Wood Sisters

Alice Juanita Stephenson

Juanita Stephenson about 3 years old

Alice Juanita Stephenson about 3 years old, ca 1896

Alice Juanita Stephenson was born January 17, 1893 in Sparta, Randolph County, Illinois to Alonzo Judson Stephenson and Katherine McCaughan (who was born in Ireland) and was the only child by Alonzo and Katherine. Juanita was baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Sparta. Katherine, or Kate as she was called, died on August 22, 1894 when Juanita was just a year and a half old. I have not found the cause or reason for Kate’s death. Alonzo remarried about 4 years later to Lulubell Miller on June 1, 1898 and they had four children, William John who died 5 days after his birth, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Alonzo Miller (“Bud”).


Juanita about 5 years old, ca 1898 Juanita about 7 years old, ca 1900
                  Juanita about 5 years old, ca 1898
                                                                                                                           Juanita about 7 years old, ca 1900





Juanita is listed in the 1900 federal census in Sparta as part of Alonzo and Lulu’s household, but no listing has been found for Alonzo’s family in 1910. She graduated from Sparta Township High School on May 25, 1910, along with her future husband, Charles Ritts.



1910 Graduating Class
1910 Sparta High School Graduation Class - 50th Reunion May 28, 1960
Juanita 2nd from left in back row. Charles Ritts 3rd from left in front row.


Juanita’s High School Diploma, May 25, 1910
Juanita’s High School Diploma, May 25, 1910


Juanita attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois during the fall of 1914 through the spring of 1915, and then the summer of 1916 in the Agricultural College studying Home Science.




More to come!

Sources

To be defined