Biography of Jesse W. Stephens
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Stephens, Jesse W., was born in England, June 3, 1845. His father, John L., emigrated to this country in 1849 and after spending one year in Quebec, Canada, be moved to Ithaca and with his brother, Thomas, established a marble and monumental yard on S. Tioga street. He dissolved partnership after several years and located where the grocery of J. W. Stephens now stands on State street. John E. Stephens died at the age of fifty nine. Since J. W. was five years of age he has made his home in this town. He was educated in the old Lancastrian school and his first occupation was as a marble cutter in his father's shop. He was only sixteen years of age when the war broke out, and August 16, 1862, he enlisted in Company D, 137th Regiment, New York Volunteers, to serve for three years or during the war. He saw service in the battle of Chancelloreville, Gettysburg and other minor engagements, and was then transferred to the Twelfth Corps and from there to the Twentieth Corps, which joined Sherman in his march to the sea. He was dispatch bearer for General Geary, division commander, and General Green, brigade commander, and was discharged June 9, 1865. On his return he resumed his trade and worked on the Cornell house, also Andrew D. White's house, and did the lettering on some of the College buildings. In 1873 he established a grocery on 78 Cascadilla street, and in a few years moved to Eddy street, starting the first store there, which he afterward sold to George Frost, and returned to Cascadilla street. He sold this store on Cascadilla street and took the store left by D. B. Stewart on State street, which he conducted but a short time and sold to Moses Shepard. During this time he bought and sold several other small concerns. In 1892 he bought out the store of his brother, George Stephens at 110 W. State street, which he conducted in connection with his Cascadilla street store. His line is groceries and dry goods and meats in winter time. In politics he is a Republican and in 1887 was the candidate for alderman, taking the second nomination only four days before election and defeated by only four votes. The following year he was elected by 144 majority in a Democratic ward. For the past seven years he has been a vestryman of St. John's Episcopal church and a member of the Masonic fraternity, Hobasco Lodge No. 716, of which he is the junior warden, Eagle Chapter, Ithaca Council, St. Augustine Cornmandery. He has passed all chairs of the Knights of Pythias and vice chancellor the year of the Grand Lodge meeting in this city, and the next year was elected chancellor commander. He is a member of Sidney Post, G. A. R. He was married in Guilford, Conn., in June, 1867, to Mary Harrigan, and they are the parents of six children, two sons and four daughters.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION

Tompkins County, NY
Biographies

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012