Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Milton R. Steward

MILTON R. STEWARD, president of the Columbus Vitrified Brick & Title Company, vice-president of the Columbus State Bank, and identified with many of the successful business enterprises of Cherokee County, was born in Salem County, New Jersey, in 1853.

Mr. Steward comes of an agricultural line of ancestors, of Irish and Welsh extraction and on the maternal side they were Quakers. In 1855 his parents moved to Macoupin County, Illinois, settled on a farm and passed the remainder of their lives there, the mother dying in 1894, and the father passing away about two years later. The three survivors of their family of children are: Milton R.; B. F., of Columbus; and W. H., an attorney living at Carlinville, Illinois.

The subject of this sketch remained at home until 1873, when he went to Neosho, Missouri, where he was engaged in clerking until 1873, when he returned to Macoupin County, Illinois, and engaged in business for himself, Later, he and his brother established a store at Red Oak, Iowa, which they removed to Columbus, Kansas, in 1883. Here for 20 years Mr. Steward was interested in a large dry goods, boot, shoe and clothing concern, which was conducted under the firm style of Steward Brothers.

The Columbus Vitrified Brick & Tile Company was incorporated in February, 1903, with the following officers: Milton R. Steward, president; William Hoffmire, vice-president; Philip C. Metzler, manager; E. D. Whiteside, secretary; and L. J. Slease, treasurer, the board of directors being the above named capitalists, with the addition of Judge A. H. Skidmore. The business of the company is the manufacture of paving and building brick. It is the only brick plant in the county, and is located just north of the city limits of Columbus, where the company owns 22 acres. Its shale beds run from 10 to 18 feet deep, there being practically an unlimited supply. The company is working with a capital of $30,000, employs from 18 to 20 men and produces from 12,000 to 20,000 bricks a day. It has a ready market for all the bricks it can produce. This has proven one of the most successful business enterprises in which Columbus capital has been invested. In addition to his interests in the brick company, Mr. Steward is vice-president, and one of the directors, of the Columbus State Bank, and is interested in coal lands at Mineral.

Mr. Steward was married in Illinois to Louise H. Hillier, a daughter of Edwin Hillier, a large stock dealer in that State. They have one daughter, Mabelle, who resides at home. The family belong to the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Politically, Mr. Steward is a Republican, and fraternally he is a Mason and is connected with the Blue Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter at Columbus. By a long and honorable business career, and by his many genial social qualities, Mr. Steward has well earned the esteem of his fellow citizens.

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