Does the family of John Franklin Sturman list a daughter named Ella (or some such variation) in the 1870 census in Coffeyville?
My g grandfather, Elmer Maxson, was born in Coffeyville in late 1874 or early 1875 to Ella Sturman, wife of Adolphus Leander Maxson. Adolphus had come to Labette Co. about 1870 with his father, Alfred Maxson, and possibly an uncle. During the Civil War, Alfred was badly wounded at Resaca as a member of the famous 125th Ohio "Opdycke Tigers." He never fully recovered and died from complications of these wounds in 1877. He is buried in Elm Grove twp, Labette Co. Adolphus's brother, Hugh, also married. His wife, "Belle" Burns, died about 1877, and we have no further info concerning him. Ella and Adolphus had at least one more child, William Levi, before Ella died -- in a fire about 1882, according to family tradition. Adolphus then returned to the family's old home in Van Wert Co., OH with his two sons and later remarried. As the lone returning adult, Adolphus failed miserably in keeping alive the memories of his wife, father and brother back in Ohio. This is about the sum total of what is known about the ill-fated Maxson migration to Kansas.
I had always assumed that Adolphus met Ella after leaving Ohio. It always seemed curious that my g grandfather was born further west, but it makes sense that she would have gone back to Coffeyville to be with her family during the birth of her first baby. I sure hope to hear some good news from you!