Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
RICHARD J. STEPHENS is one of
the younger business men of Lincoln county whose energy and ability have
assisted very materially in the upbuilding of the county, and the progress
of the same. At the present time, he is conducting a large grain
and implement business at Almira, achieving a success that his worthy efforts
deserve in this business. He has a large circle of acquaintances
throughout Lincoln and Douglas counties and is known as an upright and
honorable business man.
Richard J. Stephens was born in Pennsylvania,
August 2, 1872. His father, Daniel M. Stephens, was born in Wales
and came to Pennsylvania when a young man. He was one of a committee
of three who were sent out from Chicago to Washington to search out a location
for a Welsh colony. He recommended Pardise Valley, four miles west
from Almira, while the others in the community recommended a location in
West Virginia. Acting under his advice, a great number of Welsh came
and settled near Almira. He is now living in Wilbur, a very prominent
man among his country men. The mother of our subject, Mariam (Williams)
Stephens, was, also, born in Wales and came to America when young.
Her father, Isaac W., came from Wales to California in 1849, where he was
engaged in mining. He was well known among all the old timers on
the Pacific Coast.
Our subject was educated in the public schools
of Cleveland, Ohio, and in Chicago. He came west to Lincoln county
in 1886 to his parents, his father then being postmaster at Brents.
Our subject took charge of the office at once and operated the same until
1890, when he moved with his parents to the farm near Almira. In
1883, he went to work for J. C. Keller, a merchant in Almira, continuing
in that position for four years. In 1897, Mr. Stephens, in company
with J. C. Johnson, bought a store and a stock of goods at Almira.
They operated the same together with purchasing grain until 1900, when
the business was sold . Our subject then went into the grain and implement
business and has continued in the same ever since. He owns a large
grain warehouse, a fine residence and an excellent mill site. Mr.
Stephens started in life with no capital and is now one of the prosperous
men of the country.
In 1896, Mr. Stephens married Miss Edna, daughter
of Stapleton and Hannah (Johns) Howard, natives of Virginia and Ohio, respectively.
The father served in the Civil war under Morgan and was captured by the
northern soldiers. He is one of the old settlers in Washington.
Mr. Stephens has two brothers, Isaac and John
D, and two sisters, Annie and Mary. Mr. Stephens was born in Creston,
Iowa. One child has been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, Richard.