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Biography of George W. Stephens

George W. Stephens was born February 22, 1799, in Ligonier Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and died at Moline, Illinois, July 12, 1892. He was christened George Washington Stephens because of his birthday being the same as that of the Father of our Country, but he dropped the ” Washington” from his name because of a dislike of seeing the names of distinguished men attached to others. His father was Randall Stephens, a soldier of the war of 1812 and the grandson of Captain Alexander Stephens who was attached to the Army of the Second Edward the Pre-tender. After the battle of Culloden in which the forces of Edward were disastrously defeated, Alexander Stephens fled to this country, where he entered the Army of Washington and fought under him in the French and Indian wars. He founded what was known as the Penn Colony at the junction of the Susquehanna and Junniata Rivers in 1746. Some years later a son. Amos, was granted 11 acres of land in Westmoreland County by the State for distinguished service of his father in the Revolution, and this land is still in the possession of the family, the son of a sister owning it. Alexander afterward went to Georgia, where his grandson, Alexander Hamilton Stephens, became a United States Senator and the Vice-President of the Confederate States. His mother, Martha Boggs, was a resident of Pennsylvania. Mr. Stephens came West in 1841 without a dollar save what he had earned. He had given all he had received from his father to a brother who was married, and whom he thought needed the family inheritance...

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