The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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a drift upon which he reached the top of the tree in which Alf was, standing on one foot all this time in the fork of the tree, leaning against the trunk and holding both girls; but few could have held out as he did.  Brave, strong man, the savior of the children!  When Stevens got to him and reached up from the drift as high as he could Alf handed them down by the arm, and he carried them to their mother.  Alf said he had not gone beyond the wagon tongue when he was washed off his feet.  When he arose to the surface he had lost one of the girls and was fighting for his life with his one hand.  He struck this tree and had barely got a position therein when he heard the lost one calling for her ma amidst the surging waters and roaring tempest!  This was Ada, Homer Curry's wife.  He called to her to hold on and he would come.  Dark as Erebus, Nothing could be seen; only go by hearing and feeling.  He placed Grace, George Hubbard's wife, astride in the fork of a limb of the tree and told her to hold on, he would get Ada, she said she would fall.  He said, "hold on or I'll throw you in!  Thus he left Grace and went on the drift so quickly formed and got Ada and took her to the tree and held them until their father arrived.  Ada said she struck a log and beared on it and it held her up.

Every thing they had in the way of clothing and provision was swept away.  In the morning they caught the team, hitched up to the wagon and started for Aplington's. attired in what Stevens calls their grave clothes.  They arrived at John Kelly's place near Almena in the afternoon, but the Prairie Dog river was so high they could not cross.  They had to wait there until the water went down.  Kelly was away on a hunt at the time and Stevens did not meet him until long afterward; but Mrs. Kelly made them welcome and loaned them appropriate clothing for immediate demands until they could get over to Aplingtons.

In July 1875 he deeded this place which makes him one of the oldest tax payers in Norton county.  His first tax receipt was given Sept. 10,1876 by C. W. Posson as sheriff of Norton county.  His wife died September 1874 and was buried on the homestead; her remains were taken up and interred in the Norton cemetery in May 1893.

April 19, 1876 he was again married to Malissa Ann, widow of I. C. Butler, an old soldier.  They have no children.  When asked about his political ventures Stevens said: "I have no disposition to advertise my defeats;" but admitted he had been a candidate for the legislature before the Republican primary in 1882, at the time Dr. W. W. Smith was nominated.  He was twice a candidate for Register of Deeds before Republican conventions but failed to get the nomination and to use his own language: "When I asked for bread they gave me a stone."  He has always taken an active interest in politics and has represented his party in nearly every convention held in the county.  He is an able and vigorous writer, and has been a correspondent for the Norton papers for many years and contrary to the usual custom always signs his name to his manuscript.  He is a close observer of public events and a fearless advocate of what he believes to be right.  He left the Republican party in 1890 and has since been an Alliance man or populist.  In 1892 he was a delegate to the congressional convention at Colby that re-nominated Wm. Baker.  He also represented his party in the judicial convention at Oberlin in 1893 that nominated A. C. T. Geiger.  His name was presented to the populist county convention for Register of Deeds in 1893 but his party saved him from defeat at the polls by nominating Louis J. Register.  Stevens was the first actual settler in Sand Creek township; he established the

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