STEPHEN ADDINGTON. In Stephen Addington the press of the Sacramento valley had a supporter who not only maintained a high standard of newspaper work, but whose life and character had an uplifting influence in the development of this part of the state. Particularly was he energetic in seeking out and ministering to the best interests of Colusa, of which he was a resident for many years, and where, in partnership with Mr. Green, he built up and controlled the Colusa Sun. In 1887 he sold his interest in the Sun, and though he lived for nine years in San Francisco, he returned repeatedly to Colusa. His death occurred while on a visit to Sacramento, May 4, 1902. The building now occupied by his widow, on the corner of Sixth and Market streets, was built by Addington & Green, and to it Mr. Addington made improvements as his requirements and financial fortunes advanced. He also owned property at the corner of Sixth and Oak streets, where he erected two residences which he still owned at the time of his death.
Mr. Addington was reared in an atmosphere of culture and refinement, and probably never thought of any occupation than the one he engaged in as a means of livelihood. His father, William R. Addington, was a newspaper man and founded the Fishkill Standard, one of the best-known and most influential newspapers of Dutchess county, N.Y. His grandfather was Dr. Stephen Addington, an eminent medical practitioner of New Jersey. William R. Addington was a man of scholarly attainments, a graceful and forceful writer, who produced editorials widely quoted in the contemporaneous press. Stephen Addington was born in New Jersey, but reared in Fishkill-on-the-Hudson, where he gradually worked his way into the office of the Standard. He had a natural aptitude for newspaper work, and in 1854 brought his virile enthusiasm to the west, coming by way of Panama, soon afterward settling in Marysville. He had a genial and agreeable personality, a high regard for the amenities and opportunities of journalism, and soon found himself on the staff of the Marysville Express, of which he subsequently became sole owner. Later he was identified with the San Francisco Bulletin and after severing his connection with that paper came to Colusa and was connected with the Sun for a longer period than with any other paper during his active life. Under his guidance as local editor the Sun became a reliable and successful enterprise, appealing to the judgment of people by its wise and faithful portrayal of existing conditions.
November 24, 1872, Mr. Addington married Elizabeth Hart, a native of Indiana, who was educated at Mrs. Perry’s Academy in Sacramento. Mrs. Addington is a daughter of James Hart, who came to America at an early day, taught school in Indiana and located in California in 1854, crossing the plains with ox-teams. Locating at Nicolaus, Sutter county, he studied law there and later was admitted to the bar. In Nicolaus he served as justice of the peace, and eventually removed to Colusa, where he continued to practice until a short time before his death, at the age of sixty-two years. He was a Republican in politics, a member of the Masonic fraternity, and an Episcopalian in religious belief. Through the first marriage of James Hart one son was born, T. J. Hart, who was an attorney of Colusa, and who was twice county representative in the state assembly. For his second wife Mr. Hart married Sarah Cavins, born in Indiana, and daughter of Samuel R. Cavins, a native of Kentucky, and a colonel in the war of 1812. Mr. Cavins studied law when a young man, practiced it for many years in Indiana and became prominent judge of his time. He died while rendering service to the Union cause in the Civil war, following the example of his father, who carried a musket in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war. The family is of Scotch descent. Two of Judge Cavins’ sons, Elijah and Adin, gained the rank of colonel during the Civil war, and are now attorneys in Indiana. The mother of Mrs. Addington was reared in Indiana, and died in San Francisco while visiting friends, in 1895, at the age of sixty -one years. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is also her sister, the wife of Judge A. L. Rhoades, of San Jose. Besides Elizabeth, who is the second child, she had eleven other children, of whom Nettie is now Mrs. Richard Jones, of San Francisco; A. L., a man of extraordinary mental endowments, who became attorney general of California, and eventually practiced law in Sacramento and San Francisco, rarely losing a case, and attaining to great professional prominence; E. C. Hart, now judge of the superior court of Sacramento; S. Robert, an attorney of Sacramento; Curran, engaged in the printing business in San Francisco; George and James, deceased; and Dr. Adin C., a medical practitioner of Sacramento. Since her husband’s death Mrs. Addington divides her time between Colusa and San Francisco, in both of which cities she has numerous friends, drawn to her by virtue of her many graces of mind and heart and an unfailing sympathy and tact which have made her a social factor wherever her lot has been cast. She was of great assistance to her gifted husband, was his kindest yet severest and most helpful critic, and rejoiced in the noble and influential career which he fashioned in the west. In political affiliation she is a Republican, and in religion is a member and active worker in the Episcopal Church.
