Floral, Richland Township, and Winfield for a short time.
1901 BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD.
 PAGE 456.
CAPT. LEWIS STEVENS, who bore an honorable record for service in the Union Army during the Civil War, was for many years one of the leading agriculturists of Richland Township, Cowley County, where he was once the owner of 600 acres of land.
Mr. Stevens was born in Warren County, Indiana, in May 1828, a son of David and Susan (Lucus) Stevens.
His father, David Stevens, was born in Pennsylvania, of Welsh parentage, and died in Ohio, aged 77. His wife was a native of Ohio, where they were married. They were parents of the following children, three of whom were still living in 1901: Lewis, Elizabeth (Arms), aged 87, and resided in Indiana; William, who resided in Mercer County, Illinois; John, who died at the age of 63 in Fountain County, Indiana, and who was the father of R. W. Stevens; Maria; Amelia; and Ann, who lived and died in Fountain County, Indiana; Mary Ann, who died in Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana; and Andrew J., who died in Iroquois County, Illinois.
Lewis Stevens was reared and educated in Indiana. He worked upon his father’s farm until he reached his majority, after which he attended college at Crawfordsville, Indiana, for one year. In 1862 he enlisted in Company D, 86th Reg., Ind. Vol. Inf. He organized the company and gallantly served as its captain, during the war, with the exception of five months, when he was incapacitated by a wound received at Stone River. He was under Col. Dick and served in the 21st Army Corps, and later, in the 4th Army Corps, participating in many of the famous battles. He was mustered out at Nashville, Tennessee, June 6, 1865, and returned to Indiana, where he remained until his removal to Kansas.
He spent the winter of 1870-1871 at Eureka, Kansas, and then located in Cowley County, where he bought, from Henry Sphar, a claim in section 12, township 31, range 5 east. He chose Kansas as a home on account of his ailment, bronchitis, and his condition immediately improved. He resided on and improved his claim in Richland Township for nine years—raising stock and grain—and then sold out to his nephew, Reason W. Stephens, who still owned it in 1901. Lewis Stevens also purchased a farm southwest of his claim, which he leased. He then moved to Winfield, and engaged in speculating to some extent.
In 1880 he left Winfield, and traded his property for three 80-acre tracts in sections 18 and 19—his present location in 1901. It formed a part of the Barker property, and Mr. Barker had at one time laid out a townsite, to the north of which was situated the village of Floral. Since 1880, Capt. Stevens resided in a comfortable, seven-room house, which was built on his farm just outside Floral; on this he also put up good outbuildings. He produced mainly corn and wheat. He also raised a great deal of stock, preferring Hereford and Shorthorn cattle. He acquired about 600 acres of good bottom land, lying along Timber Creek, which was mainly in one body. He set out fruit trees, and had an orchard of three acres. With the exception of 200 acres which he retained, the rest of his land was divided among his children.
Capt. Stevens was instrumental in securing church services and in building the Baptist church. The present stone church, of the Baptist denomination, was erected in 1885, with valuable assistance from him.
In 1880 the village of Floral was platted by Capt. Stevens, in connection with Mr. Cole and Mr. Caspers, representing a stock company, of which Capt. Stevens was president. Floral had two stores, a post office, a depot, and graded schools in 1901.
Capt. Stevens married Martha Brady, who died in 1857, leaving one son, George, who married and lived near his father. The Captain then married Sarah A. Sigler, a native of Indiana, in 1860. Their marriage resulted in the following children: Marvin, deceased; Edwin, who died in infancy; another who died in infancy, unnamed; Owen, deceased; Rollins, who married and had two children, and lived near his parents; Thaddeus, who, with his wife and one child, also lived near his parents; and Sylvia (Clabough), who had one child.
Capt. Stevens cast his first vote for Franklin Pierce, for president, but became a Republican since the Civil War. He was a member of Floral Post, No. 213, G. A. R., and served several times as commander, attending many reunions of veterans.
Religiously, he became a deacon for years in the Baptist Church at Floral.
