|Grace Hanback was born May 1870 to Lewis and Hester Ann (Cooper) Hanback in Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas a |
place she attended school and called home until 1884. In 1879 she was a guest, along with her sister Clara at a
juvenile party hosted by one of her friends Miss Lillie Williams, the daughter of Seth and Sarah (Thomas)
Williams. She was a guest at a masque party held at the Pacific House that was operated by John M Postlewait
in Salina Kansas on February 23, 1882. Grace was also the subject of an opinion piece by W. A. White during the
1882 State Democratic convention which was held there. She moved to Osborne, Kansas in 1884, where her
public schooling resumed. While living in Osborne she was a member of the Apollo Club which was a musical club
that was founded in 1882. She was also a member of the Ladies Guild of Osborne. Grace was an accomplished
pianist, performing at various social events and weddings. She had many friends that she socialized with in
various locations in Kansas including the 1888 New Year’s bash at the home of Mrs. J. B. Shellabarger and
another get together the next evening at the home of her sister Clara, both held in Salina, Kansas. She
attended the prestigious Locust Club party held at Topeka, Kansas on February 01, 1888, while visiting her
hometown of Topeka that same year, she stayed with one of her childhood friends, Myra Williams. Another
friend that she socialized with was Frances (Frank) Dodge of Beloit, Kansas. In 1893 Grace and her family
moved to Argentine, Kansas. While living there she attended a birthday party in honor of Sadie’s nephew,
Robert I. Crawford on October 03, 1894, hosted by Edward and Sadie Engel at 224 South 1st Street.
Grace Hanback was married to Henry (Bert) Buel Ober, the son of Ezra William and Asenath Matilda (Jeffries)
Ober on February 06, 1895 at the Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Bert and Grace moved to Lawrence,
Kansas in 1896 where he purchased a clothing store owned by Abe Levy. He became a very accomplished
businessman while owning the Ober’s Clothiers and Furnishers store. Ober’s became one of the best known
clothing stores in the United States due to the fact that the students from the University of Kansas, who have
traded there, speak of it in their travels and also to the fact that he was associated with the National Retail
Clothiers Association and served as president and vice president of the organization. Ober was also well-known
for his association and leadership with the growth of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and was a charter
member of the Lawrence Rotary Club. They built a house at 1509 Massachusetts Street in 1913,
the place they resided until 1929, due to Grace’s health.
Grace (Hanback) Ober died December 29, 1931 at her sister’s home, Clara Belle (Hanback) Culp in Los Angeles,
California shortly after arriving by train with Bert for additional medical treatment of her illness.
Her husband, Henry (Bert) Buel Ober died December 16, 1950 in San Diego, California
Her father, Lewis Hanback was a Congressman, serving the 6th Congressional District of Kansas in the United
States House of Representatives as a Republican. He was born March 27, 1839 in Winchester, Scott, Illinois
to William and Ann W (Martin) Hanback. He was a veteran of the Civil War, serving in the Tenth Illinois
Volunteer Infantry, moving up in rank to Captain Brigade Inspector on the staff of Col. G. W. Roberts and
served with the Fourth Army Corps, Army of Cumberland. He also had additional service with the 27th Illinois
Infantry, Company K as a Captain, mustering out on September 20, 1864 as a 1st Lieutenant.
He studied law after returning from the war in Albany, New York, then on August 09, 1865 he married Hester
(Hattie) Ann Cooper, the daughter of John Douglas and Margaret H. (Willard) Cooper of Morgan County, Illinois.
He located to Topeka, Kansas in 1866 and was admitted to the bar and began his practice as a Military Claims
Agent with his office above a saloon in Topeka. Lewis was elected Justice of the Peace in 1867 and Deputy
County Attorney, served as the Secretary, Topeka Board of Health and became Probate Judge of Shawnee
County from 1868 to 1875. In 1876 he was assistant chief clerk in the Kansas House of Representatives and in
1877 assistant secretary of the State Senate. From March, 1878, to October 1, 1879, he was United States
district attorney for Kansas and Treasurer of the State Temperance Society. The President then appointed
him receiver of the United States Land Office at Salina and he took up his residence at that place. In 1882
Judge Hanback was nominated and elected Kansas congressman-at-large. He subsequently served three terms
as representative of the Sixth Kansas District, and had his home at Washington attending to his duties as
congressman for eight years. After retiring from congress Judge Hanback resumed his law practice at Topeka
associated with A. L. Williams. He was also in great demand as a public speaker and served for a period of time
as Adjutant General of Kansas. He was long active in Grand Army circles a member of the Loyal Legion and was
a Knight Templar In 1893 he removed to Kansas City, Kansas, where he passed the balance of his life on
September 07, 1897 in the Amourdale District. His wife Hattie died March 27, 1913 at the residence of her
daughter, Clara Belle (Hanback) Culp in Los Angeles , California.
Both are buried at Topeka Cemetery in Topeka Kansas.