Robert Stephens

Robert Ernest Stephens

February 9, 1921 – May 18, 2012


Robert shown here with a couple history books about McCreary County


Robert was born in Pine Knot and died in Whitley City.  He was in the marine corps during World War II and Korea and was a teacher in the McCreary County school district.  He documented endless cemeteries in McCreary County.  While out looking for all these lost cemeteries he kept coming across arches.  He shared these finds with the Fife brothers who went and documented as many of his finds that they could relocate. 

Some of his arch leads are still out there waiting to be documented.  One of his finds was Coal Branch Natural Bridge.


Robert while in the marine corps

Todd Fife said this about Robert. “As for Mr. Stephens, he was a major arch finder in McCreary County early on.  He was mainly interested in documenting cemeteries, but in doing so he kept finding arches.  We got some major leads from him.  There are a few of his marks that we just could never find.  We know because other arches panned out that they are probably there, but who knows.”


Below is Robert’s obituary.

Robert Ernest Stephens age 91 of Whitley City, Kentucky died Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at his home. Funeral services were held Friday, May 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm at McCreary County Funeral Home with Rev. Daniel Ridener officiating. Burial followed in the Stephens Family Cemetery.

He was born February 9, 1921 in Pine Knot, Kentucky to the late Arthur and Jewell (Reed) Stephens. Robert was a member of the Whitley City First Baptist Church, the Soil Conservation, and the Orie S. Ware # 874 Masonic Lodge. He was a historian, a Veteran of the U.S. Marines, having served in WWII and Korea, and was formerly a Teacher of the McCreary County school system.

His father, mother, wife, Beatrice Lawson Stephens, a son, Jimmy Stephens, brothers, Ellis, Herbert, and Arthur Stephens, Jr. and a sister, Euna Lee Stephens precede him in death.

Survivors include his sons, Robert E. Stephens, Jr. and wife, Tonya, of Whitley City, Kentucky, Monty Stephens and wife, Wendy, and Randy Stephens both of Frankfort, Kentucky; a step-daughter, Myra Davis King of Whitley City, Kentucky; a brother, Virgil (Buddy) Stephens of California, and Denny Stephens of Cincinnati, Ohio; and a sister, Lois Jean Hamby of Miamisburg, Ohio. Numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren also survive.