STEWART. The Stewarts of
Buffington township were among the first and most respected citizens of the
southeastern part of Indiana county. The pioneers were natives of Scotland and
came to this country shortly after the Revolutionary war. Two brothers, John and
Charles, came here about the same time. Charles was a soldier in Lord
Cornwallis's army; John served in the Indian wars and was severely wounded in
the breast. They settled in what is now known as Buffington township. Their
farms joined, Charles owning what is now known as the Mardis and Auker farms,
and John the Rodkey and Stahl farms. The latter tract was called "Cornfield."
The warrant of the farm was dated February 13, 1797, and the patent, March 28,
1799 . There were mounds on these farms, which the old settlers pointed out as
Indian graves. Charles Stewart afterwards located on the McClain farm in White
township, which farm he owned until his death. He was buried in Indiana,
John Stewart was married to Margaret McFarland. To this union two children were born: Mary, married to William Wilson, and James (Maj. James Stewart), married first to Mary Graham, who lived but eleven years after their marriage, and second to Elizabeth Galbreath.
Maj. James Stewart was born on the old homestead Sept. 25, 1796. He grew to be a large, robust man, being six feet tall and weighing almost two hundred pounds. He was recognized as the strongest man in all that section of country, and was known to be an expert wrestler. In those days much chopping was done, and he was very skillful with the axe and took great delight in using it. Even at the advanced age of eighty he insisted upon cutting the wood for the old fireplace - especially the huge backlogs which only a strong man could carry. He could take the butt cut of a tree in chopping with others and always let it down. He was a man of whom his descendants can feel justly proud, for he was a leader in all matters of civil and religious concern. He was widely known as "Maj." James Stewart, having held the office of major, etc, in the militia over forty years. He took an active part in the affairs of the township, having served in the capacities of school director, tax collector, assessor, overseer of the poor, justice of the peace, etc. He was justice of the peace fifteen years and had a wide and extensive practice. It was said that he was as well versed in the law as the attorneys of his time. Young and old came from far and near to be married by him. His marriage ceremony was unique, and delivered by him with ease and dignity. He took an active part in advancing the schools and was a leader in the church being a member of the first Session of the East Union United Presbyterian Church and remaining a member of that church and session until his death, which occurred Aug. 11, 1879. For many years he was the superintendent of the Sabbath school of his church. Being a firm believer in the Psalms as the only music that should be sung in worship, he would not permit the singing of a hymn in the home on the Sabbath day. He had great reverence for the Sabbath and would not allow anyone, whether a member of the home or a visitor, to whistle on that day.
To his first marriage two sons were born: John, Sept. 7, 1821, and James, Oct. 5, 1824. John was married to Sarah Grow and they reared a family of fifteen children.
James Stewart, son of Maj. James Stewart, was a large, muscular man, in disposition and build very much like his father. His occupation was farming, in which he took special delight. He did his work on the farm with care, and taught his sons the importance of good farming. He. believed that "whatever was worth doing was worth doing well." He admired good horses, and always had the very best. He took an interest in the affairs of the township, serving as assessor, auditor, overseer seer of the poor, justice of the peace, etc., like his father serving as justice of the peace for fifteen years. He never had a case taken from his docket to the county courts. He was very slow to give law and always advised parties to settle their difficulties without taking the course of the law. He did not hold the office for the money it might bring him, but for the good he might do his neighbors - advising that peace was always better than strife. That he gave universal satisfaction as an officer is shown by his receiving every vote, in the township, when he was candidate for the office of justice of the peace. He was a faithful member of the East Union United Presbyterian Church and gave liberally to the support of his church.
On Aug. 30, 1848, James Stewart was married to Elizabeth Jane Cole, of Ligonier, Pa., who was born Jan. 8, 1828. She was a niece of the second wife of Maj. James Stewart and related many times how they made the trip on horseback from the old homestead to Ligonier, her husband swimming the horses across the Conemaugh river at Centerville and she crossing in the boat. On several occasions she thought that her husband would be drowned, for horse and rider almost passed out of her sight. She was a most faithful devoted wife and mother, very hospitable, and had a host of friends. To this union the following children were born: Mary Ann, Jan. 8, 1850; James Cole, Feb. 26, 1853; John Galbreath, Sept. 4, 1855; William Graham, Oct. 14, 1857; Rachel Elizabeth, Dec. 1, 1859; Joshua Thompson, Aug. 2, 1862; and Charles Clark, Sept 9, 1865.
