John Oberly was born on November 17, 1832 in Wurtemberg, Germany.
John immigrated to America and settled in western Michigan by the time the war broke out. (In 1860 there was one Caleb Oberly, born 1838 in Germany, living in Hastings, Barry County. Also living with Caleb was ne Eva Oberly, age 61, also born in Germany.)
John stood 5’7” with blue eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and was 28 years old and possibly a farmer living in Barry County when he enlisted in Company F on May 13, 1861. On December 19, 1862, his commanding officer, Captain Israel C. Smith, wrote that “During the past eight months he has been subject to fits and in [my] opinion is unfit for a soldier.” The Regimental surgeon Dr. James Grove, wrote that “This applicant had an attack of typhoid fever about a year ago last August [and] was sick in hospital about two months. The first attack of epilepsy occurred about the latter part of October following. Since then he states that he has had from eight to ten fits. They do not occur at anything like regular intervals but are apparently induced by fatigue or excitement. He is extremely unfit to perform the duties of a soldier.” He was discharged for epilepsy on January 13, 1863, at Camp Pitcher, Virginia.
John eventually returned to western Michigan.
He was married to Ohio native Margaret A. (1842-1932), and they had at least seven children: Ellie (b. 1868), Charles (b. 1870), Mary (b. 1872), Arletta (b. 1873), Nancy (b. 1875), Katie (b. 1877) and George (b. 1879).
(In 1870 one Caleb Oberly was living in Vergennes, Kent County; possibly a brother of John’s since they were both living in Lowell in 1880. Also in 1870, one Jane Oberly, age 71 and born in Wurtemberg, was living in Lowell.)
By 1880 John was working as a farmer and living with his wife and children in Lowell, Kent County. He was living in Alto, Kent County in 1887 and 1888, in Lowell, Kent County in 1890, and for many years worked as a farmer.
He was a member of Grand Army of the Republic Wilson Post No. 87 in Lowell.
In 1886 he applied for and received a pension (no. 406195).
John died of aortic insufficiency in Bowne, Kent County, on September 6, 1910, and was buried in Merriman cemetery, Kent County: B-191-5.
His widow was still living in Michigan, probably in Lowell, in late September of 1910 when she applied for and received a pension (no. 711689).