Monday, March 30, 2015

ACHTUNG!- 1. Finding the Hometown of your German Immigrant Ancestors

The Bay Area Genealogical Society is sponsoring a series of lectures and workshops on researching your German ancestors in both U.S. and German records.  The next session will be on Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 pm: An Overview of German Immigration to the U.S. and Finding and Researching German Church & Civil Records. The session will be held at the Friendswood Activity Building, 416 Morningside Drive, Friendswood, TX.  There is no charge or registration required for this session. For more information, contact Kim Zrubek at the Friendswood Library, 281-482-7135

The village church of Zemmin dates to the 15th century. It is located in Zemmin Bentzin in Vorpommern-Greifswald, Germany.  Source: /wiki /Dorfkirche_Zemmin
Here is a summary of what we covered in the first session:

Strategy 1:  Use American sources to find German hometowns

American genealogical sources must be thoroughly researched before attempting to delve into the German records.  Here are some statistics on the success rates of American resources that reveal German hometowns based on research by Dr. Roger Minert.

65-76%:  Local church vital records
20-30%:  Military muster, pension lists
20-25%:  County genealogies, state death certificates
15-25%:  Passenger arrival lists
15-20%:  Newspaper obituaries, county histories,
15%:  State census
10%:  Naturalization/citizenship, cemetery monuments/stones
5%:  County marriage licenses
<1%:  Federal census

In addition we recommended the following steps for finding the hometown of your German immigrant ancestors.
  1.  Church Records - The FIRST PRIORITY is to find baptisms, christenings, confirmations, marriages and burials for your immigrants, their children and siblings in U.S. church records.  The churches attended by German immigrants were usually very thorough in their descriptions of persons involved in the sacraments.
  2. Passports - If your ancestor traveled outside the U.S. their passport record may include their birthplace.
  3. Military records - Military records can be very revealing of German origins.  Pay special attention to draft registrations especially World War I, pension files from the Revolution to the present and muster lists.
  4. Obituaries - Look in newspapers for your immigrants, their children and grandchildren.  Newspapers especially in smaller towns include very detailed obits.  The German language newspapers in the larger American cities will include many more details than the English language papers.
  5. Biographies - County, regional and state histories, Who's Who, professional journals and many other sources include biographies of early pioneers and prominent people.  This is where descendants genealogy can be especially helpful.  Look for biographies featuring your German immigrant ancestors and their descendants.  These biographies often provide some details about the place of origin of the original immigrant.
  6. Death Certificates - Look for records for your immigrants, their children and siblings. Check the name of the informant to determine reliability of source.
  7. Gravestones - Look for all family, friends, associates & neighbors born in Germany.
  8.  Naturalization Records - Helps to narrow search (i.e. Prussia, Bavaria, Brandenburg, etc.).
  9. Print resources by Dr. Roger P. Minert, professor of German family history at Brigham Young University (Available at ClaytonLibrary)

·         Consolidated Index to German Immigrants in American Church Records, volumes 1-14 (Clayton Library call# 973.0431 G373 USA  )
·         Researching in Germany: a handbook for your visit to the homeland of your ancestors (Clayton Library call# M664 GERMAN)
·         Deciphering Handwriting in German Documents (Clayton Library call# M664 GERMAN)
·         Place Name Indexes – A series for each German State e.g. Rhineland, Posen, West Prussia, Bavaria, etc. (Clayton Library call# M664 GERMAN)
·         Spelling Variations in German Names: solving family history problems through applications of German and English phonetics (Clayton Library call# M664 GERMAN)
·         Germans to America and the Hamburg Passenger Lists (Clayton Library call# 325.243 M664 USA)

Strategy 2:      Familiarize yourself with the geography of your locality

·         Catalog:  Click on Search then click on Catalog to locate microfilm, microfiche, and online materials available through the Family History Library.  On the Catalog search page, enter a place name to discover what records available for a specific US or German locale.  
·         Research Wiki:  Click on Search then click on Wiki to find research advice for specific World or US state, county, city, or town.
Houston Public Library Catalog  Use this catalog or the catalog of your favorite genealogy library to see what books they have. 
Google Use search engine to identify additional church record resources. 
Google Translate  Use to past in German text and get an English translation. 
Use Google Chrome browser to translate entire webpage of text from German to English.  The browser provides a translate button.  To download Google Chrome browser, access the page

