EUGENE A. STEGNER
History of Idaho, Volume 2, by Hiram T. French, M.S.
The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago and New York 1914, Page 751
The first postmaster and the pioneer merchant of Fruitland, Idaho, and one of the most successful of its business men as well, is a Hoosier by nativity, but from early childhood was reared in the central West and grew up imbued with the western spirit of aggressiveness that grapples determinedly with fortune. This both by character and training he is well qualified to become a leader in the development of a new community.
He was born at Sunman, Indiana, January 21, 1868, to Robert D. Stegner and Mary Anderson Stegner, both natives of Indiana and new residing near Fruitland, Idaho, where they took up their home in the spring of 1901. They removed from their Indiana home to Minnesota in 1871, a few days before the great Chicago fire in October of that year, and there the elder Mr. Stegner very successfully followed farming and stock raising for about thirty years.
Eugene A., the only surviving child of four that came to these parents, grew up a farmer boy and attended school to the age of sixteen. On attaining his majority he purchased a farm of 160 acres and rented another of like size, going in debt about $800 on his purchase, and then set out determinedly to win success. He continued there successfully eleven years and then sold his farm interests, removing from thence to Fruitland,
Idaho, where he purchased a farm of sixty acres near Fruitland from T. R. Hubbard. After five years spent here in successful agricultural activity he then disposed of his farm and established his present mercantile business at Fruitland, where he was the first to engage in mercantile lines and built the first building place on the town site. Besides the full stock of groceries, hardware, sporting goods, etc., which he carries he owns his store building, a comfortable home and other town realty in Fruitland. From the beginning his business proved a prosperous venture and his annual business is now approximately $20,000. He is also serving as the first postmaster of the village, to which office he was appointed in March, 1911. In political views he is a Democrat but he does not actively participate in party work. He is a member of the Fruitland Commercial Club, and fraternally is identified with the Royal Highlanders, in which order he has served as illustrious protector in the Fruitland lodge. This section of Idaho has no stauncher admirer than Mr. Stegner and he backs that admiration with the most cordial support of all measures that have its development for their aim.
In Big Stone county, Minnesota, at the home of his bride, he was joined in marriage in December, 1898, to Miss Jene C. Newell, daughter of Erastus Newell, and to their union have been born three children, named: Myrtle, Carl and Opal. Mr. and Mrs. Stegner are members of the Methodist Espicopal church.