28 December 1846, Linn County, Missouri; died 1920, Kingman County, Kansas; married James Edward Coffman, 2 February 1868, Linn County, Missouri
- Daniel Boone, born 11 March 1849, Linn County, Missouri; died 3 January 1917, Linn County, Missouri; married Elizabeth Jane Logan, 1 November 1874, Linn County, Missouri
Children of John Stufflebean and Matilda M. Peavler:
- Mary Docia, born 24 August 1855, Linn County, Missouri; died 31 January 1912, Linn County, Missouri; married Charles Hannon, 26 January 1874, Linn County, Missouri. They had at least three children.
- Lewis Michael, born 22 August 1857, Linn County, Missouri; died 14 March 1937, Linn County, Missouri; married Elizabeth Cornett, 24 March 1883, Linn County, Missouri. They had eight children before they divorced and Elizabeth married (2) George Moran, 4 September 1913, Linn County, Missouri.
- Thomas James, born 22 December 1858, Linn County, Missouri; died 8 May 1942, Noble, Cleveland, Oklahoma; married Docia (Dolly) Standifer, 5 May 1881, Linn County, Missouri. They had five children.
- Matilda Sarah Catherine, born 26 October 1860, Linn County, Missouri; died 23 March 1937, Linn County, Missouri; married Josiah Cordray, 7 April 1876, Linn County, Missouri. They had nine children.
- John Henry Peavler, born 5 November 1863, Linn County, Missouri; died 3 February 1939, Noble, Cleveland Oklahoma; married (1) Mary Elizabeth Hollen, 27 June 1886, Linn County, Missouri (2) Addie Lucinda Belcher, 21 May 1905, Linn County, Missouri. John had nine children with Mary and five with Addie. Two died young with the others living to adulthood.