STEWART, JOSHUA THOMPSON, b. Buffington Twp. 8-22-1862; d. 10-7-1940.
Author, Indiana County, PA Her People, Past and Present, 2 vols. (1913). Sup't
IC Schools, 6-2-1899/5-31-1908. Member, PA House, 1935-40.
Mr. S. grew up on his father's farm and was educated in the Buffington Twp. public schools; in select schools at Strongstown, Armagh and Penn Run; in Millersville State Normal School and ISNS (grad. 1888); and at Ada Normal Univ., Ohio. At age 18 he became a teacher and taught three terms in Buffington and two in W. Wheatfield. He was at various times assistant principal of Indiana Boro schools and principal at New Florence, PA. He conducted summer select schools to train teachers, either himself or in cooperation with Prof. C. A. Campbell, at New Florence, Penn Run, Grisemore, Smithport, Brush Valley & Armagh. During his term at New Florence he and Mrs. Stewart ran a store in Centerville.
In 1896 Mr. S. decided to be a candidate for county Sup't of Schools but was defeated in May by incumbent, A. M. Hammers, 166-55. He then taught at Penn Run for two summers and one winter term. His teaching career can be sumed up as 12 terms in the public schools and 9 terms select summer schools.
In 1899 Mr. S. again offered himself for County Sup't and this time was elected May 2, receiving 119 votes out of 227. His opponents were W. D. Trainer and H. D. Condron. During his tenure as superintendent the number of IC schools increased from 296 to 365, and he was able to establish small libraries in many schools.
After retiring as IC Sup't, Mr. S. and family spent eight months in Greeley, Colo., then returned 1909 to Indiana where he entered the real estate and insurance business representing U. S. Fidelity & Guaranty Co. He was District Deputy of Weights & Measures, 1927-34.
In 1934 at the age of 72 he was nominated and elected to the PA House on the Republican ticket, and was reelected in 1936 and 1938. He was nominated by his party for a fourth term in April 1940 but died before the election in November.
Mr. S. joined the East Union U. P. Church at age 16 and a year later became sup't of the Sabbath School. When he moved to Brush Valley he became an elder there and also at New Florence later. When he moved to Indiana he connected with First U. P. Church, was a ruling elder 1902-40, sup't of the Sabbath School 17 yrs., and teacher of the young men's Bible class. He was secretary of the Board, Y.M.C.A., 10 yrs. and a director of Citizens' National Bank, Indiana.
Our subject m. (1) Emma Mack 1-1-1889, d/o Hugh & Mary Ann (McCrory) Mack. She d. 11-15-1910. Their children were Joseph Mack, b. 1-9-1890, m. Emma Sacks 10-28-1911; Elizabeth Mary Edna, b. 2-10-1894, m. Morris Straub; and Irene (2-4/3-8-1897). Mr. S. m. (2) Genevieve Morrison 6-4-1913, d/o William Morrison. Their children were Joshua T. Jr., Eleanor and Richard.
James Stewart, father of our subject, was b. 10-5-1824 in Buffington Twp. He was a farmer, justice of the peace 15 yrs., and held other township offices. On 8-30-1848 he m. Elizabeth Jane Cole of Ligonier (b. 1-8-1828). Their children were Mary Ann 1-8-1850/ 3-18-1900) m. Samuel Bracken 5-21-1874; James Cole 2-26-1853/ 3-10-1896) m. Clara Bell Allison; John Galbreath (9-4-1855/ 11-22-1894) m. Mary McKee 9-11-1877; William Graham, b. 10- 14- 1857, m. (1) Matilda C. Altemus (2) Lizzie R. Dill; Rachel Elizabeth (12-1-1859/7-24-1885) m. John H. Wachob; Joshua T., our subject; and Charles Clark, b. 9-9-1865, m. Annie Davis 3-15-1894.
James Stewart was a s/o Major James Stewart (9-25-1796/ 8-11-1879). He was a militia major, justice of the peace, member of the first Session of E. Union U. P. Church, and held other township offices. He m. (1) Mary Graham (2) Elizabeth Galbreath. By the first wife there were two sons. John b. 9-7-1821 m. Sarah Grow and had 15 children. James is mentioned above. Major Stewart purchased a 266 1/2 acre farm in Buffington Twp. 6-1-1827.
Major James Stewart was a s/o John Stewart b. c. 1752 in Scotland. John and a brother, Charles Stewart (a soldier in Cornwallis' army during the Revolution), came to America and settled in Buffington Twp. John served in the Indian wars and was severely wounded in the breast. He m. Margaret McFarland who d. 1796. They had two children: Mary m. William Wilson, and Major James Stewart.