Stevens Family of Steven's Pottery, Ga.
Henry Stevens
Founder of Steven's Pottery
Henry Stevens, was the founder of Steven's Pottery in Southwest Baldwin County. He was born July 21, 1813, the son of Walter and Elizabeth Stevens of Cornwall, England, where he began working at a local pottery at a young age. At the age of 18, he became a sailor on a merchant ship that sailed between Liverpool and New York. At the age of 23 he went to Augusta and worked for the railroad as foreman of hands that were building the railroad between Augusta and Union Point. That work finished he was a railroad conductor for a few years. He, with his brothers and parents, settled in Greene County.
    On May 20, 1837 he married Matilda Stevens in Greene County. She was the daughter of  John and Martha Stevens formerly of N.C. Their eight children were: Martha Jane, Walter Crawford, Annie E., John Henry, Fannie Matilda, Eliza, William Park, and one who died as an infant.
    He farmed and went into the sawmill business in Greene County selling and erecting the Page Mill throughout Middle Ga. In 1854 he purchased a large tract of land in southwest Baldwin County where he sat up a saw mill plant.The brick and ceramic "pottery division" was started in 1858. Stevens Pottery was called Whiting at one time. During the civil war he furnished the troops with knives, shoe pegs and Joe Brown Pikes. Mrs. Matilda Stevens died in 1862, age 39.  Mr. Stevens married Caroline "Carrie" Torrance, daughter of William & Mary Torrance,  Feb. 28, 1865. They had no children
When Sherman troops came through in 1865 the mills were burned and the pottery works leveled. After the war he rebuilt his business and it flourished. In 1871 he began making sewer pipe, pottery,  stoneware and brick and his business was known as Kaolin Pottery and Mills.
    In 1876 Mr Stevens sold the business to his sons John Henry and William Crawford and his brother William P. Stevens, a merchant in  Sparta, who was made general manager and treasurer.  The  company was called H. Stevens Sons Company, Macon. When William P. Stevens died the company name was changed to Stevens Bros Company
  Mr. Stevens was a Mason and a devout Christian of the Methodist faith, a steward nearly all his life and a trustee.
   Henry Stevens died Jan. 16, 1883 and Carrie Stevens died  June 10, 1883.  He, along with his 2 wives, and other relatives are buried in Matilda Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery in Stevens Pottery. The chapel was named after Matilda Stevens.

Walter Crawford Stevens

    Born in 1846 in Green County, the oldest son of Henry and Matilda Stevens, Walter was eight years old when the family moved to Baldwin County. He was educated at Emory College in Oxford.
    In 1872 he married Emma Heard Davis, daughter of Wilson and Mary Wright Davis of Newton County. They had three children: Mittie Irene, Maria, and one child who died as an infant. Mr and Mrs Stevens were active members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Stevens was a steward in the church.
     He joined with his brother John Henry  Stevens and Uncle William P Stevens, in 1876,  forming  the H. Stevens Sons Company, Macon. When William P. Stevens died the company name was changed to Stevens Bros Company. In addition to the pottery business they cultivated about 1,000 acres of land.

John Henry Stevens

    Born April 5, 1851 in Greene County, the second son of Henry and Matilda Stevens. John was 4 when the family moved to Baldwin County. He attended Emory College in Oxford for two years. He married Julia Antoinette Webb in 1873. There six children were Lemma, Henry A., John H. Jr., Maggie Mell, Julia Pearl and Ruby.
    After going in business for himself, he joined with his brother Walter Crawford Stevens and Uncle William P Stevens, in 1876,  forming  the H. Stevens Sons Company, Macon. When William P. Stevens died the company name was changed to Stevens Bros Company.  In addition to the pottery business they cultivated about 1,000 acres of land. Around 1890 they built the Stevens home, which is still standing, in Stevens Pottery.
   Henry A. Stevens died as an infant in 1878. John Henry Stevens, Jr. died at the age of 2 in 1884. Maggie Mell Stevens died at the age of 3 in 1888. Julia Pearl Stevens died at the age of 14 in 1904. Mrs. Julia Stevens died Jan. 24, 1919 and is buried in Matilda Chapel Methodist Church Cemetery next to  John Henry Stevens who died Jan. 25, 1927.
 
 

William Park Stevens

      Born in Baldwin county, Ga. March 31, 1859, of English parentage, and the youngest of three brothers. His parents were Henry and Matilda Stevens (for whose sketch see that of Henry Stevens, Baldwin county). After receiving a through education, he crossed the  water and visited his father's old home, and spent quite a while prospecting among the clay industries of Great Britain. On he return he accepted a position as superintendent for Stevens Bros. Co., Stevens Pottery,Ga., which position he held with credit until his father's death, at which time he launched out on his own account, in the saw and planing mill business and merchandising, in which he was successful and made money. After cutting all the timber contiguous to his mills he disposed of his interests in this line, formed a company, consisting of himself and two brothers, W. C. and J. H Stevens, of Stevens Bros. Co., and built a sewer pipe plant at Macon, Ga, and commenced the manufacture of sewer pipe, fire brick, flue goods, etc. under the name of Henry Stevens Sons Co., the subject of this sketch being elected general manager and treasuer.
     By never-failing courage and tenacity, and not knowing what "fail" means, mr. Stevens soon built and equipped a modern plant, furnished with the best machinery,  and by his shrewdness and foresight, the plant has been a success since its inception, and has not shut down since it was started, except for repairs.
    Mr. Stevens married Miss Emma G. Stephens, a daughter of John W. Stephens and C. A. Stephens. her father belonged to a well-known Mississippi family, and died in Nashville, Tenn., while in the Confederate service. To them three bright and beautiful children have been born: Estelle, born Sept. 2, 1885; Fannie, born Aug. 27, 1888; and William Park, Jr., born June 25, 1892. Mr. Stevens claims that to his wife is due a great deal of the credit for his successful business career. he is charitable and courteous, but stern and positive in business transactions; says "No" without changing, and is what all practical business men, with whom he has dealings, term a shrewd and conservative business man. Mrs. Stevens is a prominent member of the Methodist church.Memoirs of Georgia Volume 1Historical Society of Georgia, 1895
 
 
 

Sources: Memoirs of Georgia, Southern Historical Association; Marriage Records of Baldwin Co. Ga.;  1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 Census Records; The Baldwin Bulletin, May 1 2003; Acts of General Assembly  March 3, 1875
 
 

Eileen Babb McAdams copyright 2004-2005