A HISTORY OF THE CENTENNIAL GROUP, comprising the Gregory, Johnson, Vance, and Steen Families, 1937. Source document at the Daviess Co. Museum.


THIS BROCHURE is presented under the sponsorship of the Centennial Anniversary Committee appointed a year ago to arrange for a special observance of the coming to Daviess County, Indiana, of the Gregory, Steen, Vance, and Johnson families from Union South Carolina, in the year 1837, just one hundred years ago.

 This observance is held in connection with the Steen-Arthur Reunion, which for many years has been celebrated as an annual event, bringing together also many old-time neighbors and friends in a happy home-coming.  We therefore extend to one and all a most hearty welcome on this momentous


Comprising the Gregory, Johnson, Vance, and Steen Families

 In the year 1837 there lived in Union District, South Carolina a man who was known as Colonel Gregory.  He was a man of high standing in the community, and of unquestioned character.  He was the owner of a large plantation, and being a planter depended on slave labor as was the custom in that section.  He owned a colony of slaves, and naturally was a stanch defender of Slavery as an
institution.  His children were now grown up, married, and rearing families of their own.  And having inherited some of the traits of their forebear, began to feel the urge of independence.  There was no more land to be had in Carolina, and for some time there had loomed up before them on the distant
horizon, the flattering prospect of the great and growing North-West Territory.  Fabulous stories had come to them concerning this new land of opportunity: the fertility of the soil, its wonderous productiveness, and the offer of this choice Government land almost for the asking.

 Their interest was directed especially to the new State of Indiana which had been admitted as a Free State where slavery could never exist.  This feature especially appealed to them, though Col. Gregory's children had grown up under the influence of slavery conditions.  It was this desire that impelled them
to seek homes for themselves and their families in Indiana.  And after a period of preparation, they set out overland with all their belongings destined for Old Post Vincennes, Capitol of the North-West Territory, and seat of the Government Land Office.  The caravan arrived after weeks of painful travel,
and their choice led them finally to settle in southern Daviess County, where they established their homes, and reared their families.  Here they became a part of the community wherein their lot was cast by the hand of Providence as we believe.

 This is now the year 1937, and the cycle of one hundred years has passed. All these have gone to their reward, and another generation has come.  Yes, other generations, even to the sixth.  We celebrate in their honor this Centennial Event.

 It has been thought a brief historical sketch of the four families who made up this honored company might be a fitting tribute to their sacrificial service in the upbuilding of this section of the country.

Born in Union District, Couth Carolina, April 15, 1805
Died near Washington, Indiana, December 5, 1878.


ANCIENT STEEN FAMILY CREST, or coat-of-arms which was in use before A. D. 1650.

 We are told it represents the fabled Phoenix bird rising from its own ashes, with extended wings, ready to fly away - an emblem of faith in God and hope of immortality.  Literally translated it means, "To-day I Arise."

IV.  JOHN CAMPBELL STEEN married Phebe Gregory.  In a printed volume entitled "The Steen Family", by Rev. Moses D. A. Steen, D. D., 1900, revised edition 1917, their history is admirable portrayed.  John C. Steen settled on a farm in what is now the Union neighborhood, though it was his happy lot to
assist in the organization of the Church after he located there.  The Union name doubtless came with these emigrants from Union S. C.  He was for many years a Presbyterian elder, and Sunday school superintendent, a devoted member and loved and respected by every one.  He served the public as township trustee, and justice of the peace.  He took up a Government land claim and to it added
several tracts of valuable land.  He was a successful farmer; raised stock; and planted orchards whose fruit was enjoyed by future generations.  His home was always open, and "The latch string always out".  His children were reared in a home where family devotions were held; grace was said at meals; and the Bible had the place of honor in the house.  Not only was his house the "Preacher's home", but also the stranger and sojourner in the land had always a welcome there.

He donated the land on which the Union Church stands, and the grounds surrounding, and the cemetery where now he has a resting place, with loved ones all around him.

He was a most useful man in the neighborhood, a faithful servant of the Church, a loving husband and a father in the home, and an "Example of the Believers" at home and abroad.  Though for
fifty-nine years he has slumbered in the quiet little church-yard, his spirit still hovers like a benediction over the community and church, and his memory abides.

