George Stephens, late United States Consul at the port of Cobourg, was a native of Schoharrie County, N.Y., and was born December 27, 1805. His parents were George and Sarah (Wood) Stephens, his paternal ancestors being from England; his maternal from Wales, both great-grandfathers coming from the old world. His grandfather fought for the independence of the American colonies.
Our subject received a common school education; at seventeen years of age came to Canada, located at Colborne, and manufactured furniture for several years, till he was burnt out, when he removed to Cobourg. With the exception of two or three years spent at Mishawaka, Ind., he resided here for forty five years, being engaged all this time in the furniture and piano forte business, and was a successful manufacturer and merchant.
While General Grant was President he appointed Mr. Stephens Consul at this port, and that office he held at the time of his demise, July 26, 1875.
He served on the Public School Board here for some years, and took pride in aiding to raise the standard of education; he was also a Justice of the Peace for a long period.
From youth he was connected with the Methodist Church, and was a conscientious, consistent member, always found in his place at the meetings of the Church, and usually serving both as Trustee and Steward. He was a man of kindly feelings and generous disposition.
January 31, 1828, Miss Tryphena Merriman, daughter of Joel Merriman, one of the first settlers in Colborne, was joined in wedlock with Mr. Stephens, who at his death left six children, two others having previously died. Mrs. Stephens died ten months after her husband. The oldest daughter, Annie S., is the wife of Dr. Newton W. Powell, of Cobourg; George Joel, the eldest son, has succeeded his father in business and in the Consulship; Caroline M. is the wife of Allan Bowerman, Principal of the High School at Farmersville, Ontario. Roe is married and is a music publisher and dealer at Detroit, Mich., and Harriett B. and Harry H. are single.