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Ansel's Obituary from Oct 1, 1888, Dayton Journal: 

The Late A.E. Stevens; In the death of this most estimable gentleman Dayton has lost a citizen of rare and of the most beneficent influence. He had a penetrating, resolute force of character, which though combined with a singularly modest and retiring dispostion, was always unhesitatingly and positively asserted when his keen conscience dictated that it should be. He was made of the stuff that martyrs are made of, and those who knew him well easily understood that he was capable of much enduring for what he believed was right, and a full record of  his life would disclose many a brave and generous self-sacrificing action. 

In his early life, as a teacher, and later in his intimate relationship with the large body of employees of the Barney-Smith Manufacturing Company, of which he was a member, his nobility of character made him a most valuable guide, associate and friend, and no doubt many a man has felt the stimulus to well doing that contact with such natures always gives. There could not be a more devoted and earnest Christian worker than he. Pervaded through and through with real Christian principles, his daily life was to glorify his Master, and few men have more effectively shown the rich fruits of a deeply religious nature. Blessed with a noble wife, who has shared with him to the fullest extent his broad, intellectual and spiritual life, he has rounded out a career, successful in the highest and truest sense of the word, and departs in the fullness of years, leaving behind him the memory of a character in every way worthy of emulation.

The Barney educators: Eliam Eliakim, Harriet Newell, & Elijah Gore Barney and Ansel Edmond Stevens:  Cooper Female Seminary.

“The school was fortunate in its initiative to be under the principalship of Mr. E. E. Barney, who, as head of the Dayton academy from 1834 to 1839, had already won an enviable reputation for scholarship and as an instructor in the Miami valley. A native .of the state of New York, the son of pioneer parents who gladly made sacrifices and endured privations in order that their children might enjoy every educational advantage that came within their limitations. It was a proud day for the self-denying father and. mother when their eldest child, Eliam E. Barney, in the early summer of 1831, completed his education at Union college in the growing city of Schenectady, for which he had prepared himself at Lowville academy.

“…in 1834 [E.E.] accepted the position of principal in the Dayton academy. A wiser choice could not have been made by the school directors. It was said of. him by a near relative "that in his youth Mr. Barney was remarkable for three dominant characteristics, industry, order and thoughtfulness." What better traits could be found for an instructor of youth, or as a foundation for later, business success?

“Mr. Barney associated with him in his new field of labor his brother Elijah G. Barney, his sister Mrs. Harriet Barney Stevens, and her husband, Mr. A. E. Stevens, and never was work entered upon with more enthusiasm or greater desire to achieve sterling results. Their ambition brought the merited reward of high reputation to the school, and the first list of nine pupils rapidly grew to an enrollment of eighty-five, not only the daughters of Dayton citizens being registered as students, but also girls from different parts of the state. In his ideas concerning the profession of teaching, Mr. Barney was half a century ahead of his time. Through his endeavors the school was supplied with maps, a library and chemical apparatus. A nine-inch telescope, the first ever possessed by a girls' school in the middle west, rendered the study of astronomy doubly fascinating; class rambles in fields and forests made geology and botany living studies, while history and literature proved not a collection of names, dates and cold events, but, under his magnetic words, became actual men and women, whose lives were either worthy of imitation or commendation, or held evils to be shunned. In 1848, the diplomas were handed the first little class of graduates from the schools, two of whom became leaders in Dayton's best social circles-Miss Mary C. Roberts, of Preble county, who in 1855 married Mr. Isaac Van Ausdal, and Miss Sarah Schenck, daughter of Lieut. Commander James F. Schenck, who, in a few years after her graduation, became the wife of Mr. Joseph Graham Crane. Having started the Cooper Female seminary on its prosperous way, Mr. Barney resigned the profession of teaching to enter upon a commercial life, and was succeeded in the principalship by Miss Margaret Coxe, who had been at the head of a large school in Cincinnati.” 29


Something that I had missed is that in the 1900 census it says that Harriet was the mother of 6 children, 4 still living.  So who are the children?  We know James, William and Howard, who were the only three children to be listed in Ansel's  will.  What about Louisa G who shows up in the 1870 census as age 12, born in Ohio? If so, where was she in the 1860 census?

Who was the Miss Stevens that Miss Doyle wrote about in 1850 who had "such poor health." She must have been different from Louisa, since Louisa was born about 1858. And the fact that she says that Miss Stevens "was nameing some flowers for me," leads me to believe she must have been at least a child. 

