Mary Oberhanslie (Midwife in Payson)
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.
Mary Oberhansli, Payson resident from 1867 to ~1932.