STEPHEN DEXTER REDFIELD is a native of Claremont, Sullivan Co., N. H., born Oct. 11, 1806. He was named in honor of Stephen Dexter, his grandfather on his mother's side, and a Revolutionary soldier. His father was Warriner Redfield, born July 1, 1785, and who in 1804 married Ruth Dexter, born Feb. 4, 1787, a daughter of Capt. Stephen Dexter. They were the parents of fourteen children, who are scattered from Maine to California — Heman, born Jan. 9, 1805; Stephen D.; Wyllys, born Jan. 16, 1808; William, Aug. 5, 1810; Sarah G., June 11, 1814; Lucia Ann, April 13, 1816; George S., born Jan. 21, 1818, died Nov. 16, 1838; Warren F., born Nov. 17, 1819; Sabrina T., Oct. 14, 1821; Harriet E., Sept. 8, 1823; Lovina E., July 13, 1825; Timothy G., Oct. 18, 1827; David D., born July 8, 1829, died July 12, 1829; Elizabeth P., born July 4, 1830. The father of Stephen was a boot-and-shoe manufacturer, which occupation he followed for many years. He was an old-line Whig and a man well posted in the affairs of his country. Stephen's mother died Oct. 18, 1840, and his father some years later.
Stephen received a common-school education in his native town, attending school two and a half miles from his father's residence. When quite young he learned the trade of a boot-and-shoe maker, and at the age of eighteen years went to Albany, N. Y., where he worked at his trade for some time. He then went to Cazenovia, N. Y., where he became acquainted with Miss Rosannah Clark, whom he married April 3, 1834. She was a daughter of Othniel and Marion (Walker) Clark, from Connecticut, but then residing in Cazenovia. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Redfield were born three children — Wilbur Fisk, who died in 1840; Sarah M., wife of H. H. McElroy, of Vinton; Rosa C., wife of J. B. Dague, of Osceola, Clark Co., Iowa. While in Cazenovia Mr. Redfield was engaged in various occupations. In May, 1856, with his family, he came to Vinton, where he remained until 1860, when he went to Colorado. The war breaking out, he returned to Vinton, and, Sept. 1, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Co. A., 37th Iowa Vol. Inf., known as the Gray beard Regiment. The first rendezvous was at Muscatine, Iowa, from which place it was sent to Scofield Barracks, and subsequently to Benton Barracks. While in Muscatine he was made Orderly Sergeant of his company, and subsequently was promoted to Second Lieutenant, his commission bearing date May 4, 1863; the regiment was used for guard duty. While in the service Lieut. Redfield had charge of the camp a great portion of the time. He was mustered out May 26, 1865, having served for nearly three years. He went into the service at the age of fifty-six years, for the reason that he believed it to be his duty, although far beyond the age required for service. In politics Lieut. Redfield was originally a Democrat, and is the only survivor who voted for Andrew Jackson for President, casting his first vote for that candidate in 1828. In 1856 he voted for Gen. Fremont, but at present is an advocate of the Greenback party. Since the death of Josiah Quincy, of Boston, Lieut. Redfield is probably the only man now living who took part in the reception to Gen. LaFayette as he passed through the United States in 1824. For many years Mr. Redfield was a respected member of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Cazenovia, and is probably the only member now surviving of the first class organized in 1825. He united with the church in 1823, and has been connected with it by membership for sixty-three years. He was Class-Leader in the Cazenovia church at the time Bishop Andrews attended school there, the father and mother of Mr. Andrews being members of his class. On leaving Cazenovia the ministers of the various evangelical churches of that city, together with many of the prominent business and professional men of the place, gave him a very flattering testimonial of their respect and confidence, recommending him to the confidence of any community in which he might choose to live. In an early day he was quite a musician, and for many years was a teacher of music.
Lieut. Redfield was Mayor of Vinton in 1880-81. While in the discharge of the duties of that office, the city hall and engine-house were erected, and an engine purchased, together with 750 feet of hose. The engine was named in his honor, the plate upon it bearing his name. In 1885 he served as one of the Petit Jurors of the Supreme Court at Dubuque. He is a charter member of the P. M. Coder Post, G. A. R., of Vinton, and for two years was Chaplain of the Post, and helped initiate over 200 members.We are happy to present the portrait of Lieut. Redfield in connection with this sketch, which will be welcomed and highly appreciated by a large number of friends.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 287-288.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 10th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.