THE STEPHENSON YEARS
Annie Winifred (Lord) Stephenson, who inherited Patten’s home and property, and her husband William were both born in England in 1860. They married in December 1888 in San Francisco and seem to have moved to San Anselmo soon after. William Stephenson was a master mariner and for a time served as quartermaster on the Pacific Mail Steamship Company’s steamer, the City of Peking. After his retirement from the sea, he worked as a drayman in San Anselmo using a rig he called the “Bark Lucy.”
In 1912, William Stephenson was an unsuccessful candidate for town trustee. He made a poor showing, garnering only 32 of the 422 votes cast. He ran unsuccessfully again in 1916 in a campaign to lower taxes in town. He was finally elected to the board in 1918 and served a four year term. During the campaign he expressed his view that the town should never have accepted the gift of the library from Andrew Carnegie and should not be compelled to spend more than the minimum $1,000 per year required by the grant. If elected, Stephenson promised to endeavor to allocate part of the library fund to road repairs. Known to have an “excitable disposition,” Stephenson survived a recall election in 1921 over road repair assessments. He ran for the board of trustees one more time in 1922 and lost that bid.
Annie and William Stephenson sold a lot on the east side of their property bordering Forbes Avenue in 1922 to Charles Johnson, who constructed a dwelling there in 1925. It was later the site of Redhill Market, a fruit and vegetable store, and then where Ludwig Schwalbe opened his Redhill Liquors in 1940.
William Stephenson died February 5, 1924 and Annie just a few months later on April 27th. They are both buried in unmarked graves at Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery.
The San Anselmo property was sold to Mae Elsie Jordan, wife of John A. Jordan, in June 1924 for $9,000, and the story continues with the Jordan Years.