Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. II., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.
A resident of Mount Olive, New Jersey, Mr. STEPHENS is one of the most prominent and prosperous farmers of his township. A review of his life and ancestry gives the following facts.
The STEPHENS family in America was founded by Richard STEPHENS, who landed in this country previous to the Revolutionary war, and who was a valiant soldier in that war, serving with an official rank. He was the owner of three farms near Budd's Lake, New Jersey, one of which is the homestead owned and occupied by the subject of this sketch. Richard STEPHENS married Dorothy LANDON and became the father of nine children, one of whom, Richard, born October 17, 1779 was the grandfather of Richard H. The second Richard STEPHENS was a militia captain during "training days" in New Jersey, and was, like his father, a worthy and honored citizen. He married Mary BELL, and died in the year 1820. The children of their union were as follows:
John B. STEPHENS, the father of Richard H., was ushered into life in 1810, lived to a good old, age and passed away in 1888. He was quiet and unassuming, without political ambition, and with a character in every way above reproach. A devoted and consistent Christian, he was a deacon of the Baptist church and for fifty years its clerk. His wife was before her marriage Miss Permelia DRAKE, she being a daughter of Sylvanus DRAKE, and their only child is
whose name graces this article.
Richard H. STEPHENS was born May 12, 1844, at the old homestead which he now owns and where he has passed the whole of his life, devoting his energies to the pursuits common to his worthy ancestors.
Mr. STEPHENS has been connected with public matters in an official capacity almost continuously from his twenty-first birthday. He has filled every office in the township except that of freeholder; is the present town clerk, elected by fifty majority in a strong Democratic township; has been a member of the board of education for nearly thirty years and is now its president; and he was appointed postmaster upon the establishment of the Mount Olive post-office, his first commission having been issued by Postmaster-General Creswell, under General Grant's administration. His father before him was a Republican, and it is in the ranks of this party that he has been a worker, and from Republican hands that he has been shown preference. His ancestors were Whigs.
The religious faith of the STEPHENS family has been that of the Baptist church, and from this faith Richard H. STEPHENS has not departed. He has long been a prominent member of the church, and he is now serving as clerk and Sunday-school superintendent.
Mr. STEPHENS was married February 14, 1872, to Carrie SMITH, daughter of Zachariah SMITH, of Peapack. Her mother's maiden name was Elizabeth STEVENS. Mrs. STEPHENS is the youngest of the family, her brothers and sisters in order of birth being as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. STEPHENS have two children,
This biography was scanned and contributed by Catherine Smith DeMayo.
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