The character of Stephen Addington is best understood after reading the following tribute paid to his memory by Judge E. C. Hart, which was sent in a letter to Mrs. Addington, when her heart was heavy with grief over the loss of her husband: “Few people, I think, knew Steve and his heart better than I. God never made a nobler character. His loyalty to his friends was so unusual that it was really phenomenal. If he ever became involved in unpleasant disputations with those whom he liked and loved, he possessed the divine quality of forgiveness to that high degree that he would soon forget the unpleasantness. His integrity was his pride and was known to all who had the honor of his acquaintance. As Davy Crockett once said, speaking of a friend whose characteristics he well knew, ‘Doubtless God could have made a better man than he, but doubtless God never did.’ Our consolation in his passing from us is in the fact that he fought the battles of life honorably and well and was universally beloved by his extensive circle of acquaintances in California. Never heard a man who knew Steve refer to him except in the most affectionate and endearing terms. In the early prime of his life his presence was always like a beautiful sunlight. His heart was warm, his nature gentle and genial and his intelligence broad, substantial and helpful. May the sweet singers of the air ever chant their sweetest melodies to his memory.”
[Inserted by D. Toole.]
1861 Dec 25, Sacramento Daily Union, P2, Sacramento, California
Marysville Express – The proprietorship of this paper has been changed. The new firm consists of W. F. Hicks, Stephen Addington, M. D. Carr, J. F. Linthicum and George W. Bloor. The style of the new firm will be the “Express Printing Company.”
1881 Jul 21, The Record-Union, P4, Sacramento, California
Stephen Addington, one of the proprietors of the Colusa Sun, and his brother, John C. Addington, left last evening on the Atlantic express for the East. New York is their objective point.
1884 Dec 22, The Record-Union, P2, Sacramento, California
Stephen Addington, one of the proprietors of the Colusa Sun, is in the city.
1884 Dec 24, The Record-Union, P3, Sacramento, California
Stephen Addington, of the Colusa Sun, returned home Monday from the Folsom Prison, where he had been to make arrangements with Warden McComb for the furnishing of granite coping for the wall around the Court-house at Colusa.
1893 Apr 4, The Record-Union, P4, Sacramento, California
Mrs. E. C. Hart and Miss Flora Vivian are visiting Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Addington in San Francisco.
1895 Sep 9, The Record-Union, P1, Sacramento, California
Stephen Addington, an old and well-known California journalist, accompanied by his wife, is here to take in the celebration and Carnival, and is the guest of his brother-in-law, Senator E. C. Hart.
1897 Oct 12, The Record-Union, P4, Sacramento, California
Stephen Addington, the Colusa journalist, is visiting Superior Judge Hart.
1898 Jan 15, The Record-Union, P4, Sacramento, California
Passed to the Beyond
Death of James Justin Hart in This City Yesterday
The death of James Justin Hart occurred yesterday morning at the Railroad Hospital, after a painful illness, from the result of a surgical operation which his weakened state would no enable him to sustain, it being the second within a little over a month. He was a well-educated man, and had taken up the profession of civil engineering, but had latterly worked in the shops as a mechanic. He was born at Nicolaus, Sutter County, and was 35 years old. He was a brother of Superior Judge E. C. Hart, General A. L. Hart, Dr. A. C. Hart, S. R. Hart, W. C. Hart, R. R. Hart, Maggie and Lola Hart of this city, Mrs. Richard Jones of San Francisco and Mrs. Stephen Addington of Colusa. The funeral will take place to-morrow at 2 p.m. from the house of his brother, Dr. Hart, at 516 Thirteenth street.
1902 May 5, The Los Angeles Times, P2, Los Angeles, California
Sacramento, May 4 – Stephen Addington, aged 73 years, a veteran journalist, died suddenly this evening of heart disease. Addington was for years a partner with Will S. Green in the Colusa Sun. In pioneer days he was one of the proprietors of the old Marysville Express. The remains will be taken to Colusa for burial.
1918 Jun 20, San Francisco Chronicle, P20, San Francisco, California
25 Years Ago Today
Mrs. S. O. Hart, mother of former Attorney-General A. L. Hart, Senator E. J. Hart of Sacramento and Mrs. Stephen Addington, died at her home, 2526 California street. She was the mother of sixteen children, twelve of whom survived her.
1936 Dec 29, Woodland Daily Democrat, P4, Woodland, California
Elizabeth Addington Dies in Bay City
Colusa, Dec. 29 – (VNA) Funeral services will be held here tomorrow for Mrs. Elizabeth Addington, 84, Colusa property owner and widow of Stephen Addington, co-founder of the Colusa Sun, who died last night in San Francisco. Mrs. Addington crossed the plains by ox-team with her parents, in 1854 from Indiana. She was a sister of the late Appellate Judge Elijah C. Hart, one of the early day editors of the Willows Journal, and the late A. L. Hart, once attorney general of California.
Transcribed by Donna Toole.
Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 507-508. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.
© 2017 Donna Toole.