Miami County, Ohio Genealogical Researchers -- Sponsored by the Computerized Heritage Association


    William Stewart, who carries on general farming in Elizabeth township, Miami county, was born four miles from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the 3d of April, 1822. His parents were James and Mary (Hayes) Stewart, the former a native of Adams county and the latter of Shippensburg, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. The Stewart family is of Scotch-Irish lineage and was founded in America prior to the war of the Revolution. In 1834 the parents of our subject came to Miami county and in the spring of 1835 settled upon the farm which is now the home of our subject, and which is pleasantly located three miles east of Troy. It was then almost destitute of improvements and the father began the work of further development, but was not long permitted to enjoy his new home, his death occurring in the fall of 1835. In the family were six children, William, the eldest, being then but thirteen years of age. The mother kept her children with her until they were reared and settled in life for themselves. The youngest, however, died a month after the father's death, and the five who survived were as follows: William; Elizabeth, who married Alex Clark and went to Jefferson, Iowa, when that was a new locality, both Mr. and Mrs. Clark dying at that place when almost fifty years of age; David Hayes, who remained at home until be had attained his majority, when he became a pioneer settler of Jefferson county, Iowa, there making his home until his death, which occurred when he was sixty- six years of age; Jane L., who married Stephen Maxwell, of Spring Creek, and died when more than sixty years, of age; and Eleazer, who went to Iowa with his brother and is still living on a farm in that state.

    Upon his father's death William Stewart assumed the management of the old homestead and has since given his attention to the farm. His labor and resolution enabled him to successfully conduct his business affairs. He was married on the 5th of February, 1852, in Casstown, to Ann L. Wilson, who was born near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, within two miles of her husband's birthplace. She spent her girlhood there and afterward came to Ohio and lived with her uncle, Thomas Armstrong, until her marriage, which was celebrated in his home. She had met her husband, however, in Pennsylvania, he having made a trip on horseback to that state about 1845, spending the again went to Pennsylvania in the winter of 1845-1846 in that locality. He of 1850-1851 and the acquaintance, begun at the former visit, was then continued.

    After his marriage Mr. Stewart brought his bride to the old home farm, the other children of the family having settled elsewhere. His mother, however, remained with him until her death, which occurred when she was seventy-three years of age. Before his death his father had contracted for the building of a barn, and the work was superintended by his widow. The present home was erected by William Stewart, in 1865, and he has made many other substantial improvements. The place was heavily timbered, the trees being mostly poplar and oak, but now the greater part of the land is under a high state of cultivation. The farm comprises one hundred and twenty acres and is now planted to wheat and corn. Mr. Stewart attended the first fair held in the county, the date being 1854. He has favored all improvements--the building of pikes, the establishment of good schools and the inauguration of other movements and measures, which have contributed to the general welfare. He served as school director, but has never sought township offices, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business. He cast his first presidential vote for Henry Clay, in 1844, and since the organization of the Republican party has been one of its advocates.

    Unto Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have been born the following children: Mary Jane, wife of Albert Knoop, a farmer of Lost Creek township; James Wilson, who for some years was engaged in teaching and is now living at Piqua; John Hayes, of Troy, who like his brother, James, was educated in Lebanon, Ohio; Annie R., who is at home; William R., who married Flora Burton and has one child, Horace, and is operating the home farm; and Charles, who died at the age of one year. Mr. Stewart and his wife are consistent and faithful members of the Presbyterian church of Troy, with which they have been connected for over forty years. At the reunion of the Ohio soldiers and the unveiling of the Ohio Soldiers' monument on the battle field of Gettysburg, he and his wife revisited the scenes of their childhood, for they had played on the battle ground in early life. When the draft was drawn in 1864 to fill the quota to be called for in Elizabeth township, he aided in raising troops, was a strong Union man and has always been a faithful citizen, true to everything calculated to promote the welfare of his community. During his long residence in Miami county he has become widely and favorably known and enjoys the warm regard of all with whom he has been brought in contact.

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