Dr. John J. Stephens

Submitted by Vicky Dennis <vdennis at alltel.net>

Dr. John J. Stephens, one of Springfield's promising and successful young physicians and surgeons, was born in Blount County, Alabama, in the year 1864, and when about seven years of age was brought by his father to Conway County, Arkansas, where he grew to manhood on a farm, receiving his education at some of the best schools of Conway and Boone Counties, and at Quitman, and in 1884 began the study of physic with Dr. D W. McPherson, of Springfield, after which he attended the medical department of the Vanderbilt University of Nashville, Tennessee, from which institution he graduated in 1886. He then spent one year in the practice of his chosen profession with his father, then two years at Cleveland, and in 1888 located at Springfield, where he has an extended practice. In 1886 he was united in marriage with Miss Sallie Bell, a daughter of Samuel Bell, a former resident of South Carolina, but who died in Van Buren County, Arkansas, when Mrs. Stephens was but a child. Two children are the result of their union. Mrs. Stephens is a native of Arkansas. Politically Dr. Stephens affiliated with the Democratic party; is Senior Deacon of the Springfield Lodge, No. 127, A. F. & A. M., and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Benjamin M. Stephens, the father of Dr. John J., is also a prominent physician of Conway County, having practiced continually since 1867; and since 1852, has also been regularly engaged in the ministry, being licensed by the Missionary Baptist Church in that year, and ordained in 1854. He is a native of Lumpkin County, Georgia, and was born in 1829, being a son of John and Francis R. (Griffith) Stephens, who were born in Pendleton and Greenville Districts, South Carolina, respectively. The former was born in 1807 and the latter in 1814. They removed to Georgia in 1829, where Mr. Stephens died in 1850. Mrs. Stephens died in Conway County, Arkansas, in 1885. Rev. James Stephens, the father of John Stephens, was a Virginian by birth, but died in Lumpkin County, Georgia, in 1861, after fifty years in the Missionary Baptist ministry. He was of Irish ancestry. Benjamin Griffith, the maternal grandfather of Dr. B. M. Stephens, was born in Greenville District, South Carolina, and died in Gilmer County. Georgia, in 1862. He was a practical surveyor, and was of Welsh descent. In 1862 Dr. B. M. Stephens joined Company B of the Twenty-ninth Alabama Infantry, and after six months' service the army was reorganized and [p.113] he was placed in an independent company in the Third Confederate Alabama, in which he served till near the close of the war. In 1854 he was Surveyor of Pickens County, Georgia, and in 1855 and 1856 represented that county in the State Legislature. He has been a member of the A. F. & A. M. since 1858. He is now of Springfield Lodge, No. 127. In 1857 Dr. Stephens removed to Blount County, Alabama, where he continued to reside until 1871, when he immigrated to Conway County, Arkansas, where he now resides, and is now living with his fourth wife, who was formerly Martha Mallet. The doctor was first married in 1849, and the second time in 1857, this time to Melissa McCan, who was the mother of Dr J. J. Stephens. She was born in Georgia, and died in 1867 in Blount County, Alabama. She was a daughter of James and Rebecca McCan, who were natives of North Carolina.

Transcribed from: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Western Arkansas, Chicago Southern Publishing, 1891