Biography - William Stewardson

WILLIAM STEWARDSON, Sr. The owner of one of the best farms in Richland Township, located on section 19, is he whose name is at the head of this sketch. He belongs to a good old English family, and inherits from them a stubborn obstinacy that will not acknowledge defeat but will build on the ruins of disappointment and loss the foundation of new hopes and new fortunes. Our subject's father was William Stewardson who was born in Westmoreland County, England. His mother was Mary (Nicholson) Stewardson, who was a native of the same country as her husband. The good lady died in her native land about 1838, her husband afterward married and came to America about 1842, settling in Stark County, Ohio, where he lived for two years and from there removed to Indiana, locating in Pulaski County. After a stay of one year there he removed to Shelby County, this State, settling in Shelbyville Township. There he spent his last days with his son, our subject, passing away his residence in Richland Township, when over seventy-one years of age.

The name at the head of this sketch is that of one of a family of seven children, he being the fifth, his birthplace was in Westmoreland County, England, and his natal day was February 26, 1828. He came to America with his father in 1842, and in June 1845, he located in Shelby County. He spent most of his young manhood with his father until his marriage, which occurred in Shelbyville Township, November 26, 1851. His bride was a Miss Nancy M. Douthit, a native of Tennessee, who was there born November 25, 1829. She was only about one year old when her parents came to Shelby County.

Mr. and Mrs. Stewardson are the parents of seven living children whose names are: Mary, Sarah, Jane, Elizabeth (deceased), William N., John D., Anna M. and Ella. Mary is the wife of Andrew C. Ensminger. Sarah Isabelle is the wife of Thomas M. Robinson. Elizabeth died when about twenty-three years of age. The parents of Mrs. Stewardson were John and Margaret (Elliott) Douthit. They died in Shelbyville Township.

For a few months after the marriage of our subject, the young couple lived in Shelbyville Township and then settled on the farm where he has ever since lived. He has always been engaged in the agricultural business, and has fine improvements upon his place. He was formerly the owner of a large tract of several thousand acres, he laid out the town of Stewardson about 1876 and it was named in his honor. During his days of larger prosperity he made a gift of twenty acres to the town, as the nucleus of the site upon which it is now located.

Although Mr. Stewardson has been fairly active in politics and is an ardent supporter of his party which is that of Democracy, he has never been an office-seeker. Home has ever been paramountry dear to him, as is evident in the fine condition in which every particular in which this place is kept. The house, which is comfortable and commodious, is pleasantly located so that it commands a charming prospect of the surrounding country. Nestled among tine trees, it is shaded in summer, and protected from the blasts of winter. At one time he of whom we write was the owner of thousands of head of sheep and was a very wealthy man. Reverses, however, have come to him as to many, but he does not lose courage nor his hope in the future. The house of William Stewardson is known as Belle View owing to its beautiful surroundings.

Extracted 26 May 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 532-533.

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