MARY ANN STEWART was married to Samuel Bracken, May 21, 1874. They had children as follows: (1) Thomas Stewart, born May 22, 1875, graduated at the Indiana State Normal school in 1900, and after serving as principal of the Derry schools for two years entered the University of Bucknell, from which he graduated. He is now the principal of the township high school at Perryopolis, Fayette Co., Pa. (2) Rose E., born Sept 30, 1877, married Howard Schmucker, June 25, 1907, and lives in Johnstown, Pa. Their children are Ethel and Mary. (3) William Price, born April 11, 1880, was employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company for a number of years. (4) Rachel Elizabeth, born Oct. 23, 1884, taught for a number of years in the public schools of Indiana and Cambria counties. (5) Charles, born Jan. 14. 1888, is in the employ of the Hupp Automobile Company in Detroit. He was married to Ethel Ferman, of Milan, Mich., March 9, 1913. (6) Carrie, born Jan. 18, 1891, graduated from the Greeley (Colo.) State Teachers' College, March 6, 1913. The father, Samuel Bracken, died Dec. 16, 1896, and the mother, Mary Ann, died March 18, 1900. Both are buried in the East Union cemetery.
JAMES C. STEWART was married to Clara Bell Allison, and their children were as follows: (1) Elmer Clark, born Feb. 7, 1878, died Dec. 1, 1896. (2) Charles Edmund, born Nov. 2, 1880, after teaching a number of terms of school in Indiana and Cambria counties went to Greeley, Colo., where he graduated from the State normal school. He then came East and on June 27, 1906, married Sara E. Stephens, of Cherryhill township, and returned to Colorado, where he is now principal of the township high school at Akron. Their children are Mary and Eugene. (3) Wilbert Joshua, born June 29, 1883, graduated from the business college at Denver, Colo., after which he was elected bookkeeper in a bank at Fort Morgan, Colo., where he married Emma L. Kimball July 5, 1906. At present he is a banker in Los Angeles, Cal. They have had three children, Wilbert (deceased), James, and Rebecca. (4) James Allison, born June 22, 1886, died April 1, 1904. (5) Nannie Pearl, born March 4, 1889, died Nov. 14, 1890. (6) Margaret Elizabeth, born Oct. 29, 1891, graduated from the Indiana State normal school in 1912 and is now a teacher in the public schools of Indiana county. James C. Stewart died March 10, 1896, and his wife, Clara B., died Jan. 17, 1895. They are buried in the East Union cemetery.
JOHN G. STEWART was married to Mary McKee Sept. 11, 1877. Their children are as follows: (1) Robert McKee, born July 3, 1878, is now employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and lives at Turtle Creek, Pa. He married Carrie Davis, March 14, 1900, and their children are Robert, May, Mary, Arthur, Beatrice and Vivian. (2) James Allen was born Sept. 9, 1880. (3) Clara, deceased, was born April 15, 1882. (4) Mary Agnes, born Sept. 10, 1884, married Harry Spiker Aug. 22, 1905. Their children are Harold and Ray. (5) John Galbreath, born May 22, 1887, was married Sept. 12, 1910, and has one child, Mary. (6) Thomas Russell, born Dec. 24, 1889, has had two children, Violet (deceased) and an infant. (7) Annie Bell, deceased, was born Jan. 15, 1894. John G. Stewart died Nov. 22, 1894, at the age of thirty-nine, and is buried in the East Union cemetery. His wife is living at Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.
