Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Charles A. Stephenson

CHARLES A. STEPHENSON, the present sheriff of Kiowa County, has played with success several roles in the life and affairs of the West. Mr. Stephenson is one of the few men of his years who belong by experience to the great range cattle and livestock industry. He has been in the habit of raising and marketing livestock not by the restricted limits of an ordinary farm but with herds grazing far and near without let or hindrance over great areas of pasture. Mr. Stephenson still continues the livestock industry.

He has spent practically all his life in the great West, though he was born in Medina County, Ohio, June 18, 1866. His father, Capt. Richard J. Stephenson, was born in England in 1819, and when a boy went to sea and was before the mast several years. He finally left his ship and landed in the United States, and, going to the Middle West, settled in Medina County, Ohio, where after his marriage he engaged in farming. When the Civil war came on he volunteered with an Ohio regiment of infantry and saw three years and nine months of active service. In 1867 he brought his family to Kansas, locating in Wabaunsee County, where he was a pioneer farmer and stock man. He established the Town of Newberry. In 1873 he moved to Maple Hill in Wabaunsee County, and in June, 1879, transferred his residence to the western frontier in Rawlins County. His was the first family to make permanent settlement in that county, which was not formally organized until two years later. His quarter section homestead was located five miles west of Atwood. He lived there and saw his efforts rewarded by much prosperity. At the time of his death, which occurred in Atwood in 1897, he was owner of a full section of land, well improved. He was a republican and a member of the Episcopal Church.

Capt. Richard J. Stephenson married Susan Wyatt. She was born in New York State in 1835 and died in Rawlins County, Kansas, in 1911. A brief record of their children is as follows: Adell is the wife of William Jones, a horse raiser and owner of an irrigated farm at Las Animas, Colorado; Earl, whose present whereabouts are unknown to the family: Marvin, who was killed by lightning at Maple Hill, Kansas, in 1874, at the age of fifteen; Stutley, a contractor in Oklahoma; C. A. Stephenson, fifth in age; Alice, wife of Andy Hebrew, a farmer in Ford County, Kansas; William, a farmer at Stratton, Nebraska; and Phoebe, wife of George McAdams, a farmer in Rawlins County.

It will be noted that C. A. Stephenson was about a year old when his parents came to Kansas, and his early recollections are associated with Wabaunsee County. He first attended school there and afterwards in Rawlins County was pupil in a log schoolhouse near his father's farm. He had learned much practical knowledge concerning farming and stock raising while at home, and at the age of fourteen he went on a ranch where the Town of Atwood now stands and worked as a cowboy. Gradually this occupation took him into various sections of the West, into Eastern Colorado, where he was with the American Cattle Company of Denver until 1888. He was next in charge of a cattle ranch at Maple Hill, Kansas, the ranch being owned by the City Real Estate and Trust Company. In 1896 the same company put him in charge of a ranch at Lampasas County in Western Texas, and he was in that region until 1900. Then returning to Kansas he and Mr. J. H. Goddard, who had been general superintendent of the ranches above mentioned, bought 1,500 head of cattle and leased a ranch in Ford County south of Dodge City on Mulberry Creek. Mr. Stephenson sold his interests there in 1903 and removed to Greensburg, where he handled cattle and ranch lands. In the fall of 1904 he was chosen by popular vote sheriff of Kiowa County and by re-election in 1906 served a four-year term. After retiring from office be bought a farm at Medford, Oklahoma, but sold it the same year. Then returning to Greensburg, he re-entered ranching as a cattle and horseman, and at present conducts his extensive operations on the old McBride ranch of 3,000 acres, which he leases. In the fall of 1918 his services were again demanded by the people for the office of sheriff, and he was elected for a term of two years. Sheriff Stephenson owns a modern home at Greensburg, is a republican, quite active in politics, a member of the Christian Church and is a past master of Greensburg Lodge of Masons, member of the local chapter of the Eastern Star, is affiliated with Dodge City Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, Dodge City Commandery, Knights Templar, and Wichita Consistory No. 2 of the Scottish Rite. He is a past grand of Greensburg Lodge No. 326, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In this connection an unusual honor was paid him in 1909 when his lodge elected him a representative to the Grand Lodge at Wichita, though at the time he was a resident of Oklahoma. He also belongs to the Odd Fellows Encampment and the Rebekahs.

August 9, 1888, at Topeka, Mr. Stephenson married Miss Melinda E. Banta, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Banta, both deceased. Her father was a Wabaunsee County farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Stephenson have six children: Alcy is a graduate of the Kiowa County High School and is the wife of E. L. KinsaIl, a farmer in Kiowa County; Ralph, also a graduate of the high school, is associated with his father in the ranching and stock business; Marvin graduated from the county high school, and on July 15, 1918, enlisted for the navy. He was one of the many victims from pneumonia in the fall of 1918 and died at Camp Logan October 1, 1918. He was brought home for burial and was given the largest funeral ever held in Greensburg. Grace is a graduate of the Kiowa County High School and is a trained nurse now practicing her profession at San Diego, California. Forest and Fern, the youngest children, are twins, the former in the first year of the county high school and the latter in the eighth grade.

Pages 2429-2430.