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R. J. Stevenson

                                                    BOLTON TOWNSHIP.

[1870]        PAGE 421.
R. J. STEVENSON, who arrived in Cowley County, Kansas, in 1870, was one of the oldest and best known farmers in Bolton Township, and lived in section 4, township 35, range 4 east.
Mr. Stevenson was born in Randolph County, Illinois, June 13, 1844, a son of Robert and Margaret (Armour) Stevenson.
Robert Stevenson, his father, was from Glasgow, Scotland, and was a wagon-maker by trade, but spent many years in merchandising, in which he was engaged at the time of his death, January 4, 1884, at Sparta, Illinois. He died, aged 80. His wife, Margaret Armour, was also a native of Scotland, and died in 1874, aged 20. They were married in Scotland, and lived together for 52 years. They became the parents of 12 children, three of whom died in Scotland, and three in this country. The six still living in 1901 were:  John, age 72, who spent many years at Salina, Kansas, and was living in Illinois; Margaret, wife of R. T. Beattie, of Oregon City, Oregon; Mrs. Jamieson and Jane (Adams), of Illinois; Elizabeth; and R. J.
R. J. Stevenson was reared in Randolph County, Illinois, and obtained his education in the public schools. He learned the trade of a blacksmith under his cousin and followed it until 1870. In 1866, he made a visit of a few months in Johnson County, Kansas, and in 1868 moved from Illinois to Ottawa, Kansas. After remaining there for two months, he moved to Baxter Springs, Cherokee County, Kansas, where he followed his trade until 1870. He then set out for Cowley County with a horse and covered wagon, and about $90 in money. While driving through the Flint Hills, east of the Arkansas bottom, he received discouraging reports from the many who were returning, but he persevered, and arrived at Arkansas City on August 1, 1870. He traded his horse and wagon for a claim near Geuda Springs, which, after survey, was found to be school land, and which he sold soon afterward. He was acquainted with Mr. Denton, whose son, A. H. Denton, became president of the Farmers State Bank of Arkansas City, and they camped together on what is now the Wallace farm. During the winter of 1870, he located his present home claim in the northwest quarter of section 4, township 35, range 4 east. The section was parceled off in lots of 40 acres, and Mr. Stevenson got lots 3 and 4, and later got an additional 20 acres in lots 5 and 6. In 1872 he filed on the 76 acres made fractional by the river, in the northwest corner of the section. Indians frequently called upon him, and he considered them good friends and neighbors.
During the first year, he broke 25 acres with oxen, and also built a log house, 15 by 18 feet in size, in which he lived until 1885, when he built his present frame house. He at first used the customary stable of the times, constructed of poles, but in 1894 he built a new barn, of comfortable size—measuring 24 by 34 feet—and also put up other outbuildings. He had very rich corn land, which grain he planted almost entirely, and the average yield since the early “seventies” was about 40 bushels to the acre. He also raised hogs, and handled from 50 to 150 head per year. He produced some wheat, and had a fine supply of timber along the river. He had a good, but small, orchard, having got his first trees from Ohio.

In 1879 Mr. Stevenson married Ida Mary Ireton, a daughter of P. A. and Caroline Ireton. She was born in Clermont County, Ohio, in 1860. Her father was from New Jersey, and located at Geuda Springs, Cowley County, in 1875. One year later, he moved to Bolton Township, and then went to Oklahoma, where he died in May 1896. His wife resided in Chandler, Oklahoma. They had eight children, as follows: Ida Mary; William C.; Frank B., deceased; Katie E. (Yager), of Lincoln County, Oklahoma; Lizzie (Myers); Myrtle (Carter); and Maude (Reed), of Oklahoma County, Oklahoma; and a twin of Lizzie, deceased in infancy.
Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson had three children: Maggie (Gray), who lived with her father and had one child, Walter H. Gray; Robbie A., who lived at home; and Georgia L., who was in school in 1901.
Mr. Stevenson was a Populist; formerly a Republican. He served eight years as treasurer, and was director in 1901 of school district No. 141. He was a member of the Grange and Alliance; he was also a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Bolton Township 1873: Robert Stevenson, 23. No spouse.
Kansas 1875 Census Bolton Township, Cowley County, March 1, 1875.
Name                           age sex color   Place/birth   Where from
Robert J. Stevenson      30    m    w       Illinois               Illinois
Bolton Township 1876: Robert J. Stevenson, 31. No spouse.
Bolton Township 1878: R. J. Stevenson, 33. No spouse.
Bolton Township 1880: R. J. Stevenson, 35. No spouse.
Bolton Township 1882: Robert J. Stevenson, 37; spouse, Ida Mae, 21.
                                               FROM THE NEWSPAPERS.
Arkansas City Traveler, May 31, 1876.
Among letters remaining in the P. O. at Arkansas City, June 1st, 1876: Robert Stevenson.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 5, 1879.
MARRIED. In East Bolton township, on Sunday, November 2nd, 1879, by the Rev. Mr. Broadbent, Mr. Robert Stevenson and Miss Ida Ireton.
Arkansas City Traveler, September 8, 1880.
BIRTH. Father Ireton, of Bolton Township, was seen with his head in a barrel last Friday afternoon, wildly gesticulating with his pedal extremities, and at every spasmodic jerk came the word, “Grandfather!” It was all Bob Stevenson’s fault, a cunning little piece of humanity having arrived at his house at one o’clock p.m. of that day. He’s the very image of his dad, too.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 9, 1881.
Mrs. R. J. Stevenson returned to her home in West Bolton last week from Sparta, Illinois, where she has been visiting friends and relatives for several weeks past.
Arkansas City Traveler, November 9, 1881.

R. J. Stevenson, of West Bolton, called upon the TRAVELER last week. Mr. Stevenson is one of the pioneers of this section, and is a thorough going businessman, as is tested by the progress he has made in the past ten years. Coming here with comparatively nothing, he has secured by hard work and good management, a fine farm, and is rapidly improving the same. For this class of men, Cowley offers inducements not to be found elsewhere.
Arkansas City Traveler, August 23, 1882.
Among the Veterans of Bolton, the following names, with rank and Regiment, are on the muster roll to attend the reunion at Topeka, Sept. 11th to 16th, 1882.
R. J. Stevenson, Private, 142nd Ills.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 17, 1883.
Mr. R. J. Stevenson, one of West Bolton’s oldest and most progressive farmers, was in town last Monday.
Arkansas City Traveler, January 28, 1885.
Our old friend and subscriber, R. J. Stevenson, came in last week and, as his custom is, took advantage of our club list. Mr. Stevenson says the last storm played sad havoc with his hogs. He lost $50 worth, on account of their bunching up so, and it was so windy it was impossible to haul straw.
Arkansas City Republican, Saturday, April 11, 1885.
Mrs. Robt. Stevenson is quite sick at the present writing; her health has been on the decline for some time.


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