The Stephens Memorial Reading Room
Dedicated to Grace Hine Stephens
June 25, 1893 – February 6, 1994
Daphne Dunbar Stephens
December 11, 1924 – April 5, 2006
Grace Hine Stephens
Grace Hine was born on June 25, 1893, on the Hine farm that bordered Tonetta Lake in north Brewster. She was the daughter of Alice Howes and Willis Foster Hine and granddaughter of Jennie Jee and Egbert Howes and Josephine Foster and George Hine, all of Brewster, New York. Her only sibling was a brother, George, two years her senior, who married Gertrude Brewer.
Grace attended the Brewster School, being driven there in a horse and buggy by her father and she graduated in a class of eight in 1911. She studied voice with Miss Clara Gardner of Brewster until her marriage on August 25, 1914, to D. Mallory Stephens of Patterson, New York, her high school sweetheart. The Stephens subsequently moved to the Stephens family farm.
After receiving her New York State Teachers Certificate, she taught school for two years. At that time all grades from first through eighth were located in the one-room school house located on the family farm.
In 1927 Grace and Mallory and their two children, Alice and Willis, moved to their new Garden Street home in Brewster. In 1929 another son, Mallory, was born in Danbury Hospital. Grace was a loving and involved mother to her three children and their families.
Grace was active in various local organizations being a member of the Southeast Preservation Society, the Red Cross, The Eastern Star, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Patterson Presbyterian Church. She was a member of the Mayflower Society through her ancestor Stephen Hopkins who came to the new world on the ship of the same name in 1620. For many years she enjoyed singing with the Cecilian Society and was often invited to be a soloist in churches and various other venues.
Her great love was for her husband, Mallory, giving him constant support in all his endeavors, most notably the twenty seven years he represented Putnam County in the New York State Assembly. Mallory died on January 11, 1961.
Grace continued to live in her home at 15 Garden Street until her death on February 6, 1994, having reached the age of one hundred. She is buried next to her husband in the Maple Avenue Cemetery adjoining the Presbyterian Church in Patterson, New York.
Daphne Dunbar Stephens
Daphne Dunbar was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on December 11, 1924, the only child of Bruce and Arlene Dunbar. She spent part of her youth with her grandmother and grandfather Gardner.
She graduated from Wellesley High School in 1942 and from Westbrook Junior College in Portland, Maine, in 1944. In the 1970’s Daphne enrolled at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury and graduated in May of 1981 with a B.A. in political science.
It was while working in public relations and as a fashion model that she met Willis H. Stephens of Brewster. Daphne and Willis were married on November 24, 1951, and lived on Turk Hill for four years. Subsequently they purchased Indian Well Farm on Gage Road in Milltown. There she and her husband raised four boys: Daniel Mallory II, Willis H., Jr., Gardner and Jonathan. The farm property was sold and Daphne and Willis moved into their new home on Joe’s Hill in 1989.
Having married into a political family, Daphne gave support to her husband Willis when he succeeded his father, D. Mallory Stephens, in the New York State Assembly representing Putnam County. The assembly career of D. Mallory Stephens spanned twenty seven years (1926-1952) while Willis served for thirty years (1953-1982) as assemblyman. After 1965 the assembly district was enlarged to include parts of neighboring counties.
In 1994 Daphne and Willis’s son, Willis H. Stephens, Jr., won election to the New York State Assembly continuing the tradition of public service in New York State to the third consecutive generation.
Daphne made many friends in her new "hometown" and joined a variety of organizations including the Brewster Garden Club, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Mayflower Society. She volunteered at what is now Putnam Hospital Center.
Daphne passed away on April 5, 2006.