Stephen P. Mead
By Douglas H. Shepard, 2012
Stephen Purdy Mead was born to Amos T. and Anna (Purdy) Mead on 26 September 1819. It is not clear when the Amos Mead family came to Chautauqua County. A younger brother, A. Thompson Mead, was a printer for The Fredonia Censor in the 1850s and resided in Portland for many years. There is an Amos Mead in Tioga County in 1835 who had been a private in a New Hampshire regiment during the Revolutionary War. He died in Owego, Tioga County in July 1845 and is buried in their Evergreen Cemetery. His son was probably Amos Thompson Mead born in 1792 who, in 1850, was living in Perrysburg and when he died in 1865, was buried in Versailles.
Amos T. Mead’s eldest son, Stephen Purdy Mead, (“Esq.” as the newspaper referred to him) married Susan, daughter of Leverett and Desire Barker. She was born on 3 March 1824, so she was born and raised in the home that became the D. R. Barker Library and then the Barker Historical Museum. Stephen P. Mead was listed as a local supporter of Henry Clay for President in the Censor of 13 March 1844. However, by 1850 he and his young family were living in Perrysburg. In 1860 they were in La Porte, Indiana, where he was a deputy sheriff. By the 1870s they had moved again, and he was a nurseryman in San Francisco, and then a farmer in Mendocino CA by 1880. He died there in April 1885.