ROBERT J. STEWART, deceased, was during his long life of usefulness a man whose influence was always on the side of right; and it is not too much to say that his community was, and is, the better for his having lived therein. He was born in Johnstown, N.Y., January 1, 1814, and was a son of John and Grace (Stewart) Stewart, the former of whom was a blacksmith by occupation, was a soldier in the War of 1812, and died when Robert J., our subject, was but eight months old.
Robert J. Stewart secured his education in the common schools, working on the farm and attending school until he was twelve years old. Afterward he divided his time in the main between attending school and teaching, until he was twenty-one years old. By his own efforts he secured a good practical education, and his success in teaching is indicated by the fact that he taught six years in one school. His success lay in part in his ability to govern children, and in part in his peculiar faculty of imparting knowledge in such a way that it was not only understood, but also easily remembered. In 1849 he removed to Oneida, where for many years he was one of
the leading business men. After locating here, he was at first engaged in the drug business, being thus occupied until 1861, and afterward for two years was clerk in a drug store. Later he was for a time engaged as travelling salesman for a hat and cap firm, and in 1866 as a salesman for E. W. Jones, the undertaker. Then for one year he was with Chappell, Chase & Maxwell, and later travelled for Hard Brothers, manufacturers of spring-beds and cots. He was thus engaged until the time of his death, which occurred November 20, 1882. Upon his removal to Oneida he united with the Presbyterian church, and on the 11th of April, 1854, was elected to the board of elders, remaining an active member of the board so long as he lived. He was at the time of his death one of the oldest members of the church, and had always labored zealously for its welfare.
Mr. Stewart was married in 1846 to Elizabeth Stewart, a daughter of George and Mercy (Grose) Stewart, the former of whom was married twice, and was the father of eight children, three by his first wife, Mercy Grose, and five by the second,--Elizabeth the widow of our subject, being the only one now living of those by the first wife. George Stewart was a native of Scotland, and lived to
be eighty-four years old. Robert J. Stewart and his wife became the parents of nine children, namely: John R., who in 1862, though scarcely sixteen years old, filled with patriotic ardor and enthusiasm, enlisted in the Union army as a member of Company D, Eighth New York Cavalry. His regiment was in reality one of the hardest fighting regiments of the war, taking part in many battles, among them Winchester, Harper's Ferry, Antietam, Philomont, Barbara Cross Roads, Amosville, Jefferson, Chancellorsville, Beverly Ford, Middleboro, Gettysburg, William's Post, Boonesboro, Funkstown, Falling Water, Brandy Station, Rappahannock, Culpeper Court House, Raccoon Ford, Madison, Germany Ford, Oak Hill, Stephensburg, Bealeton Station, Culpeper (second), and the battles of the Wilderness. At Stony Creek Station he was taken prisoner, taken to Andersonville, and soon afterward died. It was after him that John R. Stewart Post, No. 174, Grand Army of the Republic, was named. The second and third children of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were Adelia and Adelbert, twins. Adelia is the wife of A. R. Davis, of Oneida, and has two children, Robert and Guy Irving. Adelbert died in infancy. The fourth child is Alvin D. Stewart, M.D., a practising physician at Port Byron. He married Emma Johnson, and has two children--Alvin and Jennie. The fifth child, Hattie Grace, is the wife of A. J.
Hatch, has one child, Elizabeth Stewart, and is living with her mother. The sixth, Ella G., is living at home. The seventh, Irving Fuller, died when eleven years old. The eighth and ninth, Mary Gregory and Matilda H., twins, are both dead. Mrs. Stewart, the mother of these children, is living in her pleasant home in Oneida. She is a lady of more than ordinary intelligence and refinement, and is highly esteemed by her friends and acquaintances, of whom she has a large
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