Columns of Will Ball
The author had seen a report of the death of George Stevens in a 50 Year
column in the paper and it got him on to searching the Stevens family.) According to Dr. Powell, George Stevens was
brought up in Logansport by an uncle, E.T. Stevens. Nothing further is added by the doctor in his
book concerning him except that he married a Logansport girl and became
president of the C. & O. Railroad.
So we went to “Who’s Who” in the library. In that we found a very brief history which
stated that he was born in Utica, Ohio on June 29, 1851, that he entered the
railway service in 1864 which would make him 13 or 14 when he began to earn his
way. It also stated that he married
Virginia Wilson on Dec. 27, 1881 but no mention is made that he ever lived in
Logansport or that his wife was from here.
It did say that his home was in Richmond, Virginia and that he died on
Nov. 11, 1920
Elijah T. Stevens, his uncle, appears in
the old city directory back in the ‘70’s as a “wood dealer” or “wood
buyer”. He was the father of at least
three children, two sons and a daughter.
One of his sons, Kirke, was a fireman on the Wabash, St. Louis and
Western Railroad (now Wabash) in 1883.
The other son, John Shaw, “Shaw” to his friends, followed his cousin
George to the C. & O. where he served for many years carrying a title
something like superintendent of telegraph.
The daughter married Will McDonald, an old time resident of Logansport. Her daughter Lottie married Clark Taylor and
Joe and Eugene, the leather merchants, are her sons.
Lemuel B. Stevens, Sr., father of L.B.
and Roderick D. Stevens, known as Rod and Bent to their friends, and
grandfather of Miss Faith Stevens, was a brother of Elijah. Rod and Bent, partners in the firm of Stevens
Brothers, operated a planning mill and lumber business on 1st Street
in back of the Lutheran Church, for many years.
Like many other early arrivals, the
first member of the Stevens family came to Logansport via the Wabash and Erie
Canal. Also, they, like many other early
arrivals, engaged in some form of woodworking or handling. L.B. Stevens is listed in an early directory
by the term “planning mill”. Whether he
was the owner or employee is not stated.
Elizabeth Stevens, wife of Elijah,
bought Lot #2 in Spencer Square from Mrs. Mina Bachman on Sept. 26, 1864 for
the sum of $2,000. Mrs. Bachman was the
widow of Henry W. Bachman, usually known as Harry, who built the fine home at
901 Market, now occupied by Ed Pitman.
Spencer Square was laid out as an addition to Logansport in 1860 by
Thomas S. Dunn and his wife Harriett.
Stevens and his family evidently lived
in the handsome two story frame house with its mansard roof until it was sold
to Senator D.D. Pratt on April 19, 1873.
We understand the Stevens family moved to a home on the southwest corner
of Brown and West Broadway upon leaving the Market Strett home.
As mentioned last week, the directories
listed Elijah Stevens as a “dealer in wood”.
We believe the listing should have been “realtor” although that word had
not been invented. He owned a number of
lots around town and his name appears many times in the deed records in the
According to Joe Taylor, his
great-grandson, he had a daughter Lottie among his nine children. That name also appears in the deed records
but we did not learn if she was his daughter.
Another daughter, May, married Williamson Dunn, a member of a prominent
Logansport family. They moved to
California where their descendents still live.
Logansport Press, May 27, 1851
Transcribed by Christine Spencer, April,
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