Pages 532-534, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




SAMUEL J. STEWART.—Among the pioneers whose life has been inseparatbly[sic] connected with the history of Allen county is Samuel J. Stewart, State Senator of the Fourteenth District, embracing the counties


of Allen and Woodson. He was born in Miami county, Ohio, over sixty-eight years ago and came into the territory of Kansas in April 1856. Some time during his youth he had emigrated to LaFayette county, Indiana, and it was from this point that he made his start for the Kansas border. He was in company with his brother Watson, whose history during the twenty-five or more years that he resided within the boundaries of Allen county, formed a part of the public records, both civil and military of the county. The former settled upon a claim about five miles south of Humboldt where he has developed one of the valuable and beautiful farms along the Neosho river.

Our subject got into politics early in the county, for the reason that he was a man of conviction and never failed to express himself clearly and to the point whenever invited to do so. Being a young man of energy and absolute reliability he was chosen to represent Allen county in the Territorial Legislature of 1858. The year previous he attended the Grasshopper Falls convention where the Free State men for the first time decided to participate in Kansas elections. Up to this time they had steadily refused to take any part in political affairs under the "bogus laws," or rather the laws passed by a "bogus legislature." This decision on the part of the Free State men resulted in the rescuing of the state from its enemies and placing the control of its affairs in the hands of its bona fide inhabitants. Mr. Stewart was a member of the Houses of 1883 and 1885 and of the special sessions of the legislature during each of those terms. His face has been one of the familiar ones of the "old crowd" at nearly every county and state convention and few delegates in either have been accorded a more respectful hearing or have had a more enthusiastic personal following than has he.

When the war came on he entered the service as a private, enlisting in 1861. He was promoted to a lieutenancy in August of the same year and to a captaincy in February 1863. He was mustered out of the service in August 1864. At the close of the war he was married and has reared a family of three sons and four daughters to become honorable men and women.

One or two incidents will serve to show that Captain Stewart's life has not always been a plain domestic one. They will show that there was a time in Kansas when a man's protection depended upon his personal courage and that Mr. Stewart was not lacking in this element. Soon after their arrival in Allen county the two brothers sent a man with a team to Kansas City to haul to their claim the household goods which they had shipped to that point by rail and river, the nearest available point to their location. The goods were loaded up and the driver had reached Westport when he was met by a company of "Border Ruffians" headed by the noted Allen McGhee. The ruffians took the team and ordered the driver to leave the town which he did, walking all the way back to Allen county. When our subject heard what had become of his team and goods he went to Kansas City and, alone and single handed, secured one of the horses, the wagon and nearly all the goods. He was not satisfied with this partial re-


covery, however, and, at the close of the war, he visited McGhee and demanded satisfaction for the balance of his loss. Money being scarce, McGhee presented him with his gold watch, then worth about two hundred dollars.

In the summer of 1856 Captain Stewart went to Kansas City with an ox team to move some settlers into Allen county. The Border Ruffians were preparing then to make a raid in Kansas and, when near Westport, they took Stewart prisoner. They robbed him of what goods and chattels they desired and started him on east through Missouri, declining to permit him to return home. He worked his way around through the state of Missouri, in the direction of home, till he came to Bates county where he was set upon by a party of six men who suspected him of being a loyal Kansan. They were intending to hang him, as they said, but the Captain out-talked them, got them to quarreling among themselves and, during the mele, got away.

As the campaign of 1900 approached Captain Stewart decided to become a candidate for the state senate. He was nominated easily at the primaries and carried both counties by good majorities. He took rank in the senate as one of the active men of that body and his record there coupled with his long and valuable personal service as a citizen of the state actuated the Governor in appointing him a member of the Board of Regents of the State Agricultural College, upon which duty he has but recently entered.

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