Daniel Dyre Stephenson

Daniel Dyre Stephenson

Tennessee, USA
Death 2 Aug 1906 (aged 77–78)
Baker County, Oregon, USA
Burial Baker City, Baker County, Oregon, USA
Plot LOC 7 Grave 5
Memorial ID 86409218 · View Source
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The Oregon Stephensons
By Mike Stephenson Aug. 24, 2013
Updated Aug. 27, 2013
NOTE: This information already is posted to Ancestry.com, so you don't need to duplicate it there.

This Stephenson family has been well documented into the early 1700s in Virginia with much of the family migrating to Tennessee, while others moved to Kentucky. At least one branch had members join one of the largest western pushes in history, traveling among an estimated 70,000 along the Oregon Trail in 1852.

Alexander Campbell Stephenson was among the Stephensons who moved from Virginia to Tennessee, where he met and married Elyzabeth (Jones) Stephenson. They had at least 10 children in the early days of the state of Tennessee. Two sons -- John and Daniel -- set out in the early 1850s for Oregon, where they settled and raised their families.

John and his wife, Sarah Jane (Fremont) Stephenson, and daughter Martha Ann actually had moved west earlier, locating in Adams County, Ill., before the 1840 Census. Adams County is about 600 miles from McMinn County, Tenn., where Alexander Campbell Stephenson's family had settled, though the trip likely would not have been a straight shot. In Illinois, the Stephensons had another daughter, Sarah Jane, April 29, 1840 in Adams County, and older daughter Martha Ann married Josiah Garletts on Jan. 24, 1950 there, according to Illinois marriage records. Both the Stephensons and the Garlets appear in the 1850 Census in Adams.

A couple years after that, the Stephensons, Garletts and John's brother Daniel and his new bride set out for Oregon.

According to the Oregon Donation Land Claim records and the tombstone for Sarah Jane (Fremont) Stephenson, the family arrived in Oregon in Oct. 5, 1852, which was the largest year for migration west over the Oregon Trail, according to the Clackamas County Family History Society. The Oregon Trail ran about 2,000 miles west from Missouri toward the Rocky Mountains to the Willamette Valley. According to the Oregon-California Trails Association website, such a trip in that era likely took 4 1/2 to 5 months. The trip would have been arduous, wrote Clackamas County Historical Society volunteer Stella Shannon in an email: "It was a tough road for the pioneers to come here because they had to time it right so they didn't get caught in the Mountain ranges in the winter time. Many got sick on the way and died and were buried along the Oregon Trail (or whatever way they came). Hazards such as broken wheels or axels on the wagons, weather and Indian raids would slow the trains down. They also had to search for water and food. Fresh meat would be acquired when they could find a heard of Buffalo or any other types of game. At river crossings some people drowned trying to get across. When they reached the mountains and found their wagons would not go up over the steep grades they had to toss many items sometimes cherished items like chest of drawers to lighten the load. When they finally got to the Columbia River many of them road their wagons down the river on rafts."

The Stephensons settled in the town of Springwater in Clackamas County. Clackamas had been Indian territory in the early part of the 1800s, but in the 1840s American and European pioneers increasingly came to the area. Oregon became a U.S. territory in 1848. According to the Donation Land Claim Act, between December 1, 1850 and December 1, 1855 male settlers over 21 years old could receive 160 acres of land with their wives receiving the same amount. Daniel and his wife, Mary Ann, received 318.5 acres.

John and Sarah received a parcel of 319.3 acres, according to an index of Donation Land Claims maintained by the Oregon state archives. The younger Sarah Jane Stephenson married Andrew J. Stout March 27, 1956 in Clackamas Co. Oregon became the 33rd state Feb. 14, 1859. John Stephenson, born Aug. 9, 1809 in Jefferson Co., Tenn., according to his tombstone, is listed in the 1860 Census for Clackamas County as a farmer, living with his wife, Sarah, who was born in about 1811 in Georgia or South Carolina. Daughter Martha Ann, born about 1833 in Tennessee, also was living in Springwater in 1860 with Josiah Garletts. They had two daughters, Sarah born in Illinois and Mary born "on the plain" as they traveled the Oregon Trail. It appears there may be a transcription error that leaves several other children off. Records indicate Martha Ann and Josiah divorced in 1861. The younger Sarah and her husband, Andrew are in Pacific Co., Washington Territory in the 1860 Census, though they are listed with the surname Stone. They had two sons.

I haven't yet found John and Sarah Stephenson in the 1870 Census, but Mary Ann remained in Clackamas County. Curiously, she appears to be in two households. State marriage records indicated she remarried in 1863 to William Nash Wade, listed as a carpenter, who was about 35 years older than she. They are in the 1870 in Clackamas with three sons. Another listing shows what appears to be Martha with Josiah, whom she had divorced nine years earlier, in Clackamas County with two daughters and a son. Andrew and Sarah (Stephenson) Stout had relocated to Clackamas County by 1870 with their two sons.

John Stephenson died April 4, 1876 and is buried at Clarkes Pioneer Cemetery in Clackamas County. Son-in-law A.J. Stout was executor of his will with the estate going to the widow and provisions to pass it to their daughters upon her death. Daughter Martha Ann (Stephenson) Wade eventually would receive $100 in gold coins and daughter Sarah Jane (Stephenson) Stout the remaining property and possessions.

Widow Sarah Jane Stephenson appears in the 1880 Census living in Springwater with her occupation listed as a midwife. William and Martha Ann Wade were in Clackamas County in 1880 with four children and William listed as a farmer. Josiah Garletts had entered the Western Oregon State Hospital in 1978, where it appears he remained until his death in 1903. Andrew and Sarah Stout remained in Clackamas in the 1880 Census with two sons and a servant. Andrew was listed as a farmer. William N. Wade died May 11, 1882.

