Walter P. Stevens, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Walter P. Stevens

WALTER P. STEVENS. Among the many residents of northwestern Indiana who have chosen the beautiful city of Valparaiso for the home of their leisure and ease resulting from the years of profitable industry, one of the well known is Mr. Walter P. Stevens, who resides at an attractive place on Washington street. The family have been identified with this community for a number of years, and the city owes much of its charm and well ordered activities to the presence of such residents as these.

Mr. Stevens was born in Genesee county, New York, April 24, 1856. His parents, Nehemiah J. and Lemira (Clement) Stevens, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of Connecticut, belonged to families which early in the last century left New England and moved to western New York. The mother died in 1873. The father's occupation throughout his active years was farming. Their family consisted of two sons and two daughters: Elias C., Frances M., Maria J. and Walter P., all of whom were educated in the public schools near their old home and one or two of them attended the academy of their home town.

Walter P. Stevens was reared and trained in the pursuits of the farm, and spent most of his time at home until he was about twenty-three years old. In 1879 he was united in marriage with Miss Genevieve D. Palmer, and they have had a happy, prosperous wedded life for more than thirty years. Mrs. Stevens was born at Rochester, New York, a daughter of Henry and Frances (Spinning) Palmer, and the other children of their family were Florence, Bessie, Charles and Mortimer. Mrs. Stevens was educated in her native city and after marriage she and her husband spent one year near Bethany, New York. In 1880 they came to share in the opportunities and activities of the middle west, where with their industry and youthful enthusiasm they soon gained a good establishment and a comfortable position. Mr. Stevens bought two hundred and forty acres in Lake county, paying twenty-eight dollars an acre. The land was little improved and there were some log buildings and the residence consisted of a frame house crudely constructed with the frame-work enclosed by a sheathing of vertical boards with strips over the cracks. They set themselves to the making of a good home, and the comfortable country residence and outbuildings now standing there are evidences of what they accomplished.

Four children were born to their marriage. Niel P. and Lemira M. died in infancy, and the two living daughters are Frances M. and Helen F. The older was educated in the public schools at Hebron, while Helen, who also attended those schools, is now pursuing her studies in the Valparaiso high school. Miss Frances married Harry Lanier, a prosperous cotton broker of Atlanta, Georgia, and they have had two children, Francis Eugene, who died at the age of two years, and William S.

After a number of years spent on the farm in its active management, Mr. Stevens took his family to Hebron, which was their home for five years. Then in 1906 he and his brother-in-law, J. L. Fargo, of Oak Park, Chicago, decided to establish themselves a home in Valparaiso, where they could enjoy the associations of one another. Thereafter Mr. and Mrs. Fargo spent several months of each year in the quiet, beautiful home on Washington street, which has since been the permanent home of Mr. Stevens and family. In this home where they all had spent so many pleasant days, Mr. Fargo passed away in 1911. He had made a large circle of friends in this city and was highly esteemed. Since his death his widow has remained here to enjoy the comforts of her brother's family.

Mrs. Stevens and her daughters are members of the Methodist church. In politics Mr. Stevens is a Democrat, though he exercises independence in the choice of his candidates. Though an urban dweller for the past ten years or so, he still finds great pleasure in the activities of country life and frequently visit his fine farm in the adjoining county. His local superintendent of this estate is Clyde W. Gibbs, who became a resident at the Stevens home when he was thirteen years old and has proved himself a most energetic and excellent worker and manager. He has been in the employ of his boyhood friend and protector for the past twenty-five years. He is married and the father of four children. Thus briefly have been reviewed the more important accomplishments and events in the career of a family who are among the worthiest and most substantial class of citizens in this vicinity.

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: 677-678

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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