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Adam Stephens Middle School
 
Adam Stephens Middle School, dedicated on October 12, 1995, is named for Adam Stephens, a venerable man of many talents and strong moral character whose descendants still live and farm in this area. Stephens had a rather large family with eight children: five girls and three boys. He, his family, and several other families left Missouri in the spring of 1849. Stephens was the wagon train leader.
The wagon train arrived in Salem in October of 1849. They camped near the present site of Grant Elementary School in North Salem. There were just three painted houses and one store in Salem at that time, so Stephens opened a second store, selling general merchandise. He was also a skilled carpenter and a cabinet maker. He built his first house at the corner of Chemeketa and Church Street. Stephens purchased 585 acres near Claxter for a gun, a pony, and $30.00.

In 1878, he built a home and a sawmill near the current Claxter Rd. interchange. One of the many public service positions he held was that of Justice of the Peace for Polk and Marion counties. Adam Stephens was a man of great faith as well, serving in many capacities of church leadership. He donated part of his land claim so that a Baptist Church could be built on the Claxter site in 1890.

Education was very important to Stephens. In 1882 he donated the land and the lumber so the original school could be built. He was the first clerk at the school. He also wrote and taught music. Stephens was so widely respected that the Hayesville community was very nearly named Stephensville. We are proud to bear the name of a man who embodied true pioneer spirit.

Compiled by Paul Stratman, a sixth grade teacher at Adam Stephens Middle School.

 

 
Adam Stephens Middle School
Adam Stehpens Middle School
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Pioneer Adam Stephens

Pioneer Adam Stephens
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