 John C. Steen's children by Phebe Gregory were:

1. George C., died in infancy.

2. Isaac Jefferson Steen who married Sarah Jane Scholtz.  Their children

a. John Franklin Steen who married Mary Catherine Lock who bore him: Asbury
Jefferson Steen.  He married Maria Christina Malonsa in the Phillippine
Islands where he remained after the War with Spain until his death.  His
children were: Leopolda Franklin, Ampari Catherine, and Catalina Asbury
Amita Zeno Steen married Albert V. McCafferty and bore him: Lillian Irene,
Donald Elsworth, and Wella Christine McCafferty.  They lived in Washington;
Ellis Morton Steen married Dennie Beulah Dale.  He is a Presbyterian
and through many years has served a number of important churches, mostly in
Nebraska.  He attended Franklin College.  His children are: Lois Mildred
married Reuben Bergstrom and sings with him in the radio broadcast; Eunice
Corine who married Forest Lamont and both are prominent in musical circles;
James Dale Steen; Robert Franklin Steen who married and has one daughter;
Dorothy Reed Steen who also married and has one daughter; and Ellis Steen
a student in Purdue University.  John Elsworth Steen married Stella Shaw
bore him two children: John Francis Steen who married, and Mary who married
Ernest Ray;  Robert Oglesby Steen died in young manhood; Mary Etta Steen
married Emmett Hess and bore him several children: Wylie Hess who by his
Margarette had Wayne Hess and afterwards had a second wife named Mary;
Catherine Hess married Al Hartman and had Ronald Hartman and afterwards
married Harry Smith by him she had Harry Smith Jr., Edwin Hess by his wife
Marie had one daughter, Elma Hess who married James Monroe and bore him
Jr. and afterwards marred Andrew Hearn; Nellie Glenn Steen died young;
Arvilla Steen married Vesta Crim who bore him Veva, Orion Jr. and Vesta
Edison M. Steen married Ann Schureman with whom he had John William, and
Stella Mae Steen.  These two families live in Springfield, Illinois.

b. James Richard Steen married Malinda Gregory.  He was a framer as was
his elder brother John.  His children were: Isaac, who married Isabell
Carnahan who died, and he later married Sophia McQuary.  He died in 1936;
Laura Steen married Oak Davis and had William, Arthur, Bessie Clifford,
Lucille, Ella, Zed, and Frank Davis; George Steen married Lillie Whitehead
had three children: Dora who married Clyde Burks, Phileuria who married a
Naylor, and Cecil also married; Frank Steen married Emma Sanders who bore
Daina, Catherine, Ruth, Ruby, Norma, and James Steen; Harley Steen married
Esther Moore.

c. Thomas M. Steen died unmarried.

d. Mary Ann Steen died unmarried.

e. Lucy Angeline Steen married John C. Horrall and bore him: Nora who
Jas. M. Stafford a Presbyterian minister, and bore him: Alva Stafford a
Presbyterian minister with pastorate at Burbonville, Kentucky; Harley who
married and reared a family; Ralph, who married Anna Vance; Sadie, who
Luther Allison; Estie who married; Lucile who married Frank Evans, had one
Gene and recently deceased.  Others are Glenn, Eva, Edna, and Lena
The Stafford home is in Veal Township.  Zella Horrall married John Alford
bore him Eula, Lucy, Ruby, Esther, Gladys, and Bernard Alford; Sadie
married Claud Bartlow and had John Elden Bartlow, and later married Charles
Miley by whom she had Arthur, Genevieve, and Stella Miley; Warner Horrall
married Ofa Benjamin and reared Alva, Mary, Jonnie, Earl, and Lucile
Charles Horrall married Mary Willey and hadALta, who married Foster
and had Kenneth and Leland; Hazel, who married John O. Smith, and Inez, who
married Lowell White and had Mary Ann; Oral Horrall married Esther Smith
had Edith, Ira and Alva Horall, and later married Irne Woods; and Ollie

f. Tabitha Ellen Steen married James Padgett a farmer in Daviess County.

g. William Warner Steen who married Luella Jones of Sugarland and had:
who married Effie Cutshaw who bore him twin children one of whom is dead;
Forest who married and lived in Montana; Alva who married Clara Gray and
in Petersburg; Lawrence, also married; Charles who married and lives
Verna married Virgil Tague and has two children; Grace married Cash McDade
has three children; Ira married a Miss Tague and has one child; Mary
married a
Mr. Myers and has one child; Clyde is married and lives on the home place.
Walter, and both parents are dead.

h. Charles Elsworth Steen went away several years ago and is dead.

i. Emma Glenn Steen married Andrew Padgett who is also a farmer.

3. Martha Jane Steen oldest daughter of John C. Steen married Richard M.
a farmer and blacksmith who lived a mile north of Glendale and bore him:
Elizabeth Clark who married James W. Mattingly and had John R. and Henry B.
Mattingly.  They lived in Washington.  Ritter Clark died early in life;
Ellen Clark married Marion McCord whom she survives.

