John T. Stevens

John T. Stevens, merchant and miller, Murfreesboro, Ark. In the development  
and growth of Pike County and its continued advance to a community of wealth 
and influence in the county, Mr. Stevens has borne a prominent part. His     
career through life has been one of success, and he is today acknowledged as 
one of the first-class business men of Murfreesboro. He was born in          
Mississippi in 1859, and is the second in a family of four children born to  
T.P.D. and Mary (Taylor) Stevens, natives of Mississippi. The parents came   
to Arkansas in 1875, settled in Prescott in March of the next year, and      
later came to Pike County. The mother died in 1862. The father is now living 
on a farm three and one-half miles east of town, and is a successful         
agriculturist. It fell to the lot of John T. Stevens to grow up with a farm  
experience, and until sixteen years of age he tilled the soil and attended   
the common schools. He then began farming for himself, and in 1878 was       
married to Miss Mary F. Smedley, a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of  
William and Minerva Smedley, old settlers of Tennessee, who came to Arkansas 
just before the (Civil) war. Mrs. Smedley is still living. In 1883 Mr.       
Stevens went to Texas, worked on the railroad a short time, and in 1884      
returned to Pike County, where he resumed agricultural pursuits. In 1887 he  
bought the large mill and cotton gin at Murfreesboro, with a capacity of     
twenty-five bales, as he is about to put in another gin. In partnership with 
J.D. Owens, he erected a large store-house in Murfreesboro in 1889, 20 x 80  
feet, at a cost of #640, and after conducting this for a short time sold out 
to Mr. Davis, but in February, 1890, repurchased a half interest. The result 
of his marriage was the birth of five children - (four) deceased: Willie,    
Anna L. (deceased), John Henry (deceased), an infant daughter (unnamed), and 
the eldest child (who died unnamed). Mr. Stevens is not particularly active  
politically, but was elected just of the peace in 1888. He is a worker for   
the cause of education, and is a man who has made all his property by        
individual effort.                                                           
Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, 1890, Pike County, 
page 338.                                                                    
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