D.U.P. Sto­ries

Mary Ober­hanslie (Mid­wife in Payson)

Serve Daily - - NEWS - By Ja­neene White­lock & Cyn­thia Pea­cock

Mary Ober­hansli, beloved mid­wife in Payson and ad­join­ing set­tle­ments for ap­porx­i­matlely fifty years. Mary stud­ied ob­stet­rics at the first hop­si­tal in Utah, De­seret Hos­pi­tal, in Salt Lake City. Ac­cord­ing to her records, kept for the county, she was in­stru­men­tal in bring­ing hun­dreds of ba­bies into the world.

Mary Ur­sula Sta­heli Ober­hansli was born March 7, 1847 to Bar­bara Heid and George Sta­heli in Amirsveli, Switzer­land.

In 1860 the Sta­heli fam­ily was con­verted to the Mor­mon Church, and de­cided to join the Saints in Utah. At a great sacrifice, they were able to start their jour­ney. In May 1862 fifty-five peo­ple crowded into a small sail­ing ship. It was nine weeks be­fore they reached New York. Then by train to St. Joseph, a river boat to Florence, Ne­braska, to min­gle with hun­dreds of con­verts get­ting ready to cross the plains.

On July 19, 1862, a wagon train su­per­vised by Cap­tain Wil­liam Lane, started the long trek. They ar­rived in the Salt Lake Val­ley on the first week in Oc­to­ber. After one night they were asked to go on to Manti, where they lived for five year. In 1867 they moved to Payson.

In 1869, Mary mar­ried Fer­di­nand Ober­hansli, a young Swiss con­vert. They were blessed with six chil­dren. Fer­di­nand was called on a mis­sion to Switzer­land, leav­ing Mary to care for the young fam­ily. But, when re­quested by the Re­lief So­ci­ety to learn ob­stet­rics, she ac­cepted, tak­ing the chil­dren with her. As­sisted fi­nan­cially by the Re­lief So­ci­ety, Mary stud­ied for one year un­der the first woman physi­cian in Utah, Dr. Romo­nia Pratt. She con­tin­ued as a mid­wife for ap­prox­i­mately fifty years.

Mary passed away at her daugh­ters home in Mur­ray, Jan­uary 28, 1932 at age 85.

Call to sched­ule your tour (801) 4652469 and learn more about the his­tory of Payson.

Sub­mit­ted by Ja­neene H. White­lock

Mary Ober­hansli, Payson res­i­dent from 1867 to ~1932.

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