“Mother’s remains were at the House about 9 AM in a nice casket surrounded by violets and in good order. The funeral began by a prayer at the house by Rev. [Davis/Dairs] at 1:40 and the services at the Church at 2:00 were Prayer & Scripture reading Ps. 103 & last 6 vs. from Ps 92 Selected by Uncle Benjamin Music Lead Kindly Light, Jesus Lover of My Soul, and Asleep in Jesus by Mrs. E------ Crawford, Mr. & Mrs. Frank Kiefaber and Mr. Trimmer.
Bro. Colby gave the review of mother’s life. Floral decorations were very appropriate.
So Dear Mother you are with Jesus and with Anna.
And we may be with you all soon.”
“Reward of a Life Well Lived.
MRS.HARRIET STEVENS HAS PASSED TO THE OTHER SIDE TO CLAIM IT.
HER GREAT INFLUENCE
ON THE LIVES OF HER MANY PUPILS HAS BEEN STRONG FORCE FOR GOOD.
Died Wednesday at Midnight, at the Home of Her Son, in De-Land, Florida.
News of the death of Mrs. Harriet N. Stevens at midnight, Wednesday March 4, at the home of her son, Mr. H. B. Stevens, in De Land, Fla., was received with deepest regret and sorrow by the many who had known and loved this venerable woman. Death was due to old age, and was not unexpected by the family circle and near friends who knew that she had not been in the best of health for some time.
She was spending the winter in Florida with her son, Mr. H. B. Stevens, as has been her custom for several years, her constitution, enfeebled by advancing age, not being deemed strong enough to endure the rigors of the Northern climate.
One of her sons, Rev. W. E. Stevens, will arrive in Dayton some time Friday with the remains, and the time of holding the funeral will be then decided.
Mrs. Stevens was in the 85th year of her age, having been born in New York state in April 1818. She was the widow of the late A.E. Stevens, who died September 29, 1888.
Mrs. Stevens was a woman of remarkable intellectual gifts and was one of the early teachers of Dayton, being associated with her brother, the late E.E. Barney, who did much for the education of Dayton youth in early days. She was one of the first teachers when a High School was established in Dayton, and also taught in Cooper Seminary, having had under her instruction a number of the people who afterward took prominent places in public life and society and who always retain their affection for their former teacher. Mrs. Stevens also taught in seminaries at Ashtabula and Painesville, Ohio.
She first came to Dayton 68 years ago, and located here permanently 57 years ago. Over 50 years of her life were given to the active work of teaching in which she was remarkably successful having a gift for imparting information to others and spurring them on to greater efforts in attaining knowledge.
She was a devout member of the First Baptist Church for many years, and after the dedication of the Linden Avenue Baptist Church became a member of its congregation, and has ever since retained her membership. She was a Christian woman, who put much of her faith into her daily life, which was a model that all might safely copy. She was interested in mission work, espeicailly in that among the Indians of this country, to which she contributed liberally.
Besides her interests in church and educational work, literature found in Mrs. Stevens an earnest and appreciative student. The Harriet Stevens Club, of this city, was named in her honor, and she has been an honorary member since its organization.
There is but one brother surviving, Mr. Benjamin H. Barney, of Green County. Mr. E. J. Barney and Mrs. James D. Platt are nephew and niece of Mrs. Stevens. She leaves three children, Mr. Howard B. Stevens, of De Land, Rev. William E. Stevens, pastor of the Williams Street Baptist Church, of Dayton, and Mr. James H. Stevens, connected with the Barney & Smith Company, with whom she made her home in Dayton. Her eldest granddaughter, one of the children of Mrs. J. H. Stevens, Mrs. D. M. Rowe, preceded her in death, her funeral taking place only last week. The living children of Mr. J. H. Stevens are Mrs. E. J. Stockslager, Mr. Arthur Stevens and Mr. Walter Stevens. The children of W. E. Stevens are William, Ansel, Presley and Belle Stevens, Mrs. Cassidy and Mrs. Thompson. The children of Mr. Howard B. Stevens are James Allen, Edward, Robert and Mary. Besides these grandchildren six great grandchildren survive her.
Mrs. Stevens especially enjoyed her trips to Florida in the winter, being so fond of the place that she once bought a winter home at Citra. It had been known for some days that she could not live much longer, but it is with regreats that her friends see her long and useful life ended.
She was quite ill last summer, but recovered and regained the active spirits which have made her old age a blessing to herself as well as to others. Only last fall, at the annual roll-call of Linden Avenue Baptist church Mrs. Stevens was present in the afternoon, and made a lengthy and interesting address, which will linger long in the memoriy of those who heard this beloved woman’s reminiscences of Baptist history in Dayton.
To very few women is it given, as it was to Mrs. Stevens, to be such a powerful incentive for good in the lives of so many, and though her living presence has passed from earth, her influence will be felt in the nobler and better lives of the pupils whom she taught and the many who knew her as a conscientious church member, and a kindly neighbor and devoted friend.”
BACK TO EARTH.
Funeral of Mrs. Harriet N. Stevens.
Services in Sunday School Room Where Christian Energies of Deceased Were Exerted.