Ansel wrote in one of his letters to Romelia that she was getting his first born child (James). We know that James was born in 1844, the next known child was William born 1849, and the final was Howard born 1851. There is room for a child between James and William (perhaps 1846 or 47), but for that child to be old enough to start naming flowers in 1850? I suppose it is possible, but improbable.

One other interesting fact is, if Harriet was the mother of four living children, why did Ansel not name a fourth child in his will?  Did she have a child with Orasmus?


1 Most researchers agree that he was named after his father Edmond, and is not Edward.
Romelia Rowe (1895-1974) Book of Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Obituaries lists him as Ansel Edwards (with the ‘s’) Stevens.
3  ibid.
 based on census records of Herkimer County, NY (1810 & 1820) showing Edmond living in Herkimer County, also based upon later bibliographies, some of which are included in this article.
5  Herkimer County Surrogate Court.  Herkimer, New York. File #06844.
6  Married Orsamus Osgood (son of Emory and Cynthia Osgood). Orasmus was born April 20, 1813, he married Harriet July 25, 1839, in Dayton, and died September 23, 1841 in Portage County, Ohio. Info taken from Romelia Rowe’s Book of Births, etc.and Montgomery County Marriages Vol. A-2 pg. 77.
7  Romelia Rowe’s Book of Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Obituaries 1895-1974 
8  Lake County Marriages  Vol. B Pg. 6  Marriage record gives his name as Anson E. Stevens.
9 Romelia Rowe’s Book of Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Obituaries 1895-1974 
10  ibid
11  Romelia Rowe’s Book of Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Obituaries 1895-1974 Full names and full dates of birth listed.
12  1870 census.  This is the only place I have found her mentioned.  Not in any correspondence, family photos, any other census, etc.  Could she be a relative and not a daughter?
12A  Delta Upsilon Decennial Catalogue (1903) by Delta Upsilon Fraternity, page. 168.
13  Ashtabula newspaper in 1888 “Death of One of the Early Teachers of Ashtabula Academy, mostly from Dayton Journal of Oct. 1, 1888.  No name of paper or date in clipping.
14  Ashtabula newspaper post Sept. 29, 1888 “Ashtabula Academy Rhetorical Exercises, Friday Evening, Jan. 14, 1842.  Gives program of exercises and then tells a bit about teachers.  No name of paper or date in clipping.  Unknown if same paper as footnote #6.
15  Romelia Rowe’s Book of Births, Marriages, Deaths, and Obituaries 1895-1974
16  Ibid. Obituary of James H. Stevens
17  Information in this paragraph taken from the unpublished diary of Margaret Doyle Magee, transcribed by Joyce Magee of Bardonia, NY., She (or her father-in-law) is the possessor of the diary.
18 H.M. Estabrook. A History of the Barney & Smith Car Company., March 1911.
19 Dayton City Directories
20 Estabrook, H.M. (compiler) A History of the Barney & Smith Car Company, p. 22  
21 Trostel, Scott D., The Barney & Smith Car Company of Dayton, Ohio.  Cam-Tech Publishing P.O .  Box 341 Fletcher, Ohio 45326-0341, pub. 1993  p. 29&32
22  Stevens, Ansel E from James J Jackson.  Appanoose County, Iowa.  Dec 18, 1854 deed bk D pg 118  SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 S 24 T 67 R 19 consisting of 45+ acres & SW ¼ of SW ¼  S 18 T 67 R 18 consisting of 46+ acres.  Copy of deed in my possession.
23  Trostel, p. 33
24  Trostel, p. 33
25  Interesting side note:  there is a Sally Stevens staying in the home of Jeremiah and Mary Cole in the 1860 census in Herkimer, Herkimer Co., NY.  Is this the connection for Harriet’s niece?
26  Trostel, p. 35
27 George, son of Mary A. Stevens and George Graves.  His father passed away in 1884 and his mother in 1896,  so why in 1880 is he living with his Uncle Ansel in Dayton and going to school there, rather than living with his parents and going to school in New York?
28 James H. Stevens 1903 Journal
29 Memoirs of the Miami Valley Vol. II Montgomery County Edited by Charlotte Reeve Conover. Pub. Chicago: Robert O. Law Company, 1919. Pp. 164-165.  Original in my possession. 
Barney,9  was born April 25, 1818, in Jefferson County, New York.10  They had the following four children: 

James Hadley Stevens b. July 5, 1844, in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio
William Edward Stevens b. February 25, 1849
Howard Barney Stevens b. 22 January 185111
Louisa G. Stevens b. about 185812