Sarah Jane Stephenson died in March 1886 and is buried at Clarkes Pioneer next to John. Martha Ann (Stephenson) Wade appears as a housekeeper in the 1900 Census in the Gilliam County household of James Larch. She died Aug. 19, 1900 in Olex, Ore. (A Martha A. Wade listed in Lincoln County in the 1900 Census appears to be a different woman. Her husband, William J. Wade, still is living at that point.) The 1900 Census lists Andrew and Sarah Stout living with their son Alonzo in Lincoln County, Ore., all working as farmers. Andrew Stout died March 12, 1905. By 1920, Sarah (Stephenson) Stout is listed as widowed and living in Yarnhill County, Ore., with a grandchild. She died March 9, 1923 in Yarnhill and is buried at Friends Cemetery in Newburg.

Daniel Dyre Stephenson appears to have traveled west at the same time as his brother John. Daniel married Mary Ann Anderson March 1, 1852 in McMinn County, Tenn., so they likely set out as newlyweds. Daniel appears to have been nominated for a state Senate seat, according to the May 6, 1856 Daily Messenger of Dalles, Ore. It's unclear whether he won. He was listed as a dentist in the 1860 Census, living in Oregon City, which also was in Clackamas County. He and Mary Ann had a daughter, Louisa, and son, A.C., both born in Oregon. He advertised his dentistry regularly in local newspapers in the 1860s. By 1870, Daniel worked as a dentist in East Dalles Precinct in Wasco County. Louisa and A.C. were joined by three brothers, Alexander, Martin and Daniel. The 1880 Census lists Daniel as a dentist in Pocahontas in Baker County. Mary Ann was working as a housekeeper. All the children remained in the household, though Alexander now was listed as Fred and the youngest brother is newcomer Earl, age 8. A.C. was working as a teamster -- one who drove a team of horses for hauling -- and Fred and Martin worked on a farm.

It appears Louisa never married. She died March 5, 1897 and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker City. The other children had all moved out by the 1900 Census where Daniel was still listed as a dentist. He and Mary Ann remained in Baker. The census indicates Mary Ann had given birth to eight total children with four living at that time: A.C., Fred?, Daniel Jr. and Earl. Daniel Sr. died Aug. 2, 1906 in Baker and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery. Mary Ann lived in Baker with son Earl and his son Earl Jr. in the 1910 Census, which also indicates eight total children with four living. She died Jan. 21, 1915 and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.

Of the remaining children of Daniel and Mary Ann (Anderson) Stephenson:
-- A.C. Stephenson lived a number of years in Wyoming and later died in California. I have a separate report on what I've learned about him posted at Ancestry.com.
-- Fred Stephenson has been difficult to track. It appears he was living in Park City, Utah, as of the 1900 Census. I lose track of him after that. Some have listed a date of death of Feb. 12, 1924 but I haven't found any verification.
-- Daniel D. Stephenson married Zoe Agnes Southworth and had at least six children. He lived in Baker, Ore., at least through the 1920 Census. He died June 2, 1925 in Seattle. The public library in Seattle was unable to find an obituary, and I have not found one in Baker either. He is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in Baker. I have posted some additional information on his children on Ancestry.com.
-- Earl B. Stephenson married Anna Maria Grossen, from Switzerland, in 1897. He is listed as a farmer in the 1900 Census. By 1910, he was listed as a widowed laborer living with his mother and son, Earl Jr. From this point, it appears there are two Earl Stephensons in the area. In 1920, one is listed as a driver and living in a Baker, Ore., household. He is described as an uncle of the head of household, and I believe this is not the son of Daniel Dyre Stephenson. I have not yet found the correct Earl in the 1920 Census. In 1930, Daniel's son is listed as an inmate at the Eastern Oregon State Hospital for the insane in Pendleton, Ore., where he remains in the 1940 Census. He died July 31, 1958 after 37 years in the state hospital, according to his death certificate, which lists his parents as D.D. Stephenson and Mary Ann Anderson. The Oregon State Hospital Museum reported through email that it does not have patient records to provide additional information.

Mike Stephenson is a first cousin six times removed of John and Daniel Dyre and Stephenson. Mike's great, great, great, great, great grandfather, Edward Stephenson (1774-1868) was the brother of John and Daniel's father, Alexander Campbell Stephenson Sr. Information from the Oregon State Archives was used in this report. Through its website, http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/records/genealogy/index.html , more information may be available. I relied on the index rather than the full record of the Donation Land Claims for John and Daniel, which the archives has available. Also, it appears marriage returns and divorce records for Martha Ann Stephenson may be available. I also did not fully pursue records of Josiah Garletts, William Wade or Andrew Stout that may be available. Other researchers may want to pursue those areas further. Another potential connection to the Stephenson family that might prove worth researching is a Martha Ann Stevenson listed in the state archives Early Oregonians database. She is listed as from Tennessee and married Samuel Gilmore, who is listed as from Bedford Co., Tenn., where Edward Stephenson (1774-1868) lived. An initial check indicates this Martha was born in Kentucky and met Samuel in Missouri, so she may not be connected to Edward. Information from the Clackamas County Family History Society also was included in this report. Its website is http://ccfhs.1extreme.net/index.php. Special thanks to those who have posted tombstone photos and other information that proved useful in compiling this report.

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  • Created by: Mike St
  • Added: 8 Mar 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 86409218
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Daniel Dyre Stephenson (1828–2 Aug 1906), Find A Grave Memorial no. 86409218, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Baker City, Baker County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by Mike St (contributor 47231818) .