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Joseph Richard Stephens
Joseph R. Stephens purchased 160 acres in Newton County on January 23, 1897.
N½SE 22/ 15-N 22-W No 5th PM AR Newton
S½NE 22/ 15-N 22-W No 5th PM AR Newton
In 1880, Joseph Richard was living in Bear Creek Twp, Boone County, Arkansas near the other Stephens siblings and his mother Sarah. These other family members moved to Texas about 1886 and sometime after that, Joseph Richard moved back to Newton County and in 1898 he purchased 160 acres of land next to the land purchased in 1860 by his father in law, Zachariah Beckham. (All these parcels of land bought by Zachariah and Joseph Richard lie in a valley in Murray Twp along the road between Swain and Parthenon). It is likely that Joseph's wife must have inherited some of her mother's estate which prompted them to buy additional and adjacent land. He is listed in the 1920 Census on 15 January, 1920 as age 68 living with wife Elizabeth age 68 in Murray Township, Newton County, Arkansas, ED 99, Sh 7A, household 27.
Joseph must have returned to Boone County, because after his wife died in Boone County in 1927, he apparently lost all of his property, could not work and is listed in the 1930 Census for Boone County, Arkansas as an 'inmate' at the Boone County (Poor) Farm. He died either later in 1930 or early 1931.
Sometime between 1927 and 1930, my Great-grandmother Arleta Stephens Owen (who lived in Ellis County, Texas), wrote a letter to her neice Ella Stephens Moore, daughter of Francis Caloway 'Frank' Stephens, which made reference to the fact that Frank had been quite ill and Ella's family had been going through a great deal of tribulation taking care of him. Letha makes reference to 'brother Joe' in Arkansas whose children 'had turned him out' and he was living on the Poor Farm.
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