Ansel E Stevens was a B.K., A.B., and A.M (in other words he held a master of the arts degree). He taught at Fairfield ([Herkimer County] New York) from 1840-1842, at Ashtabula (Ohio) academy, Painesville, Cooper Academy for women 1849-'56; farmer in Iowa '56-61; with Barney & Smith manufacturing. company car builders, Dayton, Ohio '61-'81; fruit grower, Citra, Florida '81-89. A few of those dates are off as we'll see below. 12A

In 1841, Mr. and Mrs. Stevens (Mrs. Osgood), taught the Ashtabula Academy.13  A “Mr. Green was obliged to leave [the Academy] in  the spring term of 1842.  Mr. Stevens and Mrs. Osgood continued at the school during the summer.  In the fall a more inviting field was offered them in Painesville Academy.  

They taught there several years.  Mrs. Osgood became Mrs. Stevens at the close of their school there.”14  Harriet’s first husband was Orasmus Osgood, whom she married  July 25, 1839, in Dayton, Ohio, passed away  Sept. 23, 1841, in Streetsboro, Portage County, Ohio.15 

I am personally very grateful to my cousin Sandy Lentner for forwarding me some old family letters including a transcript she did of a letter to Ansel from Benjamin, Nancy, and Nancy Judson Barney Parker (the latter, Harriet’s sister), in response to Ansel’s request to marry Harriet. 

Benjamin writes that he has no objection other than he wishes Ansel would extend his vacations to one week, preferably two so they would have longer to visit.  Nancy appreciated Ansel’s kindness toward their daughter, and his respect for asking their consent despite being of age to do as they pleased. And cordially welcomed Ansel into the family. And sister Nancy, well, she’s quite the “humor”ous one. Apparently Harriet and Orasmus had left Dayton about two years ago.  And she writes “do you imagine that we are going to be content with a visit of one week when Harriet has been absent nearly two years indeed (as the Buckeyes say) you must be [smart], why we would hardly have time to ask you to take off your things besides, I have got some raisins which I have kept all winter to make you some cake, if you do not stay longer than I may not once think of it while you are here and then just think of riding 200 miles and back again when the mud is 2 feet deep or less and just stopping long enough to say how do you do and Goodbye… I therefore urge a reconsideration and as a thorough revision and upon the penalty of my displeasure you must not think of staying at home only one week.  “It is all in a body’s lifetime” you know & I do not think it will shorten the period of your life if you should lengthen your vacation and stay at home a week or two longer…”  

Ansel apparently moved his family to Dayton sometime around 1848, “[James] Stevens… was born in Painsville, and removed to this city,… when only 4 years of age.”16

In 1850 Ansel shows up in the 2nd ward city of Dayton, only his initials are backward, instead of being A.E. Stevens, he’s E.A. Stephans.  He’s listed as being 36 years old, a teacher, with real estate valued at $1600, and born in NY.  His family included: Harriet age 32, born in New York; James H. age 6 born in Ohio; William E. age 1 born in Ohio.  Also living with them in 1850 were Harriet’s father Benjamin Barney age 70, farmer, born in VT.  R. Lutter (Luther?) age 28 teacher b. NY; Julia Osgood, age 15 (that’s all that’s given, no place of birth, etc.).  At 15 in 1850 that would have her born in 1835, if this is correct she would not have been Harriet and Orasmus’ daughter (they were not married until July 25, 1839), so who was she?  One possibility is that she was the daughter of Orasmus and a first wife?  More on this later. There was also an Ellen Lookenbel? Age 25 born in [MD?]

Miss Margaret Doyle a student at Cooper Seminary, (in March 1850), mentions both Mr. and Mrs. Stevens as being her
teachers in a journal she kept at school.  Eliam Eliakim Barney (Harriet’s brother) is the principal.  I can’t quite make out what  Ansel taught, perhaps a composition class?  Also,  “Mr. Stevens took his Technology class to some manufacturers I did love the scene so much for I had never been in one before.  It was so interesting to see the spools and different kinds of shape and size the cotton must go through before it is thread.”  Harriet taught botany.17

I don’t know if Orasmus was married before Harriet, but it is possible, and it is possible that he had a daughter.  In Miss Doyle’s diary on May 3rd she wrote “Mr. Barney heard the class for Mr. Stevens was sick and could not come  he had some difficulty with his daughter oh but she is a stubborn child although she is almost a young lady so she thinks.”  On July 5th she mentions, “Miss Stevens was nameing some flowers for me  she is such a kind sweet lady but has such poor health.”  I can’t imagine she’s referring to Harriet, since she lives to be 80 years old!  But again, who is Julia Osgood?  And, did she become an adopted child so to speak that everyone just called “Miss Stevens?”  The only possible daughter of Ansel and Harriet is Louisa (who won’t be born for another 8 years).

