Page 512-515, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.

Charles H. Stewart and Mrs. Charles H. Stewart


Charles H. Stewart, now deceased, was a Butler county pioneer, and a Civil war veteran who served with distinction throughout that great conflict. He was a man who always coolly and courageously performed his duty whether it was amidst the bursting shells of the battlefield, or in the ordinary quiet walks of civil life. That he had the courage of his convictions, both in times of war and in peace, may be truthfully said of him.

Charles H. Stewart was born in South Granby, Oswego county, New York, December 9, 1843, and was a son of Simon and Maria (Woodruff) Stewart, both natives of New York. The Stewart family were very early settlers in that section of New York State, and for a number of years lived in the neighborhood of a place called Stewart's corner, settling there about the time of the French and Indian war. The paternal grandfather of Charles Stewart served in the War of 1812. He was of Scotch descent. Maria Woodruff, the mother of Charles H. Stewart, was also a native of New York and of English descent. Simon Stewart, the father, was a lumberman and shipped his lumber from Oswego county in his own boats. Later in life, he removed to Onondaga county where he spent the remainder of his life.

Charles H. Stewart was reared in New York State and educated in the public schools, and before he reached the age of eighteen, on September 16, 1861, he enlisted in Company B. First New York light artillery, under Captain Petitt. His term of enlistment expired December 24,


1863, and on the following day he re-enlisted as a veteran volunteer, serving until after the close of the war, receiving his final honorable discharge June 18, 1865. Mr. Stewart participated in the following engagements, in his long and eventful military career Fair Oak; Redoubout No. 5, near Richmond; Savage Station; White Oak Swamp and Nelson's Farm; Malvern Hill; Hanison's Landing; Vienna; Antietam; Charlestown, W. Va., Fredericksburg; Second Fredericksburg; Chancellorsville; United States Ford; Gettysburg; Mine Run; Wilderness; Spottsylvania Court House; North Ann River; Ponunkly River; Bethany Church; Cold Harbor; Siege of Petersburg, near Avery House; Siege of Petersburg, near Yellow Tavern; Siege of Petersburg, near Popular Grove Church; Siege of Petersburg at Fort Clarke and Siebert. During his career, he was under fire 361 days, but was never wounded, nor in a hospital, although he had some very narrow escapes. During one engagement a horse was shot from under him, and at another time one of the tugs of his harness was cut by a bullet, and altogether his military record was one of unusual merit in which his family may take a just pride.

At the close of the war, Mr. Stewart returned to his New York State home, and after spending a few days there he went to the Pennsylvania oil fields, July 5, 1865. This was about the time of the great oil excitement in the vicinity of Oil creek. He was connected with the oil business there for a couple of years, being engaged in constructing oil tanks on Oil creek and for a time was in the employ of Frank Tarbell, father of Ida Tarbell. In 1868, Mr. Stewart went to Kankakee, Ill., where he married Miss Rachael E. Rowley, the marriage taking place November 30, 1868. She is a daughter of William G. and Elizabeth (Riesdorph) Rowley. The former was born in Kentucky, of Pennsylvania parents, who were temporarily residing in that State for the purpose of settling an estate, consisting of a plantation, including the negroes, which his mother had inherited. The family returned to Philadelphia, Pa., where William G. grew to manhood. Elizabeth Riesdorph, mother of Mrs. Stewart, was born and reared in New York City, and was a descendant of early Holland settlers of what is now New York City.

Mrs. Stewart was born in Sullivan county, New York. Her father was a lumberman in the early days in that State. His wife died in New York State in 1863, and the following year, he removed with his family to Muscatine county, Iowa, where they remained about a year when they removed to Kankakee, Ill., arriving there April 9, 1865, the day that General Lee surrendered. The father bought a farm about ten miles from Kankakee, and Mrs. Stewart, who was then quite a young girl, taught school in that locality two terms. Shortly after her marriage, the Rowley family and Mr. Stewart came to Kansas in the fall of 1868. They crossed the Kaw river and went to Shawnee county where her father had homesteaded the previous spring. After living in Shawnee county for ten years, Mr. and Mrs. Rowley returned to Indiana


where they remained until 1882, when they came to Butler county and later removed to Wichita where the father died. Mrs. Stewart was one of a family of nine children, the two younger sisters being of the second marriage of her father. The children are in order of birth as follows: Nathan, deceased; Henry, deceased; Rachael, Mrs. Stewart, the subject of this sketch; Mary, married Aaron Blakeman, Baldwinsville, N. Y.; James, lives in Idaho; Lucy, married Thomas St. Denis of Wichita, and is now deceased; Walter, lives in Alaska; Emma, married Charles Richards, lives in Seattle; and the two half sisters are Cora, married Harry Foster, Muskogee, Okla., and Kate, married Mr. Davenport of Seattle, Wash.

After spending the winter of 1868-69 in Shawnee county, Mr. and Mrs. Stewart returned to Oswego county, New York, where Mr. Stewart was engaged in the milling business ten years. In 1879 he came to Butler county and bought a farm in Benton township where he built a good substantial house, which was one of the best in the neighborhood. After he had completed his home, Mrs. Stewart and the children joined him here. His farm was well improved and was one of the best farms in Benton township, which he sold later for $10,000, and bought 320 acres, one mile north of his first home. In October, 1900, he disposed of his property in Benton township, and moved to El Dorado, where he bought a comfortable home, and later purchased 520 acres in Chelsea township. He died at his home in El Dorado August 19, 1904. Mr. Stewart was a staunch Republican, castng hs frst[sic] vote for Abraham Lincoln for president. He was prominent in lodge circles, being a Royal Arch Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias, and the Grand Army of the Republic. He was a student all his life, being a great reader of the best authors, and also kept himself well posted on current events.

To Mr. and Mrs. Stewart were born the following children: Walter C., was a resident of Pittsburg, Kans., and died at Neosho, Mo., in 1913, aged forty-three years; Ernest H., a farmer, Fairview, Okla.; Carrie, the wife of F. A. Berry, near Fort Cobb, Okla.; and Charles Duwayne, operator for the Santa Fe railroad at El Dorado, Kans. He served in the United States marine corps and was on duty on the battleship, North Carolina, when the bodies of the Maine victims were taken from Havana harbor to Arlington cemetery, on board the North Carolina. He received his discharge at Norfolk, Va., shortly afterwards.

Mrs. Stewart resdes[sic] at El Dorado and is an unusually capable woman. She is a prominent member of the Woman's Relief Corps, having been a member of that organization for a number of years. She has been a delegate to five State conventions of that order, and was a delegate to two National conventions, one at Washington, D. C., and the other at Rochester, N. Y. She is also a member of the Eastern Star and the W. B. Club, and is a member of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. Mrs. Stewart bears the distinction of having served


on the first jury in Butler county composed of women. She is an extensive traveller and is well informed.

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