HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ILLINOIS
& HISTORY OF MORGAN COUNTY
Munsell Publishing Company, Publishers, 1906.





STEVENSON, SEPTIMUS CLARK, now one of the older agriculturists of Morgan County, residing on his farm about seven miles east of Jacksonville, was born near Lexington, Ky., September 21, 1821, a son of William C. Stevenson. (See sketch preceding.) The latter, a native of Virginia, was a member of a party of sixty pioneers, who, in 1829, came overland from Kentucky to Illinois, bringing with them 300 sheep, 100 cattle and a long train of wagons. William Stevenson located on a farm two miles west of the present residence of S. C. Stevenson, where he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural pursuits. He was bitterly opposed to the institution of slavery. While a resident of Kentucky he possessed a number of slaves, which he would not sell, and which he could not free without becoming responsible for their subsequent actions. When he decided to come to Illinois, he therefore retained the old slave quarters on his farm, which he allowed the blacks to occupy for a year, in the meantime selling them for a nominal sum to those who, as he believed would accord them generous and humane treatment, each master having been selected by the slave before the sale. He sold each slave for $500, several times that amount being easily obtained on the open market. He was an old-time Whig, and a great admirer and friend of Henry Clay, whom he knew well, his home in Ashland, Ky., being located near that of the Great Pacificator.

William Stevenson was one of the builders of the first log schoolhouse in his neighborhood, which was located in the woods near his home. He was also one of the founders of the first church in the community, which was organized in his home, where religious services were held in the pioneer days. Dr. Lyman Beecher was then a member of the Presbytery with which this church was connected, and was at the Stevenson home at the time of organization. Mr. Stevenson was elected an Elder of the society, and filled that office most of his life thereafter. For some time he also acted as Church Chorister. Upon the outbreak of the Black Hawk War, he equipped one of his sons and a nephew with proper accouterments, and sent them into the service with his blessing. The elder Mr. Stevenson married Martha Elliott, a native of Kentucky, who bore him the following named children: Fleming, John, William, Benjamin, George, Septimus C., besides two sons who died in infancy, and one daughter, Martha, who married Samuel Vance. All are now deceased except the subject of this sketch.

Septimus Stevenson resided on his father's farm until he became of age, when his parents gave him a tract of 220 acres situated one and a half miles west of his present location. This he improved and sold two years later for $9 per acre. He then *1852) purchased about 320 acres, half of which had been slightly improved, which is included with his present farm. About this time he was united in marriage with Eveline Hill, who died September 4, 1868. On December 16, 1869, he married Miriam Bosworth, who died suddenly May 27, 1903, as the result of an accident. She served throughout the Civil War as a nurse, attached to the relief department of the Union Army. By his union with Eveline Hill, Mr. Stevenson became the father of seven children, as follows: Irvin, a farmer residing west of his father; Fannie, wife of James Cully, of Jacksonville; Thomas, of Chicago; Lottie, wife of George Guthrie, of Jacksonville; William, of Omaha, Neb.; May, wife of Charles Rannells, of Pisgah; and Frederick, residing in Ohio.

For some time Mr. Stevenson was a Trustee of the old Athenaeum School, of Jacksonville, now defunct; and he has been a supporter of the Jacksonville Female Academy, and other institutions of that city. For many years he has been an Elder in the Pisgah Presbyterian Church. He has been a warm friend of educational institutions, and has given all his children exceptional advantages in this direction. During the Civil War he contributed generously toward the support of the Union soldiers in the field, and in various other ways throughout his long and useful life has contributed to the success of all worthy movements inspired by a desire to truly advance the interests of Morgan County. His stock operations have been quite extensive, especially in the more active years of his career; and he has always been known as a man of great industry and energy. He is public spirited and progressive to an unusual degree, and is esteemed by a large circle of acquaintances as a man entitled to be ranked with the worthiest and most substantial type of American citizenship.


1906 Index

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