Transcribed from "History of North Washington, an illustrated history
of Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan and Chelan counties", published by Western
Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WENDELL E. STEVENS, the pioneer
merchant of Wenatchee, Chelan county, located here as early as 1886.
At present he is engaged in the fruit and stock business. Born in
Oswego, New York, November 6, 1856, he is the son of Elisha and Charlotte
(Wiltse) Stevens, both natives of New York state. The father was
born on the old Stevens farm, the homestead for many generations of the
Stevens family. The Wiltse family, ancestors of the mother of our
subject, has for a great many years been a prominent one in Cayuga county,
Wendell E. Stevens, the subject of this ararticle,
was graduated from the state normal school, at Oswego, New York, and on
reaching his majority began teaching school. This he continued for
five terms, at the conclusion of which he came to the Puget Sound country,
and became proprietor of a railroad boarding house, for the accommodation
of the Lake Shore & Eastern Railway Company. In this vocation
he accumulated a profit of five hundred dollars a month, and he continued
the business five years. Mr. Stevens then located in "old Wenatchee,"
engaging in the general merchandise business, the first one to do so.
He built a large, two-story store building, which he has since converted
into a barn. With the advent of the railroad, business increased
rapidly, and Mr. Stevens disposed of his interest in the mercantile enterprise,
and directed his attention to fruit and stock raising. He cultivates
fifty acres, a part of the old Milligan ranch, which he owns. Milligan,
one of the earliest settlers, was drowned in the Columbia river.
He has thirty acres in alfalfa and ten acres of profitable bearing orchard,
mainly apples. He has never competed for prizes, but received two
prizes from the committee on fruit at the Buffalo Exposition, for a box
of apples he had forwarded for free distribution. He owns fifteen
head of cattle and last winter he fed one hundred head of horses.
Mr. Stevens has two brothers, Carlton and Clarence, and two sisters, Lorissa
At Wenatchee, in 1893, our subject was united
in marriage to Miss Grace Blair, the father, mother and sisters of whom
are mentioned elsewhere in this work. To Mr. and Mrs. Stevens have
beeen born three children, Wendell, aged ten, Ruth, seven, and Vera, three
Although by no means an active politician,
Mr. Stevens is in line with the principles of the Republican party, and
is interested in its success.