Kansas 1875 Census Richland Township, Cowley County, March 1, 1875.
Richland Township 1872: Lewis Stevens, 43; spouse, Sarah A., 26.
Richland Township 1872: Geo. R. Stevens, 22. No spouse listed.
Richland Township 1874: Lewis Stevens, 46; spouse, Sarah A., 28.
Richland Township 1874: Geo. Stevens, 24; spouse, Ellen, 23.
Name age sex color Place/birth Where from
Lewis Stevens 45 m w Indiana Indiana
Sarah A. Stevens 29 f w Indiana Indiana
Rollins Stevens 5 m w Indiana
Thaddeus Stevens 2m m w Kansas
Richland Township 1881: Lewis Stevens, 54; spouse, Sarah A., 36.
Richland Township 1881: George Stevens, 30; spouse, Ellen, 29.
FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Winfield Messenger, July 12, 1872.
Board of County Commissioners met in Co. Clerk’s office in Winfield July 1st, 1872. Present: Frank Cox, O. C. Smith, and J. D. Maurer.
Report on A. S. Williams Road was then taken up, and their report was laid on the table, and new viewers appointed as follows: Lewis Stevens, Richard Page, and J. M. Jackson, survey 30th day of July.
[COMMISSIONERS’ PROCEEDINGS - SEPTEMBER 7, 1874.]
Winfield Courier, September 18, 1874.
And now comes Lewis Stevens in pursuance of an order issued by the board to appear and correct his personal property assessment for the year 1874. Be it known that after hearing of the statements under oath, of the said Stevens, it is hereby ordered and adjudged by the board that the personal property of said Lewis be increased $260. That being the proceeds of a span of mules sold about the first of March 1874, and the county clerk is hereby ordered to place that amount on the tax roll of 1874 in addition to what has been heretofore returned by the assessor against the said Stevens.
Winfield Courier, December 24, 1874.
The following is a list of the different Township Relief Committees who have reported to the County Committee.
Richland Township: J. W. Cottingham, Lewis Stevens, S. W. Phoenix.
[RICHLAND CORRESPONDENT: “T. D. G.”]
Winfield Courier, April 27, 1876. Editorial Page.
Mr. Stevens has built a new place, and just moved into it.
Winfield Courier, October 12, 1876.
The Republicans of Richland Township met at Floral, Oct. 5th, and nominated the following excellent ticket: For Trustee, M. C. Headrick; Clerk, Alex. Kelly; Treasurer, Capt. Lew Stevens; Justices, D. C. Stevens and N. J. Larkin; constables, T. D. Givler and J. Coe; Road Overseers, 1st district, Dr. Phelps; 2nd, Sam Phenix; 3rd, I. H. Edwards; 4th, H. H. Hooker. We believe that all of them, but one, are subscribers to the COURIER. We wish them success.
[TOWNSHIP OFFICERS ELECTED NOVEMBER 7, 1876.]
Winfield Courier, November 16, 1876. Editorial Page.
Richland Township Officers: M. C. Headrick, Trustee; A. Kelly, Clerk; Lewis Stevens, Treasurer; D. C. Stevens, J. P.; T. D. Givler and J. Coe, Constables.
Winfield Courier, January 4, 1877.
ALEX. L. WHITEHALL, late editor of the Watseka Republican, made us a pleasant call since our last issue. Mr. Whitehall is an attorney at law and has been for years past the prosecuting attorney of the county he comes from. He is visiting his uncle, Capt. Stevens, of Floral, and may decide to become a resident of Winfield.
Winfield Courier, March 15, 1877.
Capt. Lewis Stevens, of Richland Township, has become a resident of Winfield.
Winfield Courier, August 16, 1877.
New residence by Capt. Stevens on Millington Street.
Winfield Courier, April 4, 1878.
