George Stephan was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 30, 1862, to John C. Stephan and Elizabeth Watson Stephan. His father worked as a dentist. George attended Cleveland public schools, graduating from high school in 1878. George moved to Denver four years later, where his uncle Henry W. Watson ran a photography studio. George likely learned photography from his uncle.
For about six years, George Stephan earned his living as a photographer in Denver. When he departed Denver for Salt Lake City in 1888, Stephan left Elmer E. Pascoe in charge of his studio. Pascoe continued to run the business (Stephan & Pascoe) until 1892 when the firm was shuttered.
In 1890, George Stephan returned to Colorado, residing in Delta. He was active in banking and real estate. By 1900 he had been admitted to the bar and established a large practice. He held many local and state offices in Colorado. Stephan was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1918 and a U. S. district attorney in 1924. He retired to California and died in La Jolla, California on September 9, 1944. He was interred in the family plot at Delta Cemetery.
Thanks to Cindy Motzenbecker for gifting me the studio portrait, which inspired this post. Kellen Cutsforth, Denver Public Library (DPL), provided scans from DPL.