Joseph A. Stephens, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Joseph A. Stephens

JOSEPH A. STEPHENS. It is an interesting and gratifying fact, so much has the nomadic spirit crept into American life, that among the representative men of Porter county there is a remarkable percentage of native born sons, men who have found in the locality of their nativity ample opportunity for successful professional, industrial or business careers. One of these is Joseph A. Stephens, of Chesterton, who is a contractor of painting and also has other business interests in Porter county. He was born on a farm in Westchester township, about a mile and a half northwest of Chesterton on the 23d of August 1861. On the paternal side he is of German descent, his father, Joseph Stephens, having immigrated from Germay to America with his mother when but a boy. They first settled in Buffalo, New York, but later came to Chicago. Attracted by the agricultural and business advantages of Porter county, Indiana, Joseph Stephens, in 1857, located on the farm near Chesterton, where he resided until his death in 1894, and which was the birthplace of our subject. By occupation he was a farmer and carpenter, and during the Civil war was one of the brave and gallant defenders of the Union, his service having been as a member of the Seventeenth Indiana Cavalry. He was thrice married. To his first wife, whose name was Margaret Cissna and who died in 1864, two sons were born: Joseph A., our subject, and Jerome, who died in infancy. To his second marriage three children were born and by his third wife he became the parent of seven children.

Joseph A. Stephens passed his boyhood on the home farm near Chesterton and acquired his education in the district schools, though his attendance was very irregular. From twelve until twenty-two years of age the most of his attention was given to farm duties. The greater part of his independent career has been spent as a contractor of painting, his business field being Porter county and adjoining territory. He has also been marshal of Chesterton four terms, to which office he was elected on the Citizens' ticket and which he has filled altogether seven years. Mr. Stephens is a stockholder in the Valparaiso & Northern Indiana Interurban Railroad and owns a comfortable home in Chesterton.

In the spring of 1884 he was married to Augusta C. Dettmann, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, in May, 1865, and is a daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Dettmann. Both parents were born in Mecklenburg, Schwerin, Germany, where each grew to maturity. Mrs. Stephens was reared in Chicago and received her education in the public schools of that city. Of the seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, one died at the age of thirteen and three died in infancy. Those living are: Arthur L., a graduate of the common schools and of the Gary, Indiana, Business College, who is now employed in the Gary Steel Plant; Joseph B., born in 1896, who is a graduate of the common schools and is now a high school student; and Erma, born August 22, 1898, who is attending the Chesterton public schools. Mrs. Stephens is a member of the German Lutheran church at Chesterton, to the support of which Mr. Stephens is a liberal contributor. He is a member of Calumet Lodge, No. 379, Free and Accepted Masons, at Chesterton, and both he and his wife are members of the Order of the Eastern Star. Mr. Stephens is a Democrat, at in local affairs he is rather inclined to support the best man for office regardless of political faith. He is a man of abstemious habits, progressive and public-spirited as a citizen, and is highly esteemed by those who know him as a man of honor and usefulness in the community.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 840-843

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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