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R.M. Stivers
R.M. Stivers 1849-1955; R.M. Stivers Carriage Mfg Co. 1855-1904; R.M. Stivers Carriage & Automobile Co. 1904-1910?, New York, New York
 
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Rufus Meade Stivers was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on February 10, 1822 to James and Maria (Searles) Stivers. James, a highly skilled blacksmith and wheelwright of Dutch ancestry, conducted business in nearby Port Chester, New York. Young Rufus attended a private elementary school in North Castle, N. Y. after which he joined his two older brothers, James Edward and William, in the family business. By the time his father passed away (November 19, 1832 or March 12, 1834) his older sister, Eliza had left home and married Edward Scofield and as Rufus was under the age of 14, his eldest brother James E., was appointed his guardian.

A broadside dated and signed: Portchester, Oct. 12, 1846 by James E. Stivers, assignee of Rufus M. Stivers advertised the following:

"Auction notice. : Assignee's sale. The subscriber will sell at public auction on Saturday next, Oct. 17, at 10 o'clock A.M. at the furniture ware rooms, late of Rufus M. Stivers, in the village of Portchester, the entire stock of new cabinet furniture ..."

Rufus married Sarah B. Burger and to the blessed union was born a son, George E. W. Stivers on July 26, 1845 at Port Chester, N. Y. In 1849 Stivers relocated his growing family to Manhattan where he started a small carriage repair shop which by 1851 had relocated to East Thirty-first Street between Third and Fourth Avenue.

An 1894 article in the World described the Thirty-first Street works as follows:

"Stivers's carriage manufactory is one of the oldest in this city. It is owned by Rufus M. Stivers and managed by his son George. It was established in 1849, and since 1851 has been conducted on the present site. The main building, facing Thirty-first street, on the south side, covers five full city lots, and is used almost exclusively as a warehouse. The office of the firm is situated in this building. There are two buildings directly in the rear of the main building. These are used as factories and storage places for oil, alcohol and varnishes. Both of the rear buildings are connected directly with the front. The rear building nearest to Third avenue is a six-story brick, and the adjoining one has four stories."

The Stivers factory remained on East Thirty-first Street until 1904 when they moved into a newly constructed 6-story factory located at 18-20 West sixty-third Street, in the heart of Manhattan's emerging automobile row. R.M. Stivers was listed in the 1908 International Motor Cyclopaedia under automobile bodies, wood and metal and is known to have built small numbers of bodies for the Manhattan Darracq and Lozier distributors.  Only one Stivers-bodied automobile body is known to exist, a 1910 Lozier touring currently owned by noted early automobile collector Herb Singe Jr.

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References

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

   
 
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