Stephen was the only child from the marriage of Simeon and Ruthy (Briggs) Copelin. Ruthy was first married to Marlin/Martin Heard. She and Simeon were married 17 July 1854 in Dallas County, Arkansas where Ruthy's father John Briggs lived at the time. In 1870 Stephen is found living in the household of the widow Huldah Heard who was married to Stephen's half brother Andrew J. Heard/Herd. The whereabouts of his parents are unknown and are presumed to have died. Stephen first married Climenza Jane Gray about 1876. She had been found as a toddler next to her parents bodies. Their death may have been caused by lightning or a possibly tornado. A family named Gray took her in. Stephen and Jane has 6 children. Jane died Jan 1892. Stephen then married Ava L. Ford 21 July 1892 in Taney County, Missouri who was a widow. She had two daughters Nellie and Lillie M. Ford. In 1900 they were living in Cedar Grove where Stephen died in 1925.