BIOGRAPHY - Edgar N. Stevens

EDGAR NORMAN STEVENS, the efficient and popular Postmaster of Paxton since January 18, 1890, is a son and partner of Hon. N. E. Stevens, publisher, editor and proprietor of the Paxton Record, the leading Republican paper of Ford County. (See the sketch of Hon. N. E. Stevens, elsewhere in this work.)

The subject of this sketch claims Minnesota as the Stale of his nativity, having been born in Wabasha County, on the 25th of July, 1858. His mother's maiden name was Adah Hulda Clark. Edgar N. received his rudimentary education in the public schools of Paxton, during the years 1866 to 1874, inclusive. From that time, he was a student of the Paxton High School and graduated with honors, after a three-years' course, in the Class of '77, being elected valedictorian of his class. This was the first class to graduate from the High School, the Principal at that time being Prof. T. L. Evans, and the Trustees, Col. Charles Bogardus, George W. Cruzen and W. B. Travis. On leaving the High School, Mr. Stevens entered Knox Academy, where he remained to complete the classical freshman year of Knox College, in the spring of 1879, after which he took one term at the Illinois State University at Champaign, when he was forced by failing health to discontinue his studies.

Mr. Stevens then entered his father's employ in the office of the Paxton Record, having previously served his apprenticeship while attending school, and, after a year and three months' service, was admitted to partnership in the business, on the 30th of March, 1881. He still maintains his connection with the paper. While in the Record office, Mr. Stevens edited the exchange column, was local editor several years and obtained a fair knowledge of journalistic work. At the same time, he waited on customers, read proofs, kept the office books, made contracts and, in the absence of the senior partner, had the management of the office. Soon after becoming a partner, he joined the Illinois State Press Association, of which body he is yet a member. During the session of the Thirty-fifth General Assembly, Mr. Stevens was chosen Clerk of the House Committees of Public Charities and Libraries, by recommendation of Representative Charles Bogardus. He was elected Clerk of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, of which Senator Hadley was Chairman, and of Agriculture, Horticulture and Farm Drainage, Senator Charles Bogardus, Chairman, during the Thirty-sixth General Assembly.

Since his appointment as Postmaster, Mr. Stevens has refitted and remodeled the post-office fixtures and facilities and has furnished a good burglar-proof safe, the whole improvements costing about $850. The business of the office has steadily increased since the present incumbent took possession. The business for the fiscal year of 1889, exclusive of the money order department, was $4,188; for 1890, it was $4,536 and for 1891, $5,404, the increase the first year being $347 and the second year, $868. During the fall of 1891, Mr. Stevens inspected the various post-offices in the county, by virtue of his position as Postmaster at the county seat.

Our subject has been a member of the Congregational Church since fourteen years of age, was for a short time a member of the First Church of Christ in Galesburg, and has been actively identified with church and Sunday-school work. He is the present Secretary of the Ford County Christian Endeavor Union and was substitute Delegate to the International Christian Endeavor Convention in Minneapolis in the summer of 1891. Mr. Stevens is a member of Paxton Lodge No. 416, A. F. &. A. M., of which he has served as Secretary for two terms. He is a charter member of Paxton Camp No. 259, M. W. A., and has held the office of Clerk in that order two terms.

Since the fall of 1865, Mr. Stevens has been a resident of Paxton and enjoys an extended acquaintance in that city and the county at large. His course at school and college was distinguished by studious habits, success in examination and general good scholarship. He is a fine penman, and a methodical, exact and neat book-keeper. His books at the post-office are fine specimens of correct, plain and tasty book-keeping, and his administration of the office has been most satisfactory to the postal authorities and the patrons of the office.

Extracted 22 Aug 2019 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Record of Ford County, Illinois, published in 1892, pages 249-250.

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