Biography - J. N. Steward

J. N. STEWARD. The gentleman who is the subject of this sketch is engaged in the manufacture of tile and brick in Rural Township, Shelby County, but his residence is in Shelbyville, and few, if any men, have been for many years, more industrious than he, or more successful. His residence dates from 1858, at which time he left his native State, Ohio, and removed to Illinois. He was born September 26, 1833, and is a son of John and Sarah (Lacount) Steward, natives of Maryland. They came to Shelby County in 1860, and both passed away in Rural Township at the advanced age of -seventy-five years.

He of whom we have the pleasure of writing this sketch, was one of a family of six children born to his parents. Their names are as follows: James, Sarah, John, Frances, Mary and Russell B. James and Russell B. both reside in Sumner County, Kan.; Sarah, who is now Mrs. Smith resides in Iowa; Frances, who married a Mr. Finney, died at Assumption, Ill.; Mary, who is Mrs. Finney, resides in Washington.

The educational advantages enjoyed by our subject, were limited, being only such as could he absorbed at a country school during the summer months, that period when the mind as well as the body, is relaxed and so little capable of vigorous action. However, he had perseverance enough to work for an additional three months' term at Westerville College, Ohio. Thereafter he gave his attention to farming and became the owner of two hundred and forty acres of land. While dealing in live stock, he met with heavy losses, and in fact, was so deeply involved, that some of his creditors offered to accept fifty cents on the dollar in settlement. But while he felt that he had youth and energy, he was too much of a man to accept this concession, and sturdily promising to pay all in full, if they would but give him more time, he started anew, laboring almost night and day. He, however, discharged all his debts and his credit was restored, and the confidence that this manly course aroused in his creditors and townsmen was of great value to him.

Our subject is now the owner of eighty acres of land in Rural Township, on which, in 1881, he erected a tile and and brick factory, and now turns out a half million brick annually, and of such good quality that it is steadily gaining ground in commerce. Mr. Steward married in 1855, to Miss Sophia D. Agler. The children whose names follow, were the fruit of this union: Marcellus A. died in childhood; Josephine died in 1858; Alice married John Middlesworth, and has since died; Flora is the wife of Henry Thomas, and resides in Assumption, Ill.; Harlow W.; Alma, who died in childhood; Wallace and Effa. Politically Mr. Steward is a follower of the Democratic party. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and socially belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Extracted 16 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 595-596.

Templates in Time