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Biographical Review: Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York
Emory Stevens

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[This information is from pp. 404-405 of Biographical Review Volume XXXIII: Containing Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Greene, Schoharie and Schenectady Counties, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Company, 1899). It is in the collection of the Grems-Doolittle Library of the Schenectady County Historical Society at 920 BIO.]

Emory Stevens, of Conesville, an ex-member of the State legislature, was born in this town, September 24, 1839, son of Levi F. and Thirza (Sage) Stevens. His grandfather, Peter S., and his great-grandfather, Gershom Stevens, both came here from Fairfield, Conn., in 1805, Peter S. being then a young man.

Gershom Stevens became the second owner of the first grist-mill in this region, and he operated it for a number of years. His children were: Levi, Gershom, Peter S., Ozias, and two daughters. Some years after his death his son Peter S. remodelled the mill into a tannery. This was afterward destroyed by fire, and two other buildings erected upon the site were also burned.

Peter S. Stevens was the father of ten children; namely, Levi F., Walter, Alfred, Nelson, Tompkins, Thalia A., Sally, John F., Ozias D., and another son who died in infancy. The only one now living is Tompkins, who is a well-known dealer in hides in New York City. Thalia A. married Andrew Rickey, and Sally married Charles Sturgis. John F., who became a physician, was for five years president of a medical school in St. Louis, Mo., and afterward practised in Brooklyn, N. Y. Nelson died in Conesville, aged twenty-four years. Tompkins, Alfred,and Walter went to Sullivan County, and were instrumental in building up the town of Stevensville, where they operated tanneries for many years, being also engaged in lumbering and farming. The Stevens brothers built a hotel in Conesville, which was first opened by Gershom.

Levi F. Stevens, father of Emory, was in his younger days interested in the tannery at Conesville, and for a while he kept a store. He succeeded to the ownership of the homestead property, which was in his day a part of the original tract one mile square acquired by his grandfather. He was an able, energetic, and successful farmer, and favorably known through this section of the county. Politically he was a Democrat, and held some of the town offices. He was an active member and a prominent official of the Methodist Episcopal church, whose house of worship was built principally through the instrumentality of his father and David Sage. Levi F. Stevens died March 28, 1890, aged eighty years.

His wife, Thirza, was a daughter of David Sage, who removed with his family to Conesville from Connecticut. He was a descendant of David Sage, first, who was born in Wales in 1639, and coming to America was one of the earliest settlers in Middletown, Conn. The immigrant was also the ancestor of Russell Sage, the well-known financier. The Sage family, we are told, dates its origin from the time of the Norman conquest, its founder having fought on the winning side at the battle of Hastings. Mrs. Stevens's father, who was born in Connecticut, settled upon a tract of two hundred acres in that part of Broome which is now Conesville, and became a successful farmer. He was one of the founders of the Methodist Episcopal church at Strykersville. His children were: Daniel, Abiel, Simeon, Levi, Thirza (Mrs. Stevens), Polly, and Lucena. Abiel, twin brother to Thirza, died in Ashland, Greene County, N. Y.; Daniel died in Conesville; Levi died while young; and Simeon, who amassed a fortune in business in New York City, died in Windham.

Levi F. and Thirza (Sage) Stevens had seven children; namely, Diantha M., David S., Delphus T., Thalia A., Emory, Ozro, and Daniel T. Stevens. Diantha M. died at the age of fifteen years; David S., who resided in Gilboa, was for twenty years a Methodist preacher; Delphus T., who died at the age of twenty-eight, was a promising young lawyer in Oak Hill, N. Y.; Thalia A. died at sixteen; Ozro died at eighteen; and Daniel T. died at twenty-three years. The mother died in August, 1890, aged eighty-five years.

Emory Stevens completed his education at the Charlotteville Academy. He taught school for some time, and afterward he was employed as a clerk in mercantile business at Conesville and Gilboa. He then went to Iowa, where for the next few years he was engaged in various kinds of business, including mercantile. For some time he kept a sale stable in Des Moines, and while in that city. He also speculated rather extensively in real estate. Since his return home he has devoted some of his time to educational work.

In politics he is a Democrat, and while residing in Iowa was chosen a delegate to represent Harrison County in the State Convention. He has served as a Supervisor in Conesville for three years. He also served as chairman of the County Canvassers' Committee, as foreman of the Grand Jury, and during his term in the Assembly he was a member of several important committees. Mr. Stevens is a member of the Methodist church, and was for a number of years superintendent of the Sunday-school.

Mr. Stevens married Emma Miller, daughter of William Miller, of Conesville. They have six children; namely, Ward E., Walter A., Linnie D., Ralph F., Levi F., and Susie E. Ward E. was graduated from the New York Dental College in 1897. Walter A. is a member of the police force.

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