WILLIAM G. STEWART was educated in the public schools of Buffington township and selected farming as his occupation. At the age of eighteen he conceived the idea that the West was a good place for a young man and spent the summer of 1876 in Missouri, where he worked on a farm. He returned in the fall and remained on the home farm with his parents for several years, during which time he married Matilda C. Altemus, a daughter of Adam and Catharine Altemus, of Brushvalley township. To this union the following children were born : (1) Franklin A., born Dec. 9, 1878, married Nellie Dias July 5, 1905. Their children are Ethel, Elzie, Mary and Mabel. Franklin is a farmer of Buffington township. (2) Alice Gertrude, born Sept. 22, 1881, died March 1, 1906. (3) Mary Ann, born May 10, 1883, married May 9, 1906, D. W. Duncan, a farmer of Buffington township. Their children are Helen, Hulda, and Chester. (4) Catharine Elizabeth, born Sept. 21, 1884, taught several terms of school in Buffington and East Wheatfield townships and is now a member of the senior class of the Indiana State normal school. (5) Joshua Harrison, born Nov. 24, 1888, at the age of eighteen went to Fort Morgan Colo., for his health. Not contented there he went to Montana, where he stayed for several years. After traveling through Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and California he returned home during the winter of 1911, having spent six years in the Western States. He is now farming for his father. (6) Alma Edna, born Aug. 17, 1898, died Nov. 3, 1903.
W. G. Stewart first went to housekeeping near the old homestead and farmed for his father. In a few years he purchased a farm one mile east of Dilltown on the Armagh and Strongstown road, and he and his wife, by their industrious habits, made the money that paid for the farm. His wife died April 27, 1904, and is buried in the Armagh cemetery.
Mr. Stewart is a Republican and has always taken an interest in the politics of the township, having served in the offices of school director, road supervisor, auditor, tax collector and treasurer, and as an officer of the election board seventeen terms. He has been tax collector and treasurer of Buffington township for the last sixteen years. He owns two good farms in Buffington township and one in Brushvalley township. He and his brother, J. T., own the old homestead and the Mahan farm in Buffington township; he also owns two dwellings in Dilltown, Pa. The dwelling in which he lives is modern in every respect. He has always taken a special interest in good horses and has encouraged the breeding of blooded horses and cattle in his community. He is a member of the East Union United Presbyterian Church.
On Oct. 20, 1906, Mr. Stewart married Lizzie R. Dill, a daughter of James C. and Rebecca Dill, deceased, of Dilltown Pa. At present he spends his time overseeing his farms and discharging his duties as road supervisor and tax collector and treasurer.
RACHEL E. STEWART was married to Prof. John H. Wachob April 24, 1883. Professor Wachob is a graduate of the Indiana State normal school and has been prominently identified with the public schools of Indiana and Cambria counties. To this union one child was born March 24, 1884, Rachel Elizabeth, who taught for a number of years in the schools of Cambria county. The mother died July 24, 1885, and is buried in the East Union cemetery.
JOSHUA T. STEWART was educated in the public schools of Buffington township, the select schools at Strongstown, Armagh and Greenville, Millersville State normal school, Ada (Ohio) Normal University, and Indiana State normal school. He was reared on a farm in Buffington township. He became a member of the East Union United Presbyterian Church at the age of sixteen and was elected superintendent of the Sabbath school of the same church at the age of seventeen. At the age of eighteen he entered the profession of teaching in his native township, where he taught three terms of school; also taught two terms of school in West Wheatfield township. After having taught five terms in the public schools and attending school three or four months in the summer, besides assisting his parents on the farm, he decided to enter the Indiana State normal school, from which he graduated in 1888. After graduating he taught one term as assistant principal of the public schools of Indiana borough. The following summer he conducted a select school at Smithport, Banks township, Indiana county.
On Jan. 1, 1889, Mr. Stewart was married to Miss Emma Mack, a daughter of Hugh and Mary Ann (McCrorey) Mack of West Wheatfield township, and they went to housekeeping in Mechanicsburg borough, where lie taught the two winters and three summers following. His select schools in this place were very largely attended and many young men and women were prepared to enter the teaching profession. He then purchased the store of William Goffe, in Centerville, Pa., and having been elected as principal of the public schools of New Florence, Pa., decided to locate at Centerville. With the help of his wife and clerks he managed the store and taught two winters and one summer at New Florence and one summer at Armagh, Pa. These two summer terms were conducted jointly by Prof. C. A. Campbell and J. T. Stewart. There-were one hundred and twenty-five students enrolled in the school at Armagh, ninety of whom were in the teachers' grade. The joint school held the following year at Armagh and New Florence enrolled two hundred students, the majority of whom were teachers. The two following summers J. T. Stewart taught at Grisemore, Pa., a country place where two very successful terms of school were held. In these schools, teachers from Indiana, Cambria, arid Westmoreland counties were enrolled.