Mr. Stevens began in the agricultural implement business in the Car Shops in 1852, and left Dayton in 1854.18  We have since learned that the family was in Appanoose County, Iowa for a while.  What drove him there, I do not know. Estabrook, continues by saying, “In 1859 Mr. Stevens returned to Dayton and entered the service of the Car Company as bookkeeper…” 

Steve Koons managed to find Ansel in an 1860 Dayton census that’s published in book form.  Here his name was spelled:  Stephans, A.E., 48m, NY;  Helen, 42f, NY;  James 16m, OH;  William, 11m, OH; Howard, 7m, OH; Cole, Elizabeth, servant, 19f, OH.  I’ve marked Elizabeth Cole for a specific reason, in the next census 1870, it gives her occupation as “helps aunt.”  Is she Harriet’s niece?  Harriet had several sisters, but I don’t know who they married.

The Dayton City Directories list Ansel between: 1862-1863, and again in 1864-65 as a book keeper for Barney, Parker & Co., and Barney, Smith & Co. (respectively, same company, change in partnership) A.E. is at 5 Bridge St. In 1868-69 A. E. shows up in a carriage factory, 5 Bridge.  the directory shows A.E. Stevens, Harriet N., Howard B., James H., and Wm.E. all living at 5 Bridge Street.19  

The following is from A History of the Barney & Smith Car Company, p. 22  By H.M. Estabrook, 1911.20 
Ansel Edmond Stevens and 
Harriet Newell Barney
Ansel Edmond1 [or Edwards]2  Stevens  was born October 2, 1812,3 in Herkimer County, NY,4 to Edmund and Rebecca Bushnell Stevens.5  He married the widow Harriet Newell Barney Osgood6   on March 25, 1843.7 Their marriage occurred in Lake County, Ohio.8  Harriet N. Barney, the daughter of Benjamin and Nancy [Potter] 
hundred McCormick reapers for McCormick of Chicago, the present "Reaper King". The Agricultural Department also bought out the Atkins Self Rake, and after A.E. Stevens left the Company in 1854."

I was pleasantly pleased with my discovery of a relatively new, but rare, book about the Barney & Smith Car Company, written by Scott D. Trostel.  I had never heard of the Barney & Stevens Lumber Company, prior to reading this book.  “With this development for the finest and most elegant of interiors came the purchase of hard and rare woods on a global scope with mahogany coming from Africa and from South America, ebony, teak, French walnut and so on.  It resulted in the formation of the Barney & Stevens Lumber Company who were Eliam Barney and his brother-in-law Ansel Stevens, and this firm was largely responsible for the off-shore purchases of timber.” 21  This would have been somewhere around 1855 and/or later.  Notice the time frame with Ansel’s leaving the agricultural implement business at Barney and his move to Iowa.  Is there some sort of connection? 
Ansel E. Stevens was born in Middleville, Herkimer County, New York, October 2nd, 1812, and died September 29th, 1888, at his home at  No. 1810 East Third street, Dayton, Ohio.  Mr. Stevens began in the agricultural implement business in the Car Shops in 1852, and left Dayton in 1854.  In 1859 Mr. Stevens returned to Dayton and entered the service of the Car Company as bookkeeper and general utility man in the office and yard.  Mr. Stevens retired from the Car Works in 1882. “The Barney & Smith Manufacturing Company with an authorized capital stock of $500,000.00 The directors of the company were E. E. Barney, Preserved Smith, J. D. Platt, E. J. Barney and A. E. E. [sic]  Stevens...  On February 18th, 1881, Albert C. Barney and Edward E. Barney were elected directors to fill the vacancy caused by the death of their father, Eliam E. Barney, and the resignation of A. E. Stevens.”  

Continuing on p. 72 Estabrook wrote: "In 1852 Rufus Dutton and A.E. Stevens (the father of J.H. Stevens and the grandfather of A.J. Stevens) bought from the Car Company their agricultural department with the privilege of continuing the manufacture in the car shops, their shops being located on the third floor of the main brick building of the works. About 1855 the Car Company built for Mr. Dutton four 
Ansel E. Stevens 
1852-1882 -- Thirty Years. 
The "Stevens Farm" in Appanoose County, Iowa.

