James J. Stevinson


History of Merced County 1925

J. J. STEVENSON was born in Boone County MO Nov 6 1828, son of Archibald and Charlotte STEVINSON. When he was five his mother died and he and an older sister were placed with an uncle, Samuel STEVINSON. He was called 'Colonel' not as a military title but because he was from the South and participated in the Mexican War.

In 1846 he joined a trading train of General Kearney's Division and crossed the plains with Doniphan's Regiment, en route to Mexico, spending the winter on the Del Norte River and on the road to Santa Fe, NM. He arrived at Chihuahua on Mar 1 1847 and was surprised to meet his father, whom he had not seen for eleven years and who was engaged in merchandising there.

On December 27 1848, J. J. started on a trip via Durango and Mazatalen to San Francisco, where he arrived Mar 25 1849 "flat broke" having spent 30 days on the water.

He went to the mines on Mormon Gulch, Tuolumne County. His father arrived from Mexico and they formed a partnership in Mariposa County in general merchandising.

On Dec 27 1855 James J. STEVINSON married Miss Louisa Jane COX, daughter of Isham J. COX, of Cox's Ferry on the Merced River. She was born in IL and brought to CA by her parents. The couple had three children: Samuel, Mary E. and Fannie B. James J. STEVINSON died on Nov 13 1907 at the age of 79.

Archibald W. STEVINSON, J. J.'s father, was born in Clark County KY in 1804, and when he was twenty he moved to Boone Country MO. In 1830 he engaged in the Sante Fe trade. He set out for CA on Apr 10 1849,and reached Los Angeles in July. He died in Merced County in 1883, age 79. He had three children: James J., Elizabeth March and Charlotte Silman.

Louise J. STEVINSON, daughter of the pioneer, Isham J. COX was one of the oldest living Pioneer women of Merced County. Her father, Isham, was born in TN, went to Shelby County IL and thence to TX and with ox-teams and wagons came to CA arriving at Hill's Ferry in Mar, 1850. His wife was Rebecca CHISENHALL, of Scotch descent.

She married James J. STEVINSON and they had: Samuel, who married Alice REED and had three boys: Archibald who is married and has two children; Howard, who married Blanche DeGRAFF and had two children (died 1917); Floyd I., who married Carmella SORENSEN and has five children; Mary E. who married Charles P. HARRIS who died in 1899; Fannie B. married Howard H. HOGAN and had two children: Paul IRBE, art designer with Cecil De Mille; and Judith B., wife of George HATFIELD, an attorney in SF. Mr. HOGAN died in 1917.

Archibald James STEVINSON was the oldest surviving son of the late Sam and Alice (REED) STEVINSON, grandson of the noted pioneer James J. STEVINSON. He was born on the Merced River Feb 1, 1879. He was twice married. First to Miss PRUSSO who died, leaving two daughters: Ruth, the wife of Louis SWEET of Tulare and Evelyn, the wife of L. W. JOHNSON of Santa Clara County. Mr. STEVINSON's second wife is Winifred SCULL, born in Minnssota (sic) but lived in the STEVINSON since he was ten years old.

Floyd STEVINSON was born on the Merced River Aug 30 1885. He married Camilla Josephine SORENSEN, daughter of the Rev S. E. SORENSON, a Lutheran Minister.

The STEVINSON children: Anita, Mrs. HEDEN; Dita Delle, Mrs. E. J. REYNOLDS; James J.; Samuel F. and Soren.


Contributed by: Carol Lackey