Allotment #5: Mary Bridget Leonard Geboe

Mary Bridget Leonard Geboe, Photo courtesy Twila Coger.

Mary Bridget Leonard Geboe

Born: 1 October 1853 Died: 2 February 1935

Mary B. Leonard was born to Moses and Mary (Roubidoux) Leonard in Adrian, Michigan.  Her family appears to have settled in Michigan for a period of time before the removal of the Myaamia from Indiana, but then moved south-west to join their relatives in Kansas in the 1860s.  Mary was married to David Geboe by Thomas Richardville on October 3, 1869.  According to family legend, upon their arrival in Indian Territory they camped along the Spring River on the Quapaw land before building a permanent home on their allotment.  One story is told that while they were there, some Indians from a tribe unfamiliar to them came along.  Not being able to communicate with them well, Mary became afraid they would steal her baby, but it soon became apparent that they were looking for food.

After settling on their land, David Geboe became known as a successful farmer, and “Grandma” Geboe was an enterprising business woman.  She took in laundry to earn money, and at one time created a cattle dip and charged ranchers by the head to run their cattle through.  Their allotment land and farmhouse passed through five generations of the Geboe family before the Miami Nation purchased it, restored the original portion of the house, and included it on the Tribal Historic Properties Register in 2014.