Rufus Wood Stevens

Rufus Wood Stevens

Newfane, Windham County, Vermont, USA
Death 19 Sep 1850 (aged 53)
Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
Burial Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 34384763 · View Source
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Rufus Wood Stevens was the son of Capt. Jacob Stevens and Eunice Wood.
He arrived in Detroit from New York it is thought in about the summer of 1821.

In the "Detroit Gazette" of 23 May 1823 it says:
At Silver Lake, Oakland Co. the 18th inst.
WILLIAMS, both of that place."

Caroline Lee Williams was the oldest daughter of Major Oliver Williams, and she and Rufus were married at her father's settlement on Silver Lake in Waterford; in June of the same year the couple emigrated to Grand Blanc, and became the first settlers in Genesee county.

Rufus W. Stevens traded with the Indians in a log house, the first public tavern in the place, which was situated on the site of the later Grand Blanc Hotel. He became the first postmaster of Grand Blanc. (Local legend has it that one of the walls of this original tavern still comprises one of the walls of the Grand Blanc Hotel, hidden under the plaster and drywall.)
In 1830 he commenced a saw-mill, and soon after a grist-mill, on what became known as the Thread Mill property, the nearest mill then being at Waterford, about twenty miles distant. These mills performed a most important function for years, supplying all the people living between Pontiac and Saginaw, an area which was previously supplied lumber services by the Williams & Phillips Mill at Waterford.
In the early thirties Stevens moved to Flint and became identified with the milling interests there, and "commenced to build a house in the City of Flint, and it is standing yet" (ca. 1878)-- "called Stevens' place."

Rufus and Caroline raised a family of one daughter and five sons, three which survived to raise families:
Zobeida Melissa, b.1824
Lee Andrew, b.1826 (d. at 25)
Albert Leonzo, b.1827 (d. CA at 26)
Oscar Augustus, b.1829
Oliver John, b.1831 (d. CA at 24)
George Wood Stevens, b.1834

In the "Oakland Gazette" of Sept. 21, 1850 we read:

died of Consumption at the home of
Sherman Stevens, Esq., of this village,
on Thursday evening last, aged 54
years. Mr. S. was one of the earliest
settlers of Genessee county, and during
his residence there, and with all his in-
tercourse with its people had endeared
himself to a very large circle of friends
and acquaintances, together with a fam-
ily and numerous relatives who mourn
his death."

(Sherman Stevens was a brother of Rufus; he was the asst. marshall/enumerator on the 1850 US Census in Pontiac. On 24 Aug 1850, Sherman records his own family, but Rufus isn't there, and so maybe hadn't arrived from Flint as yet.)

Family Members


(currently no marker)

Gravesite Details Rufus W. Stevens was moved from the "Old Flint City Cemetery" (where he had been buried originally) to the "Pioneer Section" of Avondale Cemetery.



  • Created by: Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2020
  • Added: 3 Mar 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 34384763
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rufus Wood Stevens (10 May 1797–19 Sep 1850), Find a Grave Memorial no. 34384763, citing Avondale Cemetery, Flint, Genesee County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Jeff Lloyd ©2004-2020 (contributor 46608645) .