The city election last Monday excited great interest. Two tickets were in the field. One was made by the Murphy temperance men and headed City ticket, the other by the workingmen, but the issues were not very definitely made up; in fact, the candidates on both sides professed to favor the same policy. But some opposed one or other of the tickets on account of prejudice against the source, or for choice of candidates, or for other reasons, and there was a very lively and excited canvass; but it was conducted in an orderly manner, without quarrels or other disturbance. The result was an overwhelming victory for the workingmen’s ticket. The following is the vote cast for each candidate.
WORKINGMEN’S TICKET. Mayor. J. B. Lynn, 224. Police Judge. W. M. Boyer, 219.
Councilmen: C. M. Wood, 225; H. Jochems, 230; E. C. Manning, 227; T. C. Robinson, 220; G. W. Gully, 217.
CITY TICKET. Mayor. A. B. Green, 101. Police Judge. G. H. Buckman, 126.
Councilmen: T. B. Myers, 122; H. Brotherton, 118; Lewis Stevens, 124; J. W. Curns, 117; Dan Maier, 116.
Winfield Courier, May 16, 1878.
State vs. Frank G. Cody called for trial. Jurymen empaneled were: J. M. Mark, J. B. Vandeventer, Lewis Stevens, W. L. Gilman, W. C. Davis, W. W. Thomas, S. Martin, James Byers, H. C. Catlin, C. Northrup, H. L. Barker, and W. E. Tansey. The prisoner is charged with mayhem in biting off the finger of a Mr. Roberts. James McDermott, attorney for the state. Hackney and McDonald for the defendant. The trial terminated in a verdict of acquittal by the jury.
Winfield Courier, June 6, 1878.
Allowed the following Jurors’ fees. Lewis Stevens: $2.00.
Winfield Courier, January 23, 1879.
The Baptist Church elected the following officers for the year 1879. James McDermott, treasurer. Rev. Mr. Rigby, clerk. C. A. Bliss, Lewis Stevens, James McDermott, R. C. Story, and E. S. Bliss, trustees. Col. J. C. McMullen and John D. Pryor have been added to the board of trustees as a building committee. Plans and specifications for a new building will be submitted soon.
[NEW CHURCH AT FLORAL - RICHLAND BAPTIST CHURCH.]
Winfield Courier, March 18, 1880.
A council convened on Sunday last at the Summit schoolhouse for the purpose of organizing an independent regular missionary Baptist church, what has been known as the Richland arm of the Floral church. This new church consists of 33 members holding letters from the Floral church, and 2 others, making in all 35 members. The council was organized by electing Elder J. Cairns, of Winfield, Moderator, and Deacon L. M. Brown, of Baltimore, as clerk. After a thorough investigation of all the circumstances: their ability to support a pastor, articles of faith, covenant, etc., the council voted unanimously to recognize them as the Richland Baptist church, which was done with the following exercises commencing at 11 a.m.
Sermon by Elder Cairns, prayer and charge by Elder D. Thomas, hand of fellowship by Elder R. S. Thompson.
The following resolutions were adopted as the sense of the council:
Resolved, That in the judgment of this council, it is unadvisable to organize new churches only where they are at sufficient distances from each other, and in such centers of population as will give reasonable assurance of their being permanently sustained.
Resolved, That we earnestly recommend the Richland and Floral Baptist churches mutually to agree upon some central location, unite their funds, and building a meeting house as their future church home.
Resolved, That in our rapidly developing county, we recommend churches near new stations on our railroads, to have an eye to the honor and glory of God, in planting the standard of the cross by moving their churches and building meeting houses at the same.
The following delegates were present: From Winfield church, Rev. J. Cairns, Elder D. Thomas, and Deacon Stevens. Baltimore church, Rev. R. S. Thompson, Rev. J. M. Haycraft, Deacon L. M. Brown, and A. Thompson. Maple Grove church, George R. Stevens. Rock church, Susan M. Curd. REV. J. CAIRNS, Moderator.
L. M. BROWN, Clerk.
Winfield Courier, May 6, 1880.
