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JAMES W. STEPHENSON. The estate of which this gentleman is the fortunate owner comprises 204 acres on Cave Creek, all of which is remarkably fertile land, well adapted to the purpose of general farming, and well improved with all necessary farm buildings, fences, orchard, etc. Mr. Stephenson owes his nativity to Monroe County, Tennessee, where he first saw the light in 1833, his parents being Andrew R. and Anna (Watson) Stephenson, for further history of whom see the sketch of Dr. J. S. Stephenson.
James W. Stephenson was the third of the six children born to his parents, was reard on his father’s farm, and was for some time an attendant of the common schools in the vicinity of his rural home, but as they were of a very inferior description and were only conducted a short time each year, he did not make such progress in his studies as could have been desired. In the year 1857 he led to the altar Miss Margaret, daughter of Samuel Leslie (a sketch of whom appears in this work). She was born in Tennessee and died in 1884, having become the mother of five children: George, of Oklahoma; Charley, who is a student of law in Austin, Tex.; Andrew R., who resides in the Indian Territory; Isabel the wife of Peter Neadwell, of the Indian Territory; and Ona, wife of Dr. Watterson, of Oklahoma.
In 1884 Mr. Stephenson took for his second wife Mrs. Jemimah Wisdom, nee Moore, who is a Mississippian by birth, and by whom he has two children: Samuel and Frank. In 1854 Mr. Stephenson crossed the plains to California, the journey to that western Eldorado comprising about five months, and there he was engaged in mining for three years, at the end of which time he returned home via New Orleans. On their return voyage, while on the gulf of Tehuantepec, about 5 o’clock in the evening, a violent gale overtook the vessel, and in an instant all was excitement and confusion. People on all sides were on their knees praying for their salvation, and it seemed that every moment the vessel would go down. The storm continued all night but their stanch ship weathered the gale and at last carried them safely into port. With the exception of this time spent in the West. Mr. Stephenson has always lived in Searcy County, a period of nearly forty years, and has resided on the farm where he now lives for the past eleven years. During the latter part of the war he served for about eighteen months in the Federal Army as a member of Company M, Third Arkanasas Cavalry, operated in Arkansas, and was in several severe engagements and numerous skirmishes. He was mustered out of the service at Louisburg, Arkansas, at the close of the war and returned home. Politically he has been a Democrat all his life, and cast his first presidential vote for Buchanan in 1856, while he was in California.