JAMES W. STEWART was born in the town of Essex, Essex County, N.Y., September 17, 1874. His father, Albert G. Stewart, was born in Eaton, Madison County, N.Y. The grandfather, Jonathan Stewart, was born in Scotland, and came to this country when a young man, locating in the two of Eaton, where he bought a farm upon which he resided until his death. His son, Albert G., was reared on the homestead until the age of twenty-one, when he went to Essex County, and there followed agricultural pursuits. Shortly after his marriage to Miss Mary Jane Knox of Essex County, but whose birthplace was in Canada, he returned to Brookfield, N.Y. They reared three children--James W., Eliza Ann, and Loretta Jane. Eliza Ann became Mrs. Michael Flanagan, and died about 1877, leaving one daughter, Jennie, who married Fred Sherman, a farmer of South Hamilton, N.Y. Loretta married Louis Crouse, of Elmira, N.Y., and has two children, May and Albert. The father died on the home farm; and the mother, who is still living, married for her second husband Mr. John Lont, of West Eaton, N.Y.
Very early in life James W. Stewart had to start out to make his way in the world. When barely twelve years of age, having had but few opportunities to acquire an education, he commenced to work by the month, receiving for his first summer's work the sum of seven dollars per month. At the end of this time he entered the employ of a Mr. Benedict, with whom he remained for four seasons, here obtaining the opportunity of attending school during the winters. From there he went to the woollen mills at West Eaton for two years, after which he again worked on different farms for about seven years.
On November 19, 1873, he married Miss Ida May Eaton, only daughter of Levi and Elvira Eaton, of Brookfield, and after working for Mr. John Garnett for some time purchased his present fine farm of one hundred acres. While at work for Mr. John Garnett, of Brookfield, Mr. Stewart had the misfortune to meet with a terrible accident. He was driving out of the barn, when in some manner he was crushed between a bale of hops and the beams of the barn. For many months he was a helpless invalid, but by tender care was nursed back to health. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have had their family circle bless with five children; namely, Kirkland, Zeady May, William Wort, Germain, and Statira R. These children have had every advantage that the best schools could afford of gaining excellent educations, and their natural brightness and abilities have been thoroughly cultivated.
Although his early advantages were limited, Mr. Stewart has always been a great reader, and, having a good foundation, has built up a solid education. He takes much interest in civic affairs, and is a firm advocate of the principles of the Republican party. He and his family attend the Universalist church. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have many warm and devoted friends, and are highly esteemed in the county.
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