Last Thursday night, between 11 and 3 o’clock, Winfield was visited by the most disastrous conflagration yet happening within her borders. The fire started in the old log store, one of the landmarks of the town, and for years occupied by the COURIER, but was now being used by F. Leuschen as a cabinet shop. The fire is supposed to have originated from the old rags, oil, and varnish in the shop. The alarm was given before the fire was thoroughly underway, and had those first on the ground been furnished with decent appliances, it might have been controlled, saving thousands of dollars worth of property. The old log building was like a tinder box and made a very hot fire. Next to it on the east were two buildings, one belonging to C. L. Harter and occupied by the moulder at the foundry, the other owned and occupied by Robert Hudson. These buildings were both destroyed, but the contents were saved. Immediately west of the log building, across the alley, was an old livery barn belonging to Hackney & McDonald, which was the next to go.
The following is a list of the losses and insurance.
Captain Stevens, store, loss $1,000; no insurance.
Winfield Courier, September 23, 1880.
We acknowledge a call by Alexander Whitehall, Esq., Master in Chancery, Watseka, Illinois. He is visiting his uncle, Capt. Stevens, and considering the propriety of casting his lot in this county.
[REPORT FROM “SIMON” - FLORAL.]
Winfield Courier, November 18, 1880 - Front Page.
Capt. Stevens has moved from Winfield to his farm near this place. We are glad to welcome him in our midst.
[A FEARFUL CYCLONE. FLORAL HIT HARD!]
Winfield Courier, June 16, 1881.
It has long been the boast of the people of the Walnut Valley that this favored locality was wonderfully exempt from cyclones and destructive storms, but the pitcher has gone once too often to the well,” for on Sunday evening the northwestern part of Cowley County was visited by a destructive cyclone with all its attendant phenomena.
The power of the storm was absolutely indescribable. It had, before reaching Floral, a small tributary of Timber Creek and a belt of timber to pass, and the wind and lightning comprised their forces. Huge trees were blown up by the roots, the branches were withered as by furnace heat, the water was taken from the creek and dashed over the land, the air was filled with the debris of buildings, and sheaves of wheat were hundreds of feet above the earth’s surface; and over and above all, was the horrible turmoil of the storm, that sounded as we heard Captain Stevens say, as if a thousand engines had let loose their steam exhaust at the same moment. Here the storm was at its highest and its force was resistless.
Captain Stevens, a well known citizen of Winfield, had just completed a new dwelling, John Smiley having finished his work the night before; and the Captain and his family were spending Sunday in the new home. They saw and heard the storm coming and fled to the cellar of the old house, which they just reached in time. We found pieces of the new building hundreds of feet from the foundation. The Captain’s direct loss is fully a thousand dollars; but fortunately, in his case he can stand it.
The Telegram estimates losses as follows. Capt. L. Stevens $2,000.
[REPORT FROM “MRS. RUSTIC” - FLORAL.]
Winfield Courier, August 18, 1881.
Capt. Stevens is improving his dwelling with a coat of paint.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 6, 1881 - FRONT PAGE.
Below will be found the proceedings of township meetings, organizations, and muster rolls as far as heard from. The last week before the reunion we will publish the muster rolls
complete. RICHLAND. Special meeting called by Vice President Maher. Mr. Stuber was nominated and elected to the chair. Officers elected as follows.
Second Lieutenant: Lewis Stevens.
H. H. Hooker was chosen to procure old fashioned martial music. Time fixed for march as follows: North Richland falls in line of march on October 20th., camps at the south line of Richland; on 21st again at six a.m. sharp, by a signal of reveille and fall in take up our line of march to Winfield where we may meet many of our old comrades and enjoy the past and chuckle around the camp fires and fight the battles over, dwell in old patriotic songs and airs of rebellion times. Boys we were right not wrong, forget not the old flag each and everyone rally to the call. A suggestion by J. W. Weimer and decided and put on motion and carried without a dissenting vote, that all the ex-soldiers of Richland township on the day of march to Winfield shall promptly be on hand at the set time and place, at Floral, 8 a.m. sharp. Business closed by voting thanks to the patriotic women of Richland for the presentation of a nice flag. Builders of flag as follows: Mrs. Sam Phoenix, Mrs. Wm. Vandwood, Mrs. W. R. McPherson, Miss Kitty Williams, Miss Mary McPherson. H. H. HOOKER, Secretary.
