Robert Bruce STEPHENSON & Laura Effie JENKS

Robert Bruce STEPHENSON was the eldest child of Elizabeth HOPKIRK and Robert STEPHENSON, JR.
Robert(8) Bruce STEPHENSON was born on 19 Dec 1857 in Lockridge, Iowa.  He married Laura Effie JENKS on 24 Aug 1886.  He died on 18 Sep 1934 in Jefferson County, Iowa.

Please see page 46 of THE HISTORY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY IOWA, Volumne II, published in 1912 by The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company of Chicago, for a biography of Robert Bruce STEPHENSON, MD.

Laura Effie JENKS has two very famous ancestors, Roger Williams, the founder of the State of Rhode Island and Joseph Jenks, the creator of many inventions.. Please go to the bottom of the page to see the details.

Robert Bruce STEPHENSON and Laura Effie JENKS had the following children:

    Laurence(9) Bruce STEPHENSON, born 24 Nov 1888.  

    Edwin(9) Jenks STEPHENSON, born 22 Mar 1891. Edwin married Mary Pearl "Pearl" Martin. They had a daughter named Mary Elizabeth and Mary E. married a Mr. Stilson

From the 1885 census, Robert is living at home with his parents at 1st West Street and his father is listed as a carpenter and Robert is already a physician.His younger siblings, J. Ralph, John W., and Flora B. are also in the household. It appears Elizavbeth Hopkirk Stephenson's sister Mary U. Hopkirk BROWN and her daughter Mary Jane BROWN are either living next door or in the same household..

From the 1900 census we find this family living in Liberty Township, Libertyville Village, Jefferson County, Iowa. Robert is a physician, born in december 1857, Robert was born in Iowa, his father in England and his mother  in New York. Laura was born in Iowa, in April 1865. Her father was born in Indiana and hwer mother in Iowa. Laurence was born in November 1888 and Edwin was born in April 1891. The census date was June 19, 1900.

From a 1915 Iowa census card, Robert is listed as a physician, married, attended 10 years of common school, 2 years of grammer school and 4 years of college. He lives in Jefferson County, Libertyville, Liberty Township he earned $1,200 in 1914 and his residence is worth $3,000.He is a Presbyterian.

From the 1920 census Robert and Laura are still in Libertyville Township, but the children are all gone.

From the 1930 census Robert and Laura are living on Agency Road, Libertyville Township. The house is now worth $4,000 and they own a radio. Robert is still a physician.

Laura Effie Jenks STEPHENSON passed away on 30 March 1934 in Jefferson County, Iowa.

Robert Bruce STEPHENSON passed away a few months later on 18 September 1934, also in Jefferson County.

If you follow Laura Effie JENKS ancestry you will find the following:

Laura Effie Jenks (1864-1934) born Jefferson Co, IA
daughter of
Samuel Jenks (1829-1894) born Franklin Co, IN
son of
Stephen Jenks (1788-1860) born Providence, RI
son of
Stephen Jenks (1759-1819) born Providence, RI
Ann Sayles (1761-aft1830) born Berkshire Co, MA
daughter of
Gideon Sayles (1732-1830) born Providence, RI
son of
Richard Sayles (1695-1775) born Providence, RI
son of
John Sayles (1654-1727) born Providence, RI
son of
Mary Williams (1633-1681) born Salem, MA
daughter of
Roger Williams (1603-1683) born London, England
and founded colony of Rhode Island

Stephen Jenks (1759-1819) born Providence, RI
son of
Jesse Jenks (1735-1827) born Dartmouth, MA
son of
John Jenks (1710-1776) born Providence, RI
son of
William Jenks (1674-1765) born Providence, RI
son of
Joseph Jenks (1628-1717) born London England
son of
Joseph Jenks (1599-1683) born London, England

Inventions of Joseph Jenks --
The first colonial ironworks of any importance was at Lynn, Mass. In 1642. Joseph Jenks was one of the chief iron makers and was also constantly in hot water because of his sturdy independence and outspoken opinions. He was arrested and plagued until he fled to Rhode Island where Roger Williams had established a more tolerant form of faith than that of the Lynn Puritans.

 In 1648, he took out the first patent of which we have any record. His invention was a water powered device for saving time and labor. "For speedy dispatch of much work with few hands" he said. It was he who made the first American sawmill, the first fire engine, the first wire, and the dies for the famous Pine Tree money, the earliest coinage minted in the colonies.

 One of his achievements alone entitle him to fame, the invention of the Scythe. Before his day all the grain in the world was cut by the little hand sickle. No ironworker or farmer had thought of any quicker way. Why not make the blade straight and twice as long and swing it with a two handed handle? This was the question asked and answered by Joseph Jenks, simple enough perhaps, but since the first blade of wheat was grown no one had suggested such an idea before.

Our thanks goes to Patricia Brown for supplying us with this great information about Laura Effie JENKS ancestors.

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This page was last updated on 9 May 2013