Strategy 3:      Use gazetteers and maps to locate the hometown, nearest parish, and administrative towns
  1.  Germany as a country did not exist until 1871.
  2. Prior to that time it consisted of many large and small independent entities, including states, kingdoms, duchies, principalities, and others.
  3. Each entity was a separate “country” with a unique government, laws, money, measures, and so on.
  4. These various geographic areas are called jurisdictions.
  5. Record-keeping jurisdictions are places where a government or church has authority.
  6.  Jurisdictions are used to identify a given locality and find records.
  7. Place names in Germany are often used more than once.
  8. Finding the right place is critical to finding the right records.

ü  Historic Gazetteer:  Meyers Gazetteer of the German Empire
       ·         Compiled 1912 prior to redistribution of territory
       ·         Includes over 210,000 places
       ·         Available free at and  Go to website to get access.
ü  Historic German Genealogical Gazetteer online database Use to determine place locations, former names, past affiliations, and related churches, church districts, places, districts, and regions. 

ü  Kartenmeister Use to identify former Prussian towns and current location information.   Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the search box.

The following marriage record is being used as a case study for the upcoming church record lecture and workshop.  The birthplace of the husband is shown as Zemmin, Germany.  The 1870 census for Siegfried Wegner reveals he was from Pomerania.  This marriage record also states the name of the pastor.  Come to the session on April 18 to find out more about what this record has revealed.

Source: "Wisconsin, Marriages, 1836-1930," index, FamilySearch ( /pal: 1MM9.1.1IXR6B -YJ5 : accessed 05 Nov 2012), Siegfried Wegner and Louise Eikoff, 02 Mar 1896. source film number: 1013994; reference number:  
page 457 marriage 391

Monday, March 23, 2015

"Uncle Jim that went to Hawaii"

My grand uncle Ernie Coffman sent me an email on March 16 as follows:

Nick, in all of your family tree items, do you have any idea when your Great Uncle Jim Hughes was living on Oahu? I know he and his wife were there when Pearl Harbor was bombed in ‘41, but not sure how far back they go. By the way that might be Great-Great Uncle. I can’t keep up with all the titles.

I never knew that I had a relative that lived on Oahu during the bombing of Pearl Harbor!!!

Google Street View of residence address of James Edward Hughes

My curiosity was piqued to see what I could learn about this man.  I went to his profile in my family tree on to see what information it contained.  I looked first at the relationship field. How was "Uncle Jim" actually related to me.  He was the brother-in-law of my great grand aunt, Viola Coffman Hughes.  My mom called her "Aunt Volie".  Viola Hughes was the matriarch of a large extended family composed of Coffman and Hughes descendants.  She and her husband, David Hughes resided in Oakland, California at 742 46th Street for over forty years.

Viola Nevada Coffman 1871-1966
and her husband David Hughes 1868-1952
Viola was the matriarch of an extended family of Hughes and Coffman descendants.

My great grandfather, Ernest Coffman, Sr. (Viola's brother) was married twice, first to Mae Moss in 1907 and then to Millie Loveless in 1931. My great grandmother, Mae Moss Coffman  and Ernie's mom, Millie were both working mothers.  Aunt Volie provided child care for my mom's Aunt Vivian and fifteen years later for half-brother Ernie.  So my Uncle Ernie essentially grew up in the Hughes residence on 46th Street and regarded the Hughes brothers as his uncles.

Ernest Ellsworth Coffman 1879-1934
My uncle Ernie Coffman was only two years old when his father died.

When James Edward Hughes was born on September 28, 1885, in Oakland, California, his father, David Hughes, was 40 and his mother, Jane Lloyd, was 43. He had five brothers. He died on February 28, 1957, in Alameda County, California, at the age of 71.