LEWIS STEVENS, CO. D, 86 IND., CAPT.
R. W. STEVENS, CO. D, 86 IND., SERGEANT.
Cowley County Courant, April 13, 1882.
Cowley County is always ahead in everything good. She now comes to the front with the largest heifer in the world. This fine heifer belongs to our fellow townsman, W. L. Mullen, and is the finest specimen of the bovine specie we have ever seen, heard of, or read about. She was raised by Capt. Lewis Stevens on Timber creek about seven miles northeast of Winfield, and is now four years old, clear white, and weighs three thousand pounds. Her form is perfect, and as smooth as an artist could paint a picture. She is five feet eleven inches high, eleven feet around girth, thirty-six inches across the hips, twenty-six inches around the forearm, and twelve feet long. Mr. Mullen purchased this heifer last fall, and has given her the best of care. During the past five months she has gained in weight six hundred pounds, an average of four pounds per day, and is still increasing in the same proportion. Stockmen from every direction have visited Winfield to see this extraordinary animal, and now Mr. Mullen has an offer of $1,500.00 for her delivered in Chicago. He has contracted with the Santa Fe company for a special car, fixed up to accommodate her, and will start east in a few days, stopping at different places to exhibit her as the “Cowley County Calf,” and thinks now, he will accept the Chicago offer for her, should he not be able to do better.
He will only travel for a short distance at a time, in order that she may have ample opportunity to rest up, and not became fatigued from the journey east. In this, he evidently treats her with more consideration than many men do their wives. “Kansas Queen,” as Mr. Mullen calls our fine heifer, is a wonderful animal, and we are proud to record her as a Cowley County production.
Winfield Courier, June 8, 1882.
Henry Goldsmith has bought the Captain Stevens’ house, which was built by A. A. Jackson in the winter of 1870-71. Henry and his brother Jake will soon move in and keep batch until their mother and sister arrive from Germany and take charge. The latter will leave for this place July 15th.
Cowley County Courant, June 8, 1882.
Henry Goldsmith has just purchased Captain Stevens’ dwelling, lately occupied by Mr. Eastman. It is one of the most desirable residences in town, and at first blush it would appear as if Henry was securing a cage for some unknown bird; but in this case, we must relieve him from any such suspicion, as he made the purchase for a home for his aged mother, who will leave Germany next month. Until then, Henry and Jake will keep house alone.
Winfield Courier, June 29, 1882.
Capt. L. Stevens, of Floral, an old COURIER subscriber, dropped in Saturday and spent a few moments in pleasant conversation.
Winfield Courier, July 6, 1882.
A FINE COW.
Kansas is bound to lead in remarkable productions. Our exchanges from that State abound in flattering comments on the “Kansas Queen,” a four-year-old cow bred by Capt. Stevens, of Cowley County, and weighing 3,000 pounds. This wonderful cow, which is now the property of Col. W. L. Mullen, of Winfield, Kansas, is being exhibited at the principal towns along the Hannibal road, and is described by a reliable correspondent as pure white, with a symmetrical form, rich creamy skin, erect head, medium sized waxy horns, mild, intelligent eye, clean limbs, fine upper and lower lines, and well-developed beefy quarters. She is 17 hands high, 10 feet around the girth, and 16 feet in length. Her grandsire was an imported Booth short-horn, and her dam a high grade short-horn.. She has a well-rounded form and other marked traits of the Booth family, and in the opinion of the correspondent, will tip the beam at 4,000 pounds before she is six years. Col. Mullen, who has a standing offer of $3,000 for the “Queen,” will visit the principal towns on the Burlington route between Quincy and Chicago, affording many readers of the Argo an opportunity to see the best formed cow of her size and unquestionably the largest cow of her age in the world.
Winfield Courier, July 27, 1882.
