Stevens Warren Flower, the man who gave his name to Toledo's Flower Hospital, has been called "one of Toledo's noblest citizens."[Nevin Winter, A History of Northwest Ohio, vol 1 (Chicago & New York: Lew's Publishing Company, 1917), 1392]. He was born in Clayton, New York on August 21, 1832, and was the son of Joseph and Amy Stevens Flower. When he was two years old, his father died. Five years later his mother married Augustus Ford, a Master in the U.S. Navy. At that time the family moved to Sackett's Harbor, New York.[Harvey Scribner, Memoirs of Lucas County and the City of Toledo, vol, 2 (Madison: Western Historical Association, 1910), 466.]
On September 12, 1862 Flower joined the Union Army as a First Lieutenant in Company H of the Tenth New York heavy artillery.Winter, 1393. According to the (Toledo Biography Scrapbook), he joined the union Army in 1861. He saw combat many times, including Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and Richmond. His service record was exemplary and he became the quartermaster of his unit.Winter, 1393. He served as quartermaster till the end of the war. General Sherman and General Sheridan received supplies from Flower as they passed through Petersburg near the end of the war. Sheridan complimented Flower for the promptness and efficiency he demonstrated in his position. He was recommended for a promotion by General Grant to Assistant Quartermaster General after the fall of Richmond, Virginia. Sadly Flower was forgotten in the wake of Lee's surrender and the assassination of President Lincoln.
Immediately following the war, Stevens Flower moved to Ohio and in September 1865 he married Frances B. Reynolds, the daughter of George Reynolds. In Spring 1866 he bought an interest in the Reynolds flour mill in Maumee. In July, Frances Reynolds became ill and died in December. On October 8, 1874, Flower remarried Ellen Burge and they moved from Maumee to Toledo. She died in April of 1903. (Scribner, p. 469.)
In the Spring of 1866, Flower bought an interest in Reynolds Flour Mill in Maumee. About two years later, the Commission House of George W. Reynolds & Co. was established. The mill was shut down in 1873.Ibid., 466. At that time, Flower became the general manager of the Commission House which dealt in seeds, particularly clover seeds. In 1876, with the retirement of George Reynolds, he took over that business and renamed it S.W. Flower & Co. [Toledo Biographical Scrapbook. (fish-forn) Local History Room. Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.]
Flower belonged to several social organizations including the Masons, Sons of the American Revolution, and the Toledo Produce Exchange. He also served one term as President of the Produce Exchange. He was a very religious man who taught Sunday school and attended several different churches during his life.
After Flower's death on November 13, 1908 the land at Cherry Street and Collingwood Blvd. was donated to build the Flower Hospital. It is this gift of charity for which Stephens Flower was always remembered.