In the 1910 census Jim Hughes is found residing with his parents David and Jane Hughes and brothers, Humphrey and Evan in Oakland, California. Evan and Jim were both listed as salesman, hardware and Humphrey was listed as salesman, coffee.

Here is one of the search results for "James e Hughes" honolulu at

The earliest record that I have of Jim Hughes in Honolulu is as follows from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Saturday 8 Feb 1913:

James E. Hughes who has for the last year and a half acted as the Hawaiian representative of the Pacific Hardware and Steel Company, San Francisco, has recently joined the staff of Catton, Neill and Company as manager of its supply department.

In the 1915 Honolulu, Hawaii, City Directory, James E. Hughes is residing at 1227 Matlock Avenue.  His occupation is salesman.

On his 1918 World War I draft card he is married to Esta E. Hughes and residing at 1418 Kewalo, Honolulu, Hawaii.  His occupation is salesman for the Honolulu Iron Works Company.

The California Passenger List collection at tells us that James Hughes traveled on the S.S. Maui and left Honolulu, Hawaii, for San Francisco, California, arriving on June 22, 1920.  It appears that he may have been in California for several weeks.  He appears again on a passenger
list departing San Francisco on the S.S. Matsonia on August 11, 1920 and arriving at the Port of Honolulu on August 17, 1920.

The following listings are from the Honolulu City Directories.

Residence Year: 1921
Street address: 1418 Kewalo
Occupation: Clerk, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1923
Street address: 1565 Pensacola apt 18
Occupation: Salesman, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1924
Street address: 2682 Oahu av
Occupation: Salesman, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1925
Street address: 2682 Oahu av
Occupation: Asst Sales Mngr, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1927
Street address: 2732 Oahu av
Occupation: Asst Sales Mgr, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1928
Street address: 2720 Ferdinand av
Occupation: Asst Sales Mgr, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1931
Street address: 2722 Ferdinand av
Occupation: Asst Sales Mgr, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1932
Street address: 2722 Ferdinand av
Occupation: Sales Mgr, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1933
Street address: 2722 Ferdinand av
Occupation: Mgr Merchandise Dept, Honolulu Iron Works

The listings between 1933 and 1947 were the same. Uncle Jim continued to reside at the same address and had the same occupation.  There is nothing in the City Directories to indicate that life changed at all during World War II. However, I would have to surmise that the work at the Honolulu Iron Works must have been profoundly affected by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  I am sure that Uncle Jim was doing his part to support the war effort.

Residence Year: 1947
Street address: 2722 Ferdinand av
Occupation: Mgr Merchandise Dept, Honolulu Iron Works

Residence Year: 1949
Street address: 2722 Ferdinand av
No occupation listed

Since no occupation is listed here, it would lead me to believe that Uncle Jim had retired by 1949 at the age of 64.

Residence Year: 1950
No directory available

Residence Year: 1951
Jim Hughes is not listed in the Honolulu directory

We know that Jim Hughes returned to Oakland, California and he died there in 1957.  Since he is no longer listed in the Honolulu City Directories this is probably when he relocated to Oakland.  There is a listing in the 1955 Oakland Telephone Directory for Jas E Hughes at 37 TrafalgrPl KEllog 3-4559.  There is a Trafalgar Place in the Oakland Hills in the vicinity of Park Boulevard and Highway 13 so this may have been where he was residing in 1955.

The Maui News Tuesday, October 10, 1922
This article was found when searching "Honolulu Iron Works" on

From R.L. Polk & Co.'s City Directory of Honolulu, Hawaii. 1956 image 69 of 255

This image  of the Honolulu Iron Works was from the Honolulu City Directory as found on  The business advertisements can make great illustrations for your family history.  You can see that the Honolulu Iron Works was a large industrial complex in the midst of an island paradise.  Hopefully this little tale of James Edward Hughes can be instructive as an example of the kinds of records that can be found on for your ancestors.  They don't always appear with the little shaking leaves as the commercials would lead you to believe.  When you find these records, they will help you to piece together your "Ancestor Puzzles."

