"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

William F. Stephenson

William F. Stephenson was reared upon the home farm in Bedford county, Tennessee, and attended the public schools of the locality, later becoming a student at the Winchester Normal School of this state. When twenty-one years of age he completed his studies and then returned home to assist his father in the operation of the farm. Desiring to enter business life, he went to Nashville, Tennessee, in 1888 and secured a clerical position in a retail hardware store, where he was employed for two years. He next became order clerk for a wholesale hardware house, now belonging to the Gray & Dudley Company of Nashville, and remained with them for fifteen years, being steadily advanced as he demonstrated his worth and ability. In 1903 he was sent by the firm to Birmingham, Alabama, as manager of their branch store and while in that city he was made third vice president of the company. In 1906 he tendered his resignation and joined the Belknap Hardware & Manufacturing Company of Louisville, Kentucky, as sales manager, but severed his connection with that concern at the end of a year, arriving in Memphis in 1907. He became vice president and one of the directors of the Barnes & Miller Hardware Company, which in 1913 was merged with the Benedict-Warren Hardware Company, of this city, and the business is now conducted under the style of the Stratton-Warren Hardware Company, of which he has served as vice president since the reorganization. The business has rapidly developed and this is now the largest wholesale hardware concern in Memphis and one of the largest in the south. Mr. Stephenson has devoted his entire life to the business and in the control of his interests he displays notable sagacity and strong executive power.

On the 9th of May, 1893, Mr. Stephenson was united in marriage to Miss Irene Scales Williams, of Nashville, Tennessee, and they have become the parents of two daughters, both of whom have received liberal educational advantages. The older daughter, Jessie Elizabeth, married Sterling B. Seifert, formerly of Memphis but now a resident of Nashville, and Louise Catherine is at home. In 1921 Mr. Stephenson organized the Memphis Exchange Club and served as its first president, recently retiring from the office. He is a valued member of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce, and his religious faith is indicated by his affiliation with the Methodist church. In thoroughness and the mastery of every detail of the duties that have devolved upon him lies the secret of the success which has brought Mr. Stephenson to a position of leadership in business circles of Memphis, and his record is proof of the fact that merit and ability will always come to the front.

Tennessee - The Volunteer State Vol. 2

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