The funeral of Mrs. Harriet N. Stevens was held on Saturday afternoon at the Linden Avenue Baptist church, of which the deceased was a devoted and consistent member, the ceremonies being simple and impressive.
The service was held in the Sunday school room, which for many years had been the scene of Mrs. Stevens’s work of love. Dr. H. F. Colby and Rev. U. S. Davis conducted the obsequies, the former having been her pastor prior to the organization of the Linden Avenue church, while Dr. Davis is the pastor of the church of which Mrs. Stevens was a member.
‘Lead Kindly Light’ was softly sung by a quartet consisting of Mesdames Walker and Ira Crawford, andMessrs. Trimmer and Kiefaber; after which Mr. Davis read the Scripture lesson consisting of Psalms 103 and 92. Dr. Colby read a short sketch of the life of Mrs. Stevens and spoke of her relation to the religious, education and philanthropic work of the city. She belonged, Dr. Colby said, to the Baptists of Dayton. No one has been more closely identified with the progress of the Baptist denomination in this city than she was. Coming to this city in the year 1835, she put her letter in the little mission church, which has since grown into the First Baptist church, and in the struggles of those early, dark days, Mrs. Stevens, then Miss Barney, bore her share of the burden. With the exception of trwo brief periods when residing elsewhere, her membership was with the First church until 1872, when she took her letter to the Linden Avenue church at the time of its organization as a church. She was foremost in the work of the mission which laid the foundations of the church, and to the day of her last illness was actively identified with all its varous departments, in addition to which she labored assicuously in the missionary interests of Baptists local, home and foreign, making her truly a “Mother in Israel.”
The quartet sang, ‘Jesus, Lover of My Soul,’ Mr. Davis offered prayer, and the exercises closed with the singing of ‘Asleep in Jesus,’ interment being made in the family vault at Woodland, the pallbearers being Messrs. J. C. Kiefaber, A. D. Wilt, C. S. Snyder, P. E. Gilbert, Virgil Brooks and E. M. Thresher.
The floral tributes sent by friends were numerous, prominent among which was a yard of white roses from the Harriet Stevens Literary society. The members further showed their esteem for her in whose honor their club was named, by attending the funeral in a body.
The Women’s Literary club sent a wreath of marechalneils and daffodils, and the Missionary society of Linden Avenue church, a beautiful spray of vari-colored hyacinths.
The Late Harriet N. Stevens.
There are few communities anywhere which have had the food fortune to have possessed for a period of nearly two generations so valuable a citizen as this notable woman has been to Dayton.
No estimate of the influences that have contributed to bring our city to its proud eminence as the home of a highly intelligent, cultivated and prosperous community would be complete without taking into account her life-long activity as an encourager and often active promoter of many of the most important church, educational and literary movements that our progress has depended on.
It is altogether fitting, therefore that grateful recognition be made of this splendid service in behalf of the many who mourn her loss, and who have realized personally her potent influence in shaping their lives.
With the most charming womanly modesty and reserve, she avoided any conspicuousness, yet was so deeply in earnest, and so unselfish in her lifelong aim to be as helpful ans possible to all about her that she inspired all who came within the very wide range of her influence, with nobler ambitions and deeper devotion to higher aims, and was always one of the most trusted leaders in every movement of the many she took part in.
With a mind of more than ordinary power for searching analysis and with an absolute honesty of purpose, she earnestly and readily got at the vital points of questions that occupied her attention, and her judgment concerning them was always remarkably sound and caused her to be a much-sought-for counsellor.
Her studies took a wide range and her store of biblical, literary, and scientific information gave an interest to her conversation, and lent a charm to her personality that made her most attractive to her friends and associates. Dayton has many able, earnest and active women, adorning the many circles of beneficient influences. Very many of these have found their highest inspiration in the encouragement, counsel and example of Mrs. Stevens.
Her life affords one of the finest examples possible of the potency of a woman’s beneficient influence, and of the possibilities of a career of wide usefulness open to women imbued with unselfish devoion to the welfare of their communities and wililng to fit themselves for it by the same unremitting, life-long industry this noble woman unhesitatingly exercised.”
And finally, in the same book as the above items. Written in period handwriting, no doubt by Romelia Stevens (keeper of said book), “Taken from the weekly leaflet published by the 1st Baptist Church.”
“Mrs. Harriet N. Stevens, who recently died at the age of eighty-five, joined this Church in 1835. The Church was then a feeble body assisted by the Home Mission Society and worshiping in a rented building. She was a sister of Eliam E. Barney and assisted him in teaching in the Cooper Seminary. She was for many years also a teacher in the High School. She was strong, tactful and patient in developing the minds and the consciences of her pupils. She was a staunch Baptist and helped largely to buld up our cause in Dayton. She also loved all her fellow human beings and delighed in any opportunity to do good. Her heart went out in Gospel efforts for the humble; the negro, the Indian and the heathen. She rejoiced in both intellectual and religious activity, and made sacrifices for the glory of the Master. A wise, loving, and devoted mother in our Israel. Such lives are a benediction and an inspiration for us all and we ought devoutly to thank God for them.”