The career of this worthy gentleman, especially since he has been in Nez Perces County, shows conclusively what can be done here by taking hold with one’s hands and operating with wisdom the resources of the country. Coming here in 1896, with an old wagon and team, ten dollars in cash and a couple of weeks’ supply of flour. Mr. Stephenson has wrought with a master hand until now he has, located five miles southeast from Melrose, a beautiful and valuable farm, all tilled in excellent shape, a large and tasty residence, one of the finest orchards in the County, stock of all kinds and all the implements needed in carrying on the farm, being one of the most prosperous and substantial men of this section. Mr. Stephenson raises the cereals, flax and carries his farm on with skill. He is now erecting one of the finest barns of the community.
Thomas Stephenson was born in Cumberland, England, on January 29, 1852, being the son of Joseph and Mary A. (Hornsby) Stephenson, natives of Cumberland; and born in ‘1829 and 1833, respectively. They are still living in Nez Perces County. The family came to Canada when Thomas was two and one half years of age, settling in the County of Gray. There our subject received his education in the excellent schools of that country and he remained at home until he was twenty-six. At that time, Mr. Stephenson went to do for himself and rented a farm in the neighborhood. Later he took a homestead on the north shore of Lake Huron and for six years he dwelt there. Thence he went to Alberta and spent four years before he decided the country was too cold. Then, in 1896, he came to the Nez Perces country and has since wrought here as stated above, with gratifying results.
In Canada, on August 12, 1878, Mr. Stephenson married Miss Joanna, daughter of John and Frances (Cobbledeck) Williams, natives of England. Mrs. Stephenson was born in Canada, in 1855, and has five brothers and five sisters. Mr. Stephenson has the following brothers and sisters, Emma, Henry, Philas, John, Sarah, Mary, Fannie, and Phurness. The following named children have come to gladden and bless the home. Joseph, John, Frances, Emma, Thomas, Reuben, Frances is married to Mr. John Procunier, of this County.
Politically, Mr. Stephenson is independent and reserves for his own choice the man rather than the tenets of the party. Mr. Stephenson has been a member of the school board and believes in good schools and is willing to pay his share towards sustaining such. Mr. Stephenson is well satisfied with this country and speaks very highly in its praise and in turn he is highly spoken of by all who know him.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903