Biography of John C. Stevens
Adams County, NE Biographies





John C. Stevens, deceased, was one of the prominent members of the Adams county bar, displaying marked skill and ability especially in the field of criminal law. He was born in New Jersey on the 8th of September, 1863, a son of Thomas and Mary (Devereaux) Stevens, who in the year 1883 came to Nebraska and settled upon a farm south of Hastings. They afterward removed to the city but both have now passed away.

John C. Stevens was one of a family of eight children and after attending the public schools he supplemented his course of study by private reading. Entering upon preparation for the bar, he was admitted to practice in Hastings in 1889 and was with the firm of McCreary, Capps & Stevens in active practice for a long period. No dreary novitiate awaited him. He came to the front almost immediately as a member of the bar, being strong and forceful in argument, clear in his reasoning and logical in his deductions. He was particularly successful as a jury lawyer and many a man accused of crime has felt that his destinies were safe in the hands of Mr. Stevens, who had the reputation of securing more acquittals than perhaps any other practitioner at the Adams county bar. He always prepared his cases with thoroughness and care and was felicitous and clear in argument.

On the 4th of February, 1890, Mr. Stevens was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary Ann Rooney, a daughter of James and Bridget Rooney, who were born in Ireland but came to America in 1884. To Mr. and Mrs. Stevens were born two children: Anna Marie, who died at the age of nineteen years; and Philomena, at home. The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church, to which Mr. Stevens belonged, and he was also a member of the local organization of the Knights of Columbus. In politics he was a democrat, and while he never sought nor desired public office, he was frequently heard on the rostrum in defense of the principles in which he believed and his eloquence and strong arguments seldom failed to carry conviction. He was very prominent in both state and national politics and was honored by being made chairman of the national committee of the democratic party. Aside from his practice he had business interests as a stockholder in the Clarke Hotel and by reason of his carefully conducted financial affairs he was able to leave his family in comfortable circumstances when on the 23d of January, 1914, he passed away. He left behind him many friends, for he was cordial and genial in manner and his sterling traits of character won him high esteem.

From:
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago, 1916


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