He then decided to be a candidate for the superintendency of the schools of Indiana county and moved in 1895 to Indiana, Pa., that he might be in a convenient place to make a canvass for the office. He was defeated for the office in 1896 and engaged to teach school at Greenville (Penn Run), Pa., where he taught two summers and one winter term. The attendance at his summer terms was very large, the enrollment being one hundred each time. The schools were a decided success and the work was highly appreciated by the pupils and citizens.
In 1899 he was elected on first ballot by a handsome majority over three other candidate as the superintendent of the schools of Indiana county, which position he held for nine years. During his term the schools increased in number and efficiency and the Teachers' County Institute and Directors' Association were a pronounced success. At the close of his three terms as superintendent of the schools he with his family went to Greeley, Colo., where they spent the winter, returning in the spring to their home on Philadelphia street, Indiana. Pennsylvania.
Emma, the wife of J. T. Stewart, died Nov. 15, 1910. She was a member of the First United Presbyterian Church of Indiana, Pa. She was a loving wife and devoted mother, and would bear suffering without a complaint that others might be comforted. She is buried in the Greenwood cemetery at Indiana, Pa. Their children are: (1) Joseph Mack, born in Jan. 9, 1890, was educated in the public schools of Indiana borough, Greeley normal school and the Indiana State normal school. At the age of seventeen he taught the Ferguson school in White township, Indiana county, with marked success. He was employed for two years surveying for the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburg Railroad Company, and resigned to accept a position as bookkeeper in the Citizens' National Bank of Indiana, Pa., which position he held for one year when he was elected as the cashier of the Bolivar National Bank, and in May, 1913, was elected cashier of the Merchants' & Miners' Deposit Bank of Portage, Pa., at a salary of $1,500. On Oct. 28, 1911, he was married to Emma Sacks. They have one child, Joseph Mack Stewart, Jr., born Dec. 13, 1912. (2) Elizabeth Mary Edna, born in Centerville, Feb. 10, 1894, graduated from the public schools of Indiana borough in 1910, and is now a senior in the Indiana State normal school. The son and daughter are both members of the First United Presbyterian Church of Indiana, Pa. (3) A third child, Irene, was born Feb. 4, 1897, and died May 8, 1897.
While living in Mechanicsburg, J. T. Stewart was elected and ordained as elder of the United Presbyterian Church of that place, and served in the same capacity in the New Florence United Presbyterian Church, and at present is the clerk of the session of the First United Presbyterian Church at Indiana, Pa. He is a director of the Citizens' National Bank and secretary of the Y. M. C. A. at Indiana, Pennsylvania.
On June 4, 1913, be married Genevieve Morrison, a graduate of the Indiana State normal school and a teacher of successful experience. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Morrison, of East Mahoning township, Indiana Co., Pennsylvania.
CHARLES C. STEWART, now a farmer of Brushvalley township, received his education in the schools of Buffington township and spent the early years of his manhood working on his father's farm, except one summer when he was engaged in clerking in the store at Centerville for his brother, J. T. On March 15, 1894, he married Annie Davis, a daughter of William Davis, of Mechanicsburg borough. She was a teacher in the schools of Indiana and Cambria counties. To this union the following children were born : (1) Carrie May, born Dec. 23, 1894, taught in Blacklick township, Cambria county, last year. (2) Mary Elizabeth, born Feb. 23, 1897, died March 19, 1898. (3) Charles Davis was born Nov. 25, 1899. (4) James Joshua was born June 14, 1905. (5) Esther Agnes was born Oct. 22, 1912.
The old farm in Buffington township where James and Elizabeth Stewart reared this family of five sons and two daughters was bought by Maj. James Stewart of Henry Nixon, the executor of John Nixon, of Philadelphia, Pa., for $532. The farm contained 266 1/2 acres and allowances, and was purchased June 1, 1827. Maj. James Stewart walked to Philadelphia at the rate of four miles an hour when he made the purchase. It was a good farm upon which to rear so large a family, and the Christian influence in that home was always strong. Maj. James Stewart remained in this home until his death. He and his two wives, his son James, and his wife, Elizabeth, are all buried in the East Union cemetery.