Black Owned Business

"The earliest one we could find was a restaurant called Stephens Restaurant,” he notes, “which was started by the Stephens family off of Fourteenth Street around 1924, and they were a famous family for a number of reasons.”2



  1. Stephen Family Papers Online
  2. What's the Oldest Black Owned Business on International Blvd -


William Stephens was born in 1870 in Accomack County, Virginia.

He moved out to California while still a child and attended school in Oakland and San Francisco.

After graduation, he completed coursework at Heald College before taking a job with the Southern Pacific Railway in 1886.

Beginning as a Sleeping Car Porter, he worked his way up to a clerkship under H.E. Huntington, assistant to the company's President. Significant events