The Richland Township primary will be held at Summit Schoolhouse on Thursday, August 3rd, at 2 o’clock, to elect delegates to the County convention; also to elect delegates to the convention to be held at Burden August 10th, to nominate a candidate for representative. LEWIS STEVENS, Chairman.
Winfield Courier, August 17, 1882.
Henry Goldsmith is engaged in largely improving the dwelling he lately bought from Captain Stevens.
Winfield Courier, March 6, 1884.
From Richland. At a meeting of the voters of the south precinct of Richland Township held Monday night at Floral schoolhouse, Feb. 25th, 1884, Captain Stevens was chosen chairman, S. W. Norton, Jr., was chosen secretary. The object of the meeting was to consider the proposition of the projected Narrow Gauge. Rousing speeches against the proposition, as stated, were made by the chairman, Mr. Howard, and Mr. Irwin. The following resolutions were adopted by the meeting unanimously.
Whereas, The Commissioners of Cowley County have submitted to the voters a proposition to aid the Denver, Memphis & Atlantic railroad, which proposition we believe to be unfair, because, 1st. It is not binding enough on the company as to the kind of material to be used in the construction of said road, 2nd. Because said company does not bind itself to have in operation any connecting road outside of Cowley County, and 3rd. Because we believe the amount asked is exorbitant for the kind of a road to be built. Therefore, be it
Resolved, That we believe that it is to the interest to the voters of Cowley County to vote against the proposition of said Narrow Gauge.
Resolved, That we urge upon the people of other townships in the county to organize for the purpose of making a systematic fight against said proposition.
S. W. NORTON, Secretary.
Arkansas City Republican, May 17, 1884.
On Friday evening of last week, Judge McMullen, County Superintendent Limerick, Cap. Stevens, Mr. Harris, and other members of Cowley Legion, of Winfield, visited Creswell Legion of this city.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 7, 1885.
Capt. Stevens, Messrs. Carson, Phoenix, and Thompson were down from Richland Friday, looking after the interests of their township in the new railroad proposition.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, May 14, 1885.
RECAP. RAILROAD, RICHLAND TOWNSHIP.
May 12, 1885, special meeting, Board of County Commissioners. Lewis Stevens, a resident taxpayer and a legal voter of Richland township along with 174 other resident taxpayers presented petition for $5,000 in capital stock for the Kansas City and Southwestern Railroad Company Election to take place Tuesday, June 16, 1885. (Similar to previous petitions for other townships.)
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
The following charter was filed in the Secretary of State’s office yesterday.
The Floral Improvement Company, place of business, Winfield; directors, Lewis Stevens, Joel R. Cole, and Wm. H. Hornady, of Floral, and James N. Young and Henry E. Asp, of Winfield. Capital stock, $30,000.
K. C. & S. W. RIGHT OF WAY DAMAGES.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, July 30, 1885.
Following we give the names to whom the County Commissioners allowed damages in the K. C. & S. W. right of way condemnation, and the amounts allowed. These extend from the north line of the county to the north line of Walnut township, as far as the condemnation is finished. Lewis Stevens, $238.00 was one of the claims submitted.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, August 6, 1885.
Floral, since becoming a railroad station, is getting muscular and begins to move things. Harry Zimmerman let the contract Thursday for a good hotel building and Capt. Stevens the contract for a roomy and substantial business building, while numerous others are doing likewise, and Floral will soon be a city indeed.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 8, 1885.
Capt. Stevens, one of Richland’s prosperous farmers near Floral, was in the city Thursday.
Winfield Courier, Thursday, October 15, 1885.
The fifteenth annual gathering of the Walnut Valley Baptist Association assembled with the Baptist church of this city yesterday at 10:30 a.m. In the absence of the Moderator, Rev. W. F. Harper, of Wichita, was called to the chair; Rev. W. J. Sandefur, of Sunny Dale, clerk.
Delegates present from Floral: T. W. Dicken, Lewis Stevens, F. M. Mundy, Rev. J. F. McEwan, and Rev. R. C. Audas.