Biography of Hon. Stephen D. Stephens
Richmond County, NY Biographies





HON. STEPHEN DOVER STEPHENS, the county judge and surrogate of Richmond county, was born beneath the shadow of the court house at Richmond on the 19th day of April, 1845. His father and paternal ancestors for three generations back were born in New York city, his mother and maternal ancestors being natives of Staten Island. Judge Stephens pursued his preparatory studies. at Trinity School, New York city, subsequently passed with honor through the several departments of Columbia College, and in 1866 he was graduated from that institution with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Subsequently he entered Columbia College Law School, and in 1881 was graduated therefrom with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. In the following year he received the degree of Master of Arts. He immediately entered upon the practice of the law and continued in active practice until he was elevated to his present position.

In politics, Judge Stephens is a Democrat. In 1873, he was elected to represent Richmond county in the Assembly of 1874 and served on the important committee on railroads and also that of villages. In 1874, he was again elected to represent the county in the Assembly of 1875, and that year served as chairman of the committee on villages and also as a member of the committee on railroads and public lands. In the "Life Sketches" of 1875, we find this said of him: " Mr. Stephens is an active and energetic young man and represents the county of Richmond for the second time. He is a finely educated gentleman, a good public speaker, and, owing to his industrious habits and executive ability, is exceedingly valuable in the details of legislation and committee work. "

In 1881, Mr. Stephens was elected to his present position over. Tompkins Westervelt, the Republican candidate, by a handsome majority; and in 1887, he was reelected, practically without opposition, the Republicans making no nomination against him. During his twelve years of service as county judge and surrogate, some of the most important cases which have ever arisen in Richmond county have been before him. Rarely has an appeal from his decisions been taken, and never has he been reversed by the court of last resort, the court of appeals.

He is a member of the Episcopal denomination and is a regular attendant at old St. Andrew's, at Richmond, in which church he was brought up, and where his ancestors worshipped before him.

In 1884, Judge Stephens married Agnes L. Lasar, of Brooklyn, a descendant of the old Pitkin family of Connecticut. The union has proved a most happy one and two sons have been born to them, viz: Stephen D., Junior, and Richmond, the latter having been named after the county and the place of Judge Stephens' birth, for which he has always maintained the greatest affect ion.

Happy in his domestic life, with an unsullied family history and with an unimpeachable record of his own, both in private and public life, Judge Stephens may well be classed as one of the most prominent men in Richmond county

From:
Prominent Men of Staten Island 1893
A. Y. Hubbell, Publishers
New York, 1893.


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