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Leonard Stephens
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Birth: Mar. 10, 1791
Orange County
Virginia, USA
Death: Mar. 8, 1873
Boone County
Kentucky, USA

Leonard Stephens was the youngest of nine children born to Benjamin Stephens & Dorothy Jemima Waller Stephens. The family home was at Orange Springs near Orange, just east of Riga run in Orange county, Virginia. When Leonard was about 16, the family emigrated to Kentucky, finally settling in what is now Kenton County.

In 1803, Leonard's brother, William, married & moved his bride to a farm east of Rabbit Hash in Boone county, Kentucky. It was there that William became intrigued with the idea of western migration. He realized the movement would be made step by step. He determined to emigrate to Middle Grove in Monroe county, Missouri. In 1812 he bought 1300 acres & returned to Kentucky full of tales that he shared with Leonard. There was much careful planning. Every brother in Kentucky would be involved in some way. Brother Benjamin decided to emigrate. Leonard would operate as the linch-pin, providing for the needs of the settlement party, distributing assets advantageously, providing for the security and productivity of the Stephens slaves, discretely sending money when it was needed.
So well planned was the movement that it did not begin until 1821. It had become a great endeavor, joined by the extended family, some from Virginia. Leonard was true to his word, providing every security the settlers needed. The brothers wrote long, informative letters to one another which were detailed in unique ways. Thomas Nelson Stephens retained the letters received from Leonard, as well as business accounts & various documents. They now form a part of the Claude E. Stephens Collection of the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis. They are a priceless treasure.

A descendant of Leonard Stephens, Neil Allen Bristow, has placed many of these letters and journals on line. Mr. Bristow thoroughly annotated the letters, cross-indexed them, and provided photographs & etchings:

Claude Stephens (1883-1965) also helped preserve these letters in the time prior to the internet

OBITUARY: 15 March 1873, Covington Journal
Gen. Leonard Stephens died at his residence near Florence, Kentucky on Saturday, March 8, 1873 about 1:00' o'clock P.M. He was born on the 10th of March, 1791 & consequently was at his death within two days of eighty-two. He was a native of Orange county, Virginia and came to Kentucky in 1806 with his father, Benjamin Stephens, Esq. who located temporarily near Bryant's Station in Fayette county but removed to what is now Kenton, but then was a part of Campbell county & settled permanently on Banklick Creek, at the place where he resided until six or seven years ago.
At the age of 32, Gen. Stephens was elected to the lower House of the General Assembly & was in that House by election for four successive years. At the age of 36, he was elected to the Senate of Kentucky from the District composed of the counties of Campbell & Boone & served a full term of four years. He was for many years a magistrate of Campbell county; & upon the organization of Kenton county, being the senior Magistrate he became, under the rule then in force, the Sheriff of Kenton county, being the first person who has filled that office. He served by deputies but not in person, for the term of two years.
About 32 years ago he joined the Dry Creek Baptist Church & in 1855, assisted in the organization of the Florence Baptist Church, of which he remained a faithful & devoted member up to his death.
He was a man of marked superiority of character, fair & liberal in all his transactions. His word was his bond, & his integrity was entirely beyond question. His manners were particularly engaging & pleasant. To the very large circle of relatives & friends who were intimate with him, the memory of his kind, genial & happy manners will always remain vivid & precious.
His home was the seat of a generous hospitality. Nothing made him so happy as to have his relatives and friends around his hearth-stone and at his table. The family reunions which he insisted on keeping at his house were notable occasions whereon were assembled all his kinfolk to the remotest degree, the time being spent in innocent & mirthful conversation & winding up with a bountiful feast. His hospitality was not confined to his relatives, but all who came were welcome, and he never turned the stranger away empty from his gates.
He was actively engaged in farming up to within a few years past when, at about the age of 75, he gave his children most of his large tract of land & relinquished active business. He spent the remainder of his days quietly in the society of his children, grandchildren & friends at his residence in Boone, in sight of his old homestead in Kenton.

Family links: 
  Benjamin Stephens (1754 - 1839)
  Dorothy Jemima Waller Stephens (1756 - 1836)
  Catharine Sandford Stephens (____ - 1843)
  Napoleon Bonaparte Stephens (1814 - 1886)*
  Anne Elizabeth Stephens (1816 - 1816)*
  Statira Bonaparte Stephens Bristow (1817 - 1902)*
  Lucien Bonaparte Stephens (1819 - 1899)*
  Lucy Waller Stephens Hughes (1823 - 1847)*
  Edmund Waller Stephens (1825 - 1854)*
  Thomas Stephens (1830 - 1831)*
  Edmund Waller Stephens (1777 - 1864)*
  Benjamin Stephens (1779 - 1855)*
  William Robinson Stephens (1782 - 1873)*
  John Stephens (1785 - 1856)*
  Nancy Jane Waller Stephens Sandford (1787 - 1877)*
  Mary Waller Stephens Herndon (1789 - 1868)*
  Leonard Stephens (1791 - 1873)
*Calculated relationship
Stephens Family Cemetery
Kenton County
Kentucky, USA
Maintained by: Robert H
Originally Created by: Eloine
Record added: Aug 23, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95834317
Leonard Stephens
Added by: Diane Wardlaw
Leonard Stephens
Added by: BobR
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Click on image for full size.

The memory of his kind, genial & happy manners will always remain vivid & precious.
- Covington Journal
 Added: Nov. 7, 2012

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