What would a bachelor like Alfred Alexander Stevens hold close his heart? Family and farming would be engraved on his soul and held dear by him. Born in 1877 in Kill Creek Township, Osborne County, Kansas, he was the fifth child (out of nine) of Will and Isabella Stevens. In birth order, he was sandwiched in as a middle child with loving, protective siblings as his elders. His four younger kin would love him as a big brother.
Most of his life was lived on his parents’ farm so he knew the value of hard work. He knew the values of loyalty and steadfastness. As an adult, he was surrounded by many of his siblings and their families: he was a devoted son, brother, uncle, and brother-in-law. Farming was a sunup to sundown vocation, and he knew the love of the land. When his parents became elderly, he continued to labor on the farm along with his brother Fred.
When his beloved mother Isabella passed away in 1924, a piece of his heart went with her. Almost two years later, his cherished father passed away. His parents had been ill for a time before their deaths, and it had taken a toll on Alfred. Stressed with worry about poor crop prospects and an unwise investment, Alfred became ill himself. He passed away in September, 1926, at the age of 49. His brothers and sisters came together to mourn the loss of their loved one who would rest under the Father’s peace.
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Alfred also was saddened by two other things that occurred just before his father’s death, one was that his brother Fred got married rather pushing him aside on the farm, as the two brothers had ran it together for years; the other was that because his brother got married his sister Lillie Shellenberger’s family was also rather urged to leave the Stevens household, her father not wanting pressure to be on Fred’s new wife Elva so that she would feel free to be the woman of the house. Lillie along with her husband Clarence Shellenberger and four children had been living there for a year or two seeking refuge after losing everything to a house fire in Missouri. Hazel mentioned Alfred was very sad to see them go. The Shellenberger Family moved eventually on to Oregon. Lillie and her family missed out on the passing of both her parents, Isabella and William Stevens, but at least the children got to know William for almost a couple years. Alfred did fear the stomach cancer that took his father as well as being stressed over the non producing oil derrick.