Right: “Looking Northeast.  I stood in Missouri and took This picture of your old home in Iowa.  House Built on the Foundation where the Stevens Brick House Stood.”
Left: “Looking Northwest.  Your old Home. The house stands on the same foundation that the brick house stood on.
It’s interesting to note that I have not added all the photographs of Appanoose County, as most of them don’t contain any buildings but just show flat fields, though the backs of many of them mention people like E.O. Smith place, the Wilkinson Place, the Allen Petit place, the Henry Petit Place, the Sprague spring.  What’s most interesting is reading the papers my family left behind to find these names mentioned.  For example, an obituary kept in Aunt Romelia’s book for “Mrs. M. A. Cole Funeral. Melissa A. Newton was born Jan. 10th, 1826… she married Mr. E. O. Smith Jan. 5th, 1878.  They lived at Livingston, Ia…”

Page 73 continues "Mr. A.E. Stevens and his son, J.H. Stevens, were away from Dayton from 1854 to 1859,22 but upon their return in 1859, Mr. A.E. Stevens became connected with the Car Works as bookkeeper. About this time the company had moved their office from the second floor of the main three story brick building and were occupying a one story frame office building that stood about where the present Blacksmith Shop Office is now located."

We now know that Ansel and James had been in Appanoose County, Iowa.  Was the move strategic on the part of the Barney & Stevens Lumber Company? I don't know, but it was apparently during this time that James met and fell in love with Miss Romelia Hanks Miller.  James would return to Appanoose County to marry Romelia, in 1867.

Trostel mentioned the organization of the Barney & Smith Manufacturing Company and named the officers. “A formal incorporation of the firm took place on May 15, 1867, in Columbus, Ohio, with the emerging name being Barney & Smith Manufacturing Company… The first officers of the new firm were:

Eliam E. Barney       President
Preserved Smith      Vice President, Treasurer
James D. Platt          Secretary
Eugene J. Barney    Superintendent
Ansel E. Stevens    Director23

“An October 3, 1868, newspaper account of the shops generally details the complex: ‘The (Lumber) yard is in charge of A.E. Stevens, superintendent, who employees[sic] 45 men…’24 

According to the 1870 census, Stevens, Ansel E was living in Ward 11and was Superintendent, Lumber Dept, Carworks.  He was 58 years old and had $8,000 real estate and $5,000 personal property.  Also at the house were Harriet N., 52f, keeping house; William, 21m, attending school; Howard, 19m, works at car factory;  Louisa G, 12f, attending school; Cole, Elhira 29f, helps aunt25; Powel, James S. or L., 26m, works at car factory -- next door is: Stevens, James, H., 25m, lumber inspector, car works;  Romelia, 24 f, keeping house; Anna, 1f  

“During 1871 officers of the company consisted of:

Eliam E. Barney       President
Preserved Smith      Vice President, Treasurer
Eugene J. Barney    Works Superintendent
James D. Platt          Secretary
Frederick E. Smith   Assistant Secretary
Ansel E. Stevens    Director”26 

In the 1871-72 & 1874 & 1875-76 Dayton City Directories Ansel showed up living at 1810 E. 3rd. And in 

1875-76 he was listed as the foreman (presumably for Barney Car Works), and 1882-83 Ansel E., was living at the swc of Third & Huffman. 

Ansel enjoyed writing poetry about the family.  The first piece of poetry that I’m aware of was written upon the birth of his grandson Arthur, born May 23, 1871, and many others followed.  

The 1880 census places Ansel and his family next door to James.  Ansel is listed as being 67 years old and working as a lumber inspector at the car works.  Harriet is 62 and keeping house, they have a nephew living with them George S. Graves.27  George is 17 and at school, he was born in NY as were both his parents.  There is also a Maggie Cox who boards with them, who appears to be about 40 years of age. 

However, what really spurred me to do all this research was one simple line in the Dayton City Directory for 1888-89 A. E. Stevens orange grower 1810 E. 3d Dayton OH.  No, there were no orange groves in Dayton -- it looks as though Ansel's son Howard had moved to Florida sometime around 1880+/-
The above is actually a letterhead from a 1903 letter, in my possession.  J.H. Stevens, Dayton, Ohio Care Barney & Smith Car Co. and/or H.B. Stevens, Citra, Fla.  Florida Correspondents please address H. B. Stevens. Harriet's obituary states that her sons had "extensive orange groves" in Florida, where she'd spend her winters. 

