Johnson County, NE - Family Histories
Submitted by Susan Ingraham. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Part I: Overturf Roots prior to coming to Johnson County, NE
The Overturf family has its roots in Germany. The name was originally Oberdorf which means "over village", meaning that they lived above the village.
There were two Balthasar Oberdorfs, father (1665-?) and son (1698-?). Balthasar Oberdorf II was married in 1718, probably in Kembach, Germany, to Magdalena Oberdorf, daughter of Jacob Oberdorf. He and his wife and at least three of their younger children emigrated to the United States, arriving at the Port of Philadelphia on September 24, 1753, on the ship Neptun.
Johann Valentin Oberdorf, a son of Balthasar and Magdalena, was born in October 1735 in Kembach, Germany and was 18 when he arrived in the United States with his parents. Johann married Agnes Elizabeth (or Elizabeth Agnes) and they settled in York County, Pennsylvania. Valentin is on the tax list in Newberry Township in 1762 and in Manchester Township in 1780. They moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania, before 1785. They had eight children, and it is assumed they both died (Johann in 1800) in Fayette County, Pennsylvania.
Simon Overturf, a son of Johann and Agnes, was born in York County, Pennsylvania in 1771. In 1793, he married Mary DeBolt who had been born on February 6, 1778, in what is now German Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of George (1748-1829) and Elizabeth Tegarden Debolt (?-1834). George DeBolt was the son of Hans Michael DeBolt (1723-1788) and Elizabeth (?-1789). Simon and Mary Overturf bought land in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, but sold it and emigrated in 1809 to Licking County, Ohio. Simon was a house carpenter and a Justice of the Peace. Simon and Mary had ten children. They both died in Ohio, Simon first in 1820 and then Mary in 1849.
George Overturf, a son of Simon and Mary, was born on December 22, 1798, in either Fayette or Green County, Pennsylvania. George married Jane McLain on October 19, 1821. Jane, who had been born on November 4, 1797, in Virginia, was the daughter of a tailor, James McLain, from Dublin, Ireland. George and Jane settled on the east half of the N.W. quarter section U.S.M.L Range 14, Tp. 6, Liberty Township, Licking County, Ohio, when it was still virgin forest. They had eight children; both died in Ohio, George in 1862 and Jane In 1883.
Part II: Simon Fuller and Minerva Lake Overturf (who came to Johnson County NE in 1887)
Simon Fuller Overturf, the second child of George and Jane McLain Overturf, was born July 13, 1827, in Licking County, Ohio. Simon was said to be tall and mentally and physically strong. It is said that he loved to debate and enjoyed relating personal narratives. He admired excellence in others and was a good farmer. He tended not to be a risk-taker, however, and preferred careful attention to detail.
Simon married Minerva Lake on July 28, 1848. They had lived on adjoining farms as children. Minerva, who had been born in Licking County, Ohio, on January 13, 1830, was the daughter of Jessie W. Lake Sr. (1802-1884) and Elizabeth Ann English (1803-1880).
In 1866, Simon and Minerva moved from Ohio to Knox County, Illinois, where they had friends and relatives.
When Simon was 60 and Minerva was 57, they decided to move to Nebraska. They took up residence on a farm east of Elk Creek, Nebraska [the exact location is unknown], which remained their home until Minerva's death.
On the morning of June 11, 1904, Minerva was stricken with paralysis and she died on the evening of June 20, 1904. She was 74 years old. Funeral services were held at the home, conducted by Rev. A.S. Reeves of the Long Branch Baptist Church, and the remains were laid to rest in Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Simon carried on without Minerva for nine years, living with his children: six years with his son, John Lake Overturf, of Nemaha county; one year with his grandson, John H. Overturf; and three years with his granddaughter, Mrs. T.S. Baird, in Elk Creek, NE. He died on December 27, 1913, in Mrs. Baird's home at the age of 86. The funeral was held two days later at the M.E. Church in Elk Creek; he was buried beside Minerva in the Mt. Zion Cemetery, east of town.
Part III: John Lake and Alzina Sheldon Overturf (who came to Johnson and Nemaha Counties in 1877)
John Lake Overturf, a son of Simon Fuller and Minerva Lake Overturf, was born on the family farm in Bennington Township, Licking County, Ohio on September 25, 1850, but he went with his parents to Illinois in 1866.
In 1869, John married Alzina Sheldon. Alzina, who was born in Hartford, Ohio, on July 10, 1853, was the daughter of Lewis W. Sheldon (1826-?) and Nancy Corbin (1830?-1914?). Lewis had been born in Mississippi, the son of Samuel and Triphane Hatch Sheldon, who both died when Lewis was young. Nancy, born in Ohio, was the daughter of Richard and Barbara Beaver Corbin. Richard Corbin had been born in Virginia in 1809 and had come to Ohio with his parents in 1823; little is known about Barbara Beaver.
John Lake and Alzina Overturf moved from Knox County, Illinois, to Johnson County, Nebraska in 1877. Here is a description of that move from John Lake's autobiography, written in 1909:
"We made all possible haste and on October 3, 1877, we started for Nebraska. Our worldly belongings amounted to four horses, one wagon and harness, our bedding, and $160. We drove overland, arriving in Johnson County, Nebraska, on October 24, 1877. I rented a farm [in Johnson County] but could not get possession until spring. We rented a house to winter in and I went to work. We managed to exist until we raised a crop. Three and a half years from that time we had 160 acres of land [in Nemaha County] and had it paid for besides building a shanty on it. [The homestead was completed in 1893] and all of [our children] grew to manhood and womanhood there and [they] were the most happy years of our life...."
They remained on their Nemaha County homestead for 28 years. In 1909, they left because of John's failing health; however, both were buried in Mt. Zion Cemetery in Nemaha County, John in 1911 and Alzina in 1928.
Part IV: Descendants of John Lake and Alzina Sheldon Overturf
John and Alzina's 10th child, George Edwin Overturf (1886-1949), was my grandfather. George left the family farm in Nemaha County and married Nellie McDonald (1888-1963) in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1910. George and Nellie had three sons, one of them being my father, Donald Sheldon Overturf (1916-1998), who was born in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1916. My father married Josephine Hansen (1917-1988), who was also born in Hastings, in 1937. I am their fourth child, third daughter, Susan Overturf Ingraham, born in Valentine, Nebraska, on October 4, 1945.
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