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Below is a family biography included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Dr. James A. Stevens, physician and druggist of Aurora Springs, was born in Lee County, Iowa, in February, 1844, and is the eldest of four children born to James and Ann (Graham) Stevens, natives of Denmark and England, respectively. They came to the United States in 1832, settling in Pennsylvania, and the father followed the ship carpenter’s business. From 1834 to 1853 he built many river boats, and for twenty-eight years was building boats for Capt. La Bart. His boats were known all along the Mississippi River. He invested in land in Iowa, but principally made his home in the South. In 1858 he and family moved to their farm in Iowa, and at the beginning of the war the father retired from building boats. They are now living on this farm, and are enjoying a comfortable and happy old age. Dr. James A. Stevens spent his youth in New Orleans attending the public schools, and there remained until the family moved to Iowa, which afterward became their future home. He lived upon the farm and assisted his father until 1862, when he enlisted in the Twentieth Iowa Infantry; was sent to the western division, was with Gen. Sherman in his unsuccessful attack on Vicksburg, and was with Gen. Grant in his assault and conquest of Grand Gulf. He then went to Jackson, Miss., back to Vicksburg, and after the fall of that city returned to Jackson, Miss. In the spring of 1864 he removed to Tennessee with Gens. Grant and Sherman, participating in the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, Kenesaw Mountain, and to Atlanta. In August Dr. Stevens was wounded very severely in the hand, after which he was sent North, and entered the hospital at Keokuk. Here he was discharged March 22, 1865. He then studied medicine at the Keokuk Medical College, graduated March 19, 1867, and went to Camden County, Mo., in April of the same year. He here practiced his profession for some time, and then went to Mount Pleasant, Miller County, in March, 1869, and there remained until 1881, when he came to Aurora Springs, being among the first to erect a building here. In December his store was completed, and he stocked it with a complete line of drugs. He is occupied in this business at the present time. He was a member of the first school board, a member of the first city council; has spared no pains in the advancement of the place, and the reputation of the Springs can, in a great measure, be traced to his recommendations. He is active in politics, was president of the Republican club at this place, and is a liberal-spirited gentleman generally. He was married in 1868 to Miss Maggie A. Cross, a native of Iowa. Dr. Stevens is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to Pleasant Mount Lodge No. 134, and the Chapter.

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This family biography is one of 120 biographies included in The History of Miller County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Miller County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Miller County, Missouri family biographies here: Miller County, Missouri Biographies

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