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Prasse Family of Cleveland, Ohio and Saxony, Germany- So many Germans, so little time…

I am presenting a series of three lectures on German Genealogy on the third Saturdays of March, April and May at 1:00 PM at the Friendswood, Texas Public Library.  The first session is coming up on Saturday, March 21.  The topic will be finding your German hometown in American records.  In preparation for that lecture, I have been researching several of the German names in our family history.

The Prasse Family of Cleveland, Ohio has captured my attention both for their accomplishments and for their bountiful records. The new life story screen at tells us: Gustave Carl A. Prasse was born in January 1828 in Leipzig, Germany. He married Christianna Sisser in 1845. They had five children in 13 years. He died on July 22, 1912, in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, having lived a long life of 84 years, and was buried in Cleveland, Ohio.

The genealogy communities of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and the State of Ohio have done an excellent job of preserving and indexing their records. has the Ohio death indexes and Family Search has images of actual death certificates.  Starting with the most recent records about this family, I found death certificates, cemetery memorials, and interment registers which document their lives, deaths and burials in Cleveland and prior.

Entrance to Monroe Street Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio

The death certificate for “Carl G. Prasse” states that the original immigrant was actually born on the 12th of January 1826.  The precision of this date makes me wonder whether there was a family bible.  The informant was “C.G. Prasse” of Fairview, Ohio who is most likely his son, Charles Gustav Prasse.  The residence in Fairview was Stop 3 of the Elyria Line.  Carl died on the 22nd of July 1912 of “Old Age.”  The only fact that Charles could offer about his father’s origins was that he was born in Germany.  He apparently did not know or could not recall at the time, the names of his German grandparents.  The death certificate did note that Carl G. Prasse was buried in the Monroe Street Cemetery.

Have I ever told you that “Google is the Genealogist’s Best Friend”?  Whenever you get a document like a death certificate you want to “Google” all of the names and places that you find.  The Monroe Street Cemetery is a historic cemetery in Cleveland that has a wonderful website with pictures, history, a burial index and links to digitized interment registers. also has memorials for 21,796 interments but only 15% have been photographed.  

Gatehouse and Arch restoration project at Monroe Street Cemetery

The Monroe Street Cemetery Index reveals that there were actually four members of the Prasse family buried here.

Vol/Page; Interment Date & Number; Name; Age; Race & Gender; Address; Native of; Cause of Death
2/95; Aug 20 1888; 14682; Prasse, Carl; 6d; W M; 242 Birch, Cleveland; Convulsions
3/185; Jul 21 1912; 25810; Prasse, Carl G; 86y; W M; Fairview, Ohio; Germany;   Old Age
3/87;  Jun 13 1904; 23375; Prasse, Christina E; 80y; W F;  241 Birch; Germany; Old Age
1/73; May 9 1872;7368; Prasse, Herman; 14y; W M; 241 Birch St. Germany; Infl. of Brain

I double checked the address for the child Carl and it was entered as 242 Birch on the Interment Register.  Since he was born in 1888 he was most likely a grandson of Carl G. and Christina.  City directories might confirm which Prasse family lived across the street.  These graves are located in Section C Line 8.  Carl is Grave No. 14; Carl G. Grave No. 16; Christina E is Grave No. 15; Herman is also in Grave No. 14.

Fortunately, I was able to find pictures of several of the gravestones from Find a Grave:

There was no picture of Carl G. Prasse's gravestone.  It looks like it may have fallen over.

Unfortunately, Christina E. Prasse died in 1904 just before the Ohio Death Certificate Database on Family Search begins in 1908.  My source for her maiden name was the death certificate of her son, Frederick Emmanuel Prasse who died in 1935.   F.E. Prasse’s death certificate lists his mother as Anna Sisser born Germany.  So we have her given name listed in various records as both Christine and Anna.  The 1870 census reveals that the original German name may have been Christiana.  It also reveals that Christiana and her husband Carl Gustave Prasse were from Saxony.  Some of the family trees on say Leipzig but I have not seen a source for that yet.

Death Certificate of Frederick Emmanuel Prasse, 1863-1935

One of the great things about Family Search is that they provide you with a fairly complete transcript of many of their documents.  Here is the image and the transcript for the death certificate of Frederick Emmanuel Prasse:

  • Name:  Frederick Emmanuel Prasse
  • Titles and Terms:             
  • Event Type:        Death
  • Event Date:        31 Dec 1935
  • Event Place:       Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio
  • Residence Place:              Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio
  • Address:              1455 Waterbury Rd.
  • Gender:               Male
  • Age:       72
  • Marital Status:   Married
  • Race:     W
  • Occupation:        Lumber Co. Owner
  • Birth Date:          27 Jan 1863
  • Birthplace:          Cleveland, Ohio
  • Birth Year (Estimated):  1863
  • Burial Date:         03 Jan 1936
  • Burial Place:       
  • Cemetery:          Lakewood Park
  • Father's Name: Carl Prasse
  • Father's Titles and Terms:           
  • Father's Birthplace:         Germany
  • Mother's Name:               Anna Sisser
  • Mother's Titles and Terms:         
  • Mother's Birthplace:       Germany
  • Spouse's Name:               Elizabeth Prasse
  • Spouse's Titles and Terms:          
  • File Number:      fn 72091
  • GS Film number:              2022570
  • Digital Folder Number:  004001938
  • Image Number:                01403
  • Citing this Record:
  • "Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 March 2015), Frederick Emmanuel Prasse, 31 Dec 1935; citing Lakewood, Cuyahoga, Ohio, reference fn 72091; FHL microfilm 2,022,570.

The date of immigration for Gustav Carl Prasse and his wife, Christiana and daughter, Augusta is probably closest to the 1856 date cited in the 1900 census.  Daughter, Augusta was born in 1848 according to her gravestone.  This date is supported by the 1870 census which gives an approximate date of 1849.  The 1900 census cites an immigration date of 1862 which has to be wrong.  Two sons were born in the U.S. prior to 1862: Herman was born about 1858 and Charles Gustav was born on 26 September 1860 and both were born in Cleveland.  The Declaration for Naturalization filed in the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Probate Court states that he immigrated in June of 1855.  This naturalization record was found on the U.S. Genweb Archives (  Here are the details:
  • Naturalization ID#: 29198; Name: Prasse Gustav; Name of Volume: DOA; Vol 2; Page 8; Germany; Date of Arrival: 6/1855 Date of Naturalization: 8/22/1867                    
  • Naturalization ID#: 29199; Name:  Prasse Gustav; Name of Volume: NB Vol 7; Page 105; Country: Germany; Date of Naturalization: 10/23/1872
There appears to have been a second man named Gustave Prasse that naturalized in 1872.
Further information on ordering Cuyahoga Naturalization records is here:

The 1870 census record clearly shows that the Prasse family was from Saxony.  The oldest daughter, Augusta (Guste) was born in Saxony about 1849 per this record and 1848 per the gravestone.  The family immigrated before Herman was born in Ohio in 1858.  More research is needed to find this family in the 1860 and 1880 census. There is a nine year gap in the ages of Augusta and Herman.  This may be explained by the 1900 census where Christina says she she was the mother of nine children and that only four were alive in 1900.

Come learn more about how to research your German heritage at the Ethnicity Focused Research Special Interest Group.  Beginning in March 2015, The Bay Area Genealogical Society will host a monthly presentation and working session focusing on researching ancestors from a variety of countries.
Location: Friendswood Activity Building located at 416 Morningside Drive, Friendswood.
Nick Cimino and Bob Wegner, BAGS members, will kick-off this Special Interest Group with a detailed look at German ancestry research.
  • Saturday, March 21 at 1:00 pm: How to identify the hometown of German ancestorsin American records.
  • Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 pm: Church records and Civil Records in Germany
  • Saturday, May 16 at 2:00 pm: German script and research training videos, also vocabulary

Monday, March 9, 2015

All Roads in Our Family History Pass through Reno

The Washoe County Courthouse in Reno, Nevada holds several records of our family history.  I worked for Washoe County in the early 1980s and was in this building many times.  The Washoe County Courthouse helped to make Reno the "Divorce Capital of the World". This was also the place where many marriage licences were obtained by our family members.  Source: Online Encyclopedia of Nevada (Click here for more information.)

Is it coincidence or serendipity that so many events in our family history occurred in Reno, Nevada? Our little family of four resided in Reno, Nevada from 1982 to 1997.  My wife, our eldest daughter and her husband all graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno.  I completed all of the course work for the Masters program in Historic Preservation at UNR.  We have many good memories and good friends from Reno and we have continued to visit there over the years.

When I started my family history research in Reno in 1989, I began to realize that several major events in our family history occurred in Reno.  For example, I was surprised to learn that my “Gram” Elaine Coffman was married to my Grandpa George Kelly at the First United Methodist Church in Reno on the 24th of October 1937.  This was the era when Reno was known as the “Divorce Capital of the World.”   The short six week residency requirement induced many divorce seekers to temporarily relocate to the “Biggest Little City.”  They resided in guest houses and dude ranches while their divorce was processed through the Washoe County courts. 

And so it was with Gram Elaine.  Her nine year marriage to Grandpa True Mayne was on the rocks.  Elaine had been lodging across the street from the courthouse since September 1, 1937.  The decree of divorce was granted in the Washoe County Courthouse on the 16th of October 1937, exactly six weeks after Elaine arrived in Reno.  Elaine and George were married eight days later. The marriage to Grandpa George lasted over fifty years until his death.  They shared a lifelong love with each other and with Lake Tahoe.  George named his Lake Tahoe cabin cruiser, the Elaine B.

I was surprised recently to learn that my paternal grandfather, Richard Cimino was married to his second wife, Macy Lu Kimes at the same church in Reno as my maternal grandparents.  Grandpa Dick and Grandma Macy became strong adherents of the Methodist Church.  My aunt Betty Ann remembered vividly that her father and step-mother were married in the summer of 1955 because it was a year before she was married to Elson Hancock also in Reno, Nevada on 17 August 1956.  Betty Ann could not recall the exact date so another piece was needed to solve our “Ancestor Puzzle.”

My search for the 1955 marriage record of Grandpa Dick and Grandma Macy seemed to be frustrated at every turn. has a database of Nevada marriages but it did not include marriages for 1955 in Reno.  I went to the Washoe County Clerk website which claimed to have all of the marriages recorded in the county in an online database.  My search for “Cimino” in 1955 showed “0” results.  I searched for the contact information and found that the County Clerk was open until midnight on a Saturday.  It appears that they still have a lively marriage trade in Reno!  I called the number and I marveled that a live person answered and explained that their database was down for the weekend. The friendly clerk stated she would be happy to look up the date of the marriage on the microfilm and call me back.  Finally persistence seemed to have paid off.

I waited patiently until past midnight Central time for the return phone call.  The call never came.  But then I checked my phone before heading to bed and realized that the “do not disturb” function was programmed for 10 pm.  I had a missed call from the 775 area code.  Fortunately the clerk had left a message.  The date that Grandpa Dick and Grandma Macy were married was the 2nd of July 1955.  So if you are looking for a marriage record that you cannot seem to find, you might consider researching the Nevada marriage records.

For more information on the Reno divorce industry, see the following source: Mella Rothwell Harmon. Divorce and Economic Opportunity in Reno, Nevada during the Great Depression. Reno: MS thesis. University of Nevada, 1998. - See more at:  Mella was a classmate of mine at UNR and she is now a faculty member at our alma mater.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Obituary Search for Obediah Phebus died 31 Mar 1897 in Indian Territory

I recently found the McAlester, Oklahoma Public Library has digitized newspapers and put them on their website.

I have a gravestone record that shows Obediah Phebus died 31 March 1897.  He was buried in Red Oak Cemetery in Bache, Oklahoma which is now in Pittsburg County but that jurisdiction did not yet exist in 1897. The proper location for the time would have been Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. His son, William Morris Phebus would have been a bachelor presumably residing in the vicinity of Krebs. William was married to Margaret Welch nee Garvin on the 28th of August 1898 in Krebs a little over a year after the death of his father, Obediah.

Obediah Phebus and his wife Ava Briggs
This picture appears to be an artist's sketch.
It was probably drawn in the 1870s in the vicinity of Lead Hill, Boone County, Arkansas where they were residing.
 This picture was found on
Angelica_9803 originally submitted this to Weir,Baker,Crosswhite,McCullough tree on 4 Nov 2008
I began searching digital newspapers at the McAlester Newspaper site on 27 February 2015: in the South McAlester Capital Daily Edition for 1897.

There appears to be a gap in the dailies between March 30 and April 6.
The following dates were searched:
Daily Capital 04-06-1897  No obit
Daily Capital 04-07-1897  No obit
Daily Capital 04-08-1897  No obit This paper was dated Thursday evening, April 8, 1897. There was no obituary but there was a column on page 3, column 4 entitled PURELY PERSONAL POINTERS.  There was also a subtitle "News Notes From Krebs." One story of note was:
   "E.P. Wilkinson has bought the Sample place between this city and Alderson and will move to it one day next week.
   Miss Lulu Wood of Hackett City is visiting her sister Mrs. E.P. Wilkinson."
Apparently Lulu Wood had come to help her sister move into her new home.  I have a Lulu Wood in my tree but she was born about 1893 and therefore would only have been about four years old at the time of this article.
Daily Capital 04-09-1897 No obit
Daily Capital 04-10-1897 No obit
Generally I did not see any obituaries or death notices in the local news. Until I opened the paper for Thursday Evening, April 15, 1897.  On page 3 column 3 we find this notice:
   "E.P. Wilkinson's infant son died yesterday at the family residence between Krebs and Alderson, after a month's illness.  The remains were buried today at the McAlester cemetery."

It appears that Miss Lulu Wood might have come to help her sister with her ailing child in addition to the planned move.  Since the residence was between Krebs and Alderson, it would appear that they did not move yet.

It is perhaps more likely that an obituary might have appeared in a Krebs newspaper.  No Krebs newspaper is available for 1897 at this library site.

Chronicling America shows the following newspapers available for Krebs:
US Newspaper Directory Search Results
Results 1 - 6 of 6 1 Jump to page:
Your title search returned 6 results
Sort by:       Results per page:
1. The Oklahoma miner. online resource (None) 1912-192?
2. The Oklahoma miner. (Krebs, Okla.) 1912-192?
3. The Krebs eagle. (Krebs, Ind. Ter. [Okla.]) 1899-1900
4. The Krebs cyclone. (Krebs, Ind. Terr. [Okla.]) 1900-190?
5. The Krebs banner. (Krebs, I.T., Okla.) 1906-1908
6. The Krebs advertiser. (Krebs, Okla.) 1910-191?

It appears that there was not a newspaper for Krebs in 1897.  My search for the obituary of Obediah Phebus was unsuccessful.  Reading the newspapers gave me a good sense of the historical context of the time.  This was the period before statehood where the European settlers in Indian territory outnumbered the Five Civilized Tribes and the freedmen.  The Choctaw and the Chickasaw were voting to determine whether they would accept the land allocations of tribal land being proposed by the federal government.  It was the Jim Crow era in the south and the rights of freedmen were being curtailed.  This clipping tells a tale of the times:

South McAlester Capital August18,1898 Page 4
The vote for allocation of the tribal lands was approved by the Choctaw citizens and freedmen despite the recommendation of this article.  This vote set the stage for the statehood of Oklahoma in 1907.  It would be interesting to know how many of the freedmen were able to hang onto their land.  If you have anything to add on this subject, please add a comment.