March 5, 1903, “Mother died at midnight last night at Howard’s home at Stetson near Deland, Florida.  A message from Howard said William would start home with the body on first train.  Mrs. W. E. Stevens & her son Will, Ed & Harriet, Arthur & Eve, & David Rowe, and Mr. & Mrs. Kiefaber & Mrs. [illeg] were here this eve and the funeral arrangements were discussed.” 28

According to the Woodland Cemetery records, both Ansel and Harriet were buried there.   Ansel: Interment Number 14361 Surname Stevens Given Name A. E. Lot Number 1728  Section Number 17 Burial Date 2 Oct 1888 Death Date 29 Sep 1888 Age 76 Birth Place NY. 

And Harriet:  Interment Number 24481 Surname Stevens Given Name Harriet N.  Lot Number 1728 Section Number 17 Burial Date 7 Mar 1903 Death Date 4 Mar 1903  Age 84.11 Birth Place NY.

The following is from a newspaper apparently in Citra, Florida.  Written in period style script to the side of the article is: "Paper edited by the colored people, Communication from Citra, Florida, from what they call their Education Society."

From Citra.

"After prayer by Rev. J.W. Dukes and singing, Joseph Green, Jr., President of the Citra Educational Society said:  My friends, a call for a memorial meeting of the Citra Educational society two weeks since was unavoidably postponed and agreeable to notice already given in this church, I now submit some resolutions designed to furnish an opportunity for the colored people of Citra to offer tributes of respect to the memory of A.E. Stevens.

"Whereas, it has pleased the All-wise Ruler of the Universe to remove from us our esteemed friend, A.E. Stevens, and whereas we, the colored people of Citra and vicinity, are under a debt of gratitude to him for his many contributions, for his devotion to, and his advocacy of, efforts to lift us higher, intellectually and morally.  Therefore be it Resolved, That as a mark of respect to the memory of A.E. Stevens, our deceased friend, the third Sunday in October the usual services and business be suspended that the colored friends of the deceased may pay fitting tribute to his memory.  Unanimously adopted.  

"Mr. Green then said:  Friends and fellow citizens, my acquaintance with Mr. Stevens dates only one year and a few months since, but however short I can safely say that the announcement of his death sent a regretful sadness over this entire community, especially among its citizens of color.  To the members of the Citra Educational Society, in the organization of which Mr. Stevens took a counterpart with his wife, who survives him, his death was not expected, because he had been for a long time and was when he left us last spring in very feeble health.  In our Society meetings he met us as often as he could and enjoined upon us the Christian duty and begged u to keep up the prayer-meetings and the Sabbath school.  He planned and superintended the erection of the building, busied himself about its furniture and making it comfortable and convenient and when that was done a prayer meeting was organized at his suggestion, and he took delight in being there, where he had assisted his dear good wife in an effort she prized highly, that of planting the seed of politeness and a germ that may sprout great usefulness in a people hitherto bound in darkness, superstition and poverty.  When he last met us he spoke most encouragingly of our educational effort, bade us God speed and an affectionate good-bye.  His faith in God, his reliance on his word and promises and the hope he had of life immortal shone forth as precious gems and lit up his whole countenance.  None by the wicked or most unobservant could enjoy his acquaintance or his conversation without being impressed that Mr. Stevens was a Christian and a lover of humanity.  Others here who have known him longer than I can tell you in more fitting words of the high estimation in which he was held and the regret his death occasioned.  I must say further that a most entertaining story related to me by his wife  of his early struggle to master a trade and acquire a collegiate education, being poor and having no stronger arm to assist him than that of his sister.  Then when he felt himself a man how he manifested his gratefulness by remunerating her; proves that patience steady toiling, study, plying the mind, and a will makes the man the equal and counselor of his fellow men, whether or not the be exhaulted by birth, rank , or popular favor.   W.L. Mare, Sec.              Citra, Oct. 21st .”  [1888]
This is the last known photograph of Ansel Stevens and his family.  Sitting in front are: Mrs. Howard [Lillie Allen] Stevens.  Ansel E. Stevens. Romelia H. Miller.  Harriet N. Barney Stevens.  Mrs. William [Mattie] Stevens.  Standing in the rear are:  Howard N., James Hadley, and Rev. William E. Stevens

On back of photograph it reads "Photograph taken September 1888.  Grandpa died September 29th  8:10 PM  Aunt Lillie died October 7th 2 AM." 
Updated: March 5, 2023
Gravestone of Ansel and Harriet Stevens at Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio.