The only old Paris newspaper that I was aware of was The Bourbon News – have used it many times to find obituaries to go with gravestone photos I have taken. The on-line records are from 1895, and, of course, would not have an obituary from 1885. The following obituary was taken from The Kentuckian-Citizen, which was Bourbon County’s older and more widely known newspaper! I suppose it’s much like tiny Springfield, Kentucky, having two newspapers in the early years – The Springfield Sun and The News-Leader! Hurray for small towns and their multiple papers!
You can read more about Joseph Stephens, Sr., in an earlier blog – Stephens Family Buried at Paris Cemetery.
from The Kentuckian-Citizen, Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky
Death of Joseph Stephens, Sr.
Uncle Joe Stephens is no more! He died at his residence in Paris on Wednesday night last, at 2 o’clock. Although he had been confined to the house for some time, he had kept his bed only a few days before his departure. He died at the good old age of 87 years. He came here from near Huddles Mills, in 1810, and learned silversmithing. After the death of his employer (Mr. Phillips) he succeeded him in business, on the square. In 1835 he went into the dry goods business with George Ballard, from Maryland. After this he was engaged in various ways for some years, until he, and his son, Charles Stephens, went into the grocery business, in which he continued for the rest of his life, being able to attend to business up to quite a recent date.
“Uncle Joe”, as nearly everyone called him, was universally respected and loved. He was one of the sincerest and most unpretentious men that ever lived. In Paris, where he lived for three quarters of a century, he was regarded a model of uprightness and Christian integrity. For more than 60 years he was a faithful member of the Baptist Church, over 50 years holding the office of deacon, in which he was blameless. He was also treasurer of the church for a number of years.
Mr. Stephens is now, perhaps, more of the history of Paris than any other man, and was often sought for information on this subject. He has gone from our midst and will be greatly missed by the entire community. His wife preceded him to the tomb ten or twelve years ago. His surviving children are Joseph Stephens, of Marietta, Ohio; Mrs. Clark, of Louisville, Charles Stephens, Miss Josie Stephens and Mrs. Varden, of Paris.
The funeral, conducted by the pastor, Rev. J. A. French, occurred at the Baptist Church yesterday, at 3 o’clock. There was a large concourse of sympathizing friends present in spite of the bad weather.