Biography of Theodore Obenauf
Mahoning County, OH Biographies

THEODORE OBENAUF, a public spirited and substantial citizen of Beaver township, resides on a farm in section 9, and in the same house in which he was born, March 17, 1856, son of Francis and Wilhelmina (Doerfer) Obenauf.

The first of the Obenauf family to emigrate from Germany to America, was Trowgut Ohenauf, an uncle of Theodore, who located at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, where he was later joined by his brother Francis. The brothers came together to Beaver township, Mahoning County, and purchased the second farm north of the one now occupied by Theodore, for their father, Christian Obenauf, who took possession of it two years later, in 1854, and continued to reside upon it until his death, in 1858. His children were: Trowgut, Francis, Christian, Herman, Edward, Ferdinand, Pauline, wife of David Dietzman, and a resident of Wisconsin, Lewis, and Huldah, who married Julius Siegel, and resides in Youngstown.

Francis Obenauf was born in Saxony, Germany, November 26, 1830, and was about 22 years of age when he came to America. In 1855 he was married to Wilhelrnina Doerfer, a daughter of Michael Doerfer and also a native of Saxony. She accompanied the Obenauf family to America. After marriage, Francis Obenauf settled on the farm now occupned by his son, which was fairly well cleared when he purchased it. He continued to reside on this place until Theodore was married and then moved to the farm now owned by Lewis F. Obenauf, on which he built a house and barn and made other improvements. He resided on that farm until the death of his wife which occurred November 13, 1878, when he moved to North Lima, where he subsequently (second) married Mrs. Elizabeth Hahn. He resided at North Lima, until 1890, when he removed to Melrose, Florida, residing there until within six weeks of his death, which took place at Augusta, Georgia, January 29, 1899. His remains were brought home for burial, as were those of his widow, who died in Georgia, December 16, 1900, and a son, Frank, who died there June 13, 1901. The children of Mr. Obenauf were all born of his first marriage and were: Theodore, subject of this sketch; Adeline, born December 25, 1859, wife of William Feicht, and a resident of Springfield township; Anna, born November 7, 1861, who died November 16, 1885; Lewis F., residing in section 15, Beaver township; and Frank, born March 5, 1873, who died in Georgia, as stated above. The last named was a prominent lawyer. His death was caused by typhoid fever.

Politically, Francis Obenauf was a Democrat. He was a man of sterling character and took an active interest in public matters where ever he lived. At one time he served as trustee of Beaver township. Through life he was a consistent Lutheran.

Theodore Obenauf was educated in the local schools and has devoted the greater part of his life to agricultural pursuits. In younger years, when not busy on the farm, he was engaged very successfully in selling organs through the country, but in later years has been mainly interested in raising fruit, potatoes and poultry as specialties in addition to general farming.

On April 11, 1878, Mr. Obenauf was married to Louise Houk, who was born in Springfield township, Mahoning County, Ohio, and is a daughter of Henry and Mary (Barth) Houk, and a granddaughter of Jacob Houk, who resided all his life in Trumbull County, and who married Christina Unkauf. Henry Houk resided in Springfield township until his death, on March 26, 1906. He was born April 25, 1831, and was married April 1, J853, to Mary Barth, who died October 22, J905.

Mr. and Mrs. Obenauf have had four sons and one daughter, namely: Henry Francis, born January 15, 1879, is a Lutheran minister located at South Sharon, Pennsylvania, married Mary Ota Lynch and they have one !son, Paul Francis; Albert Myron, born December 12, 1881, resides in Cleveland; Henry Francis and Albert Myron were both educated at Wittenberg College; Emma Almeda born May 15, 1887, is a graduate of the North Lima. High School and taught school during one year in Beaver township and one year in Springfield township; Homer Allen, born February 19, 1891, is attending Rayen School at Youngstown; Maurice Samuel, born February 14, 1897, is still a student: The eldest son of Mr. Obenauf was educated at Wittenberg College and at the Lutheran College at Chicago.

For a number of years Mr. Obenauf has been a member of the township school board, of which he is treasurer. With his family he belongs to the Lutheran Church. He has fraternal connection with the Home Guards of America.

20th Century History of Youngstown
and Mahoning County, Ohio and
Representative Citizens,
Edited and compiled by Gen. Thos. W. Sanderson
Youngstown, Ohio
Biographical Publishing Company
Chicago, Illinois 1897

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