Stevens Museum, Salem, Indiana

Warder W. Stevens was the author of the Centennial history of Washington County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families. Illustrated 1916, B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.

Here is the biographical sketch he included in that volume:

Warder W. Stevens, son of Henderson and Catharine (Hayden) Stevens, was born on September 30, 1845, at Cecilia, Hardin county, Kentucky. His father was born near Corydon, Indiana, on April 27, 1824, and his mother in Hardin county, Kentucky, on February 3, 1822. The father died in January, 1890, and the mother in December, 1898.

William Stevens, the paternal grandfather of Warder W. Stevens, was born in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1802, and was married to Keziah Simpson, a native of Ireland, on June 3, 1823. The marriage taking place in Harrison county, Indiana.

Daniel Hayden, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Stevens, was a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in that state on June 22, 1780, and was married to Hannah Shacklet in 1800. After their marriage they moved to Kentucky, where they were among the early settlers of that section. The great-grandfather, John Hayden, the father of Daniel Hayden, was a soldier of distinction in the Revolutionary War.

The parents of William Stevens, the father of Henderson Stevens, came to Kentucky in 1794 and suffered the hardships of many Indian battles, as well as other difficulties of the early settlers.

Warder W. Stevens received his education in the common schools of his county and is a graduate of the high school of Corydon, having studied under Professor May. In 1867 he received the degree of Bachelor of Laws at the University of Indiana, and later studied law for two years with the Hon. S. K. Wolfe, at Corydon.

In 1867 Mr. Stevens located in Salem, Indiana, and in 1868 was appointed deputy county auditor, and the following year was appointed county auditor by the county commissioners, and served in that capacity until the fall of 1870. From 1871 to 1872 he served the people of his district as prosecuting attorney. At that time he purchased the "Salem Democrat", which he edited for the next twelve years. He was also engaged in agricultural and horticultural pursuits, having, at one time, the largest individual pear orchard in the United States.

For several years Mr. Stevens was a member of the state board of agriculture and in 1899 was its president. He was also a member of the Indiana State Horticultural Society and was the president for four years.

Much of the success of the farmers' institutes in the state was due to the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, who devoted much time and labor to the work. He was for several years lecturer of the state grange.

Politically, Mr. Stevens is a prominent member of the Democratic party, in which he has been a strong and active worker. In 1894 he was honored by his party by being elected presidential elector and later was the nominee for lieutenant-governor and canvassed the state for his party.

Since twenty-two years of age Mr. Stevens has been a member of the Masonic order, having been made a Mason by the Newland Lodge, at Salem, and later took the chapter degrees. After taking up his residence in Oregon he became a Knight templar and in 1909 a Shriner.

Mr. Stevens was always interested in the welfare and the advancement of the people of the community and his energies have always been exerted in their behalf. In 1892 he was the prime factor in the organization of the Salem Farmers Club and the Salem Fortnightly Club, the latter of which was the forerunner of the Salem Public Library Association, an organization that has done much for all classes in Salem.

In 1909 Mr. Stevens removed to Oregon, where he is a large stockholder and the president of the Baker Mill and Grain Company, of Baker City, Oregon.

In 1913 Mr. Stevens turned over to the University of Indiana a nucleus for a prehistoric and relic museum. The collection included the best exhibit of old-time agricultural implements and household articles in the Middle West, and several thousand prehistoric specimens, such as axes, tomahawks, spears, paints, ornaments, etc.

On May 1, 1879, Warder W. Stevens was united in marriage to Alice Caspar, who was born in Washington County November 4, 1858, the daughter of Lewis and Sarah (Collier) Caspar. Lewis Caspar was born in Germany, November 6, 1830, and died on November 5, 1869, while auditor of Washington County. Mrs. Caspar was born on November 16, 1840, and died on September 18, 1888. They were the parents of the following children: Mrs. Alice Stevens, of Baker City, Oregon; Mrs. Anna Hobbs, of Bloomington, Indiana, and Mrs. Harriett Rhetts, who died in December, 1911.

Mr. and Mrs. Stevens are the parents of two children; Ray Caspar, who was born on July 9, 1884, and died on October 9, 1898; Warda W. married C. B. Stout, of Paoli, on November 1, 1906, and they have one child, Alice Adaline, born on August 3, 1907.

-- From Washington County Biographies, maintained by Jerry Morris Mounts. Data entry for this biography by Diana Flynn

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