4. Benjamin Watis Steen married Martha Rozilla Colbert of Hudsonville.  He
a farmer many years, served as Township Trustee, and held other positions
trust.  Later in life he moved with his family to Washington from Harrison

a. Oliver Nyron Steen married Emma Bartl who who bore him Emma Bartl Steen;
after her death he married Elizabeth Traylor who bore him Leona Steen she
in girlhood; after the death of Elizabeth he married Maud Emily Yaeger and
Rozilla and Byron Steen; he later married a fourth time.

b. Luella Steen married Spencer Asbury Ward who has been for a number of
a successful dealer in poultry, produce, in Washington.  Their children
Ernest who married Lillian Cross who bore him Rosemary, and one son; John
Watis who married Martha Lett; and Oliver Elisha Ward unmarried and living

5. Sarah Elizabeth Steen married Capt. John W. Clark and had one son
Watis Clark who married Myra Stafford Jones and preceded her in death.
Clark served in the Civil War, was a farmer and artisan, and lived west of

6. Lettie Ellen Steen married James R. Arthur.  Their record will be found
the "Arthur History".

7. Richard G. Steen died in infancy.


The Old Steen Homestead
Was probably erected during the years 1838, or 1839, and
remains standing today.

After the death of Phebe Gregory Steen, John C. Steen was married a second
time, to Angeline Barbara Veale Hollingsworth, widow of James
who had born him two sons: John, who died at the age of seventeen years;
Andrew who married Zilpha Taylor and had with her four children, Tura,
and two others who died in infancy.

There were born to John C. Steen's second marriage eight children as

1. Phebe Ann Steen who died when a year old.

2. Nancy Naomi Steen who married John C. Horrall.  See record in Horrall

3. Eliza Ann Steen married Wm. P. Lounsdale a farmer and mechanic and early
moved to Missouri.  Their children were Ella, John Ray, Perry Thomas,
Ellis, Frank Philip, Edgar, Oscar Elsworth, Henry Arthur, and Sarah

4. James Thomas Steen died young.

5. Lucinda F. Steen whose daughter Edith married Paul Cragan and bore him
following children: Paul, a teacher at Ruffin, N.C.; Margaret a teacher at
Elkins, N.C.; Catherine, Secretary of Insurance Commission of North
and Thomas Cragan a student at home, Merryville, Tenn.

6. Melissa M. Steen married John Ezra Ricks a farmer and moved to Missouri,
where they reared a family as follows: Phebe Gertrude, Henry Hooker, Thomas
Otto, Millie Agnes, Claude Earl, and Ora Redman Ricks.

7. William Sherman Steen died at the age of twenty-six years unmarried.  He
was an artisan and sustained an injury while at work, from which he later

8. Henry Wylie Steen attended college at Mitchell, and Franklin, Indiana,
studied theology at Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tenn.  He early entered
the Presbyterian Ministry, and has served continuously in the active
for nearly half a century.  He is at present pastor of the Presbyterian
at Dayton, Indiana, and is a member of Crawfordsville Presbytery.  He bears
the title Doctor of Divinity.  He married Lora May Benzel of Ellettsville,
Ind., to them were born:

a. Wylie Frederick Steen who married Virginia Harriman and to hem was born
William Wylie Steen.  Wylie F. is a Presbyterian minister with pastorate at
Carrolton, Mo.  He is a graduate of Missouri Valley College and of
Seminary, Chicago.

b. Edwin Benzel Steen married Harriet Lewis, who bore him Margery Alice,
Philip Steen.  He is a graduate of Wabash College, Crawfordsville, and has
Master's degree from Columbia University.  He is a teacher at Purdue
University, Lafayette, Indiana.

c. Forest Arthur Steen is a graduate of Wabash College, has traveled widely
with various musical organizations, is assistant manager, C. G. Conn Music
House, Lansing, Michigan, and is unmarried.


Reading left to right, standing: Rev. Wylie F. Steen, and his father, Rev.
Henry Wylie Steen, only living child of John C. Steen.
Seated: Rev. Ellis M. Steen, son of John F. Steen, grandson of Isaac J.
and great-grandson of John C. Seen, and Rev. Elijah A. Arthur, son of
E. Steen Arthur, and grandson of John C. Steen.

 These four Ministers of the Gospel are a living tribute to John Campbell
Steen, and Union Church, which he was so instrumental in establishing.


Without his knowledge or consent, the families interested in these historical sketches wish to extend their heart-felt thanks to the Rev. Elijah A. Arthur of Crawfordsville, Indiana, for almost entirely to him are they indebted for all the facts contained therein. He devoted largely both of his time and means to the end that such might be put in this form so they could easily be preserved for future generations.  The families take this method of expressing to him, in a small way, the gratitude due him for this work
of love.
 Keyboarded by: Lauren McNiece
Submitted by: Joe Wallace     mcwallis@pullman.com
Date: 20-Sept-1998