Background, page design, and transcription format 2003 - 2009 Leona L. Gustafson


Return to Main Page

FRANCIS STEWART,
Page 592

(Portrait)

the subject of this sketch, was born in York, Pennsylvania, March 2, 1788. His early life was passed on his father's farm, until [he was] old enough to be apprenticed to a carpenter. Having served his apprenticeship, while in his twentieth year, with his tools on his back, he started to walk from York to Columbus, and arrived at his destination early in the year 1808. His health up to this time had been delicate, and the journey on foot was made partly in the hope of regaining it. For a short time after settling in Franklinton he worked at his trade, but his health would not permit the violent exercise necessary to that business. When the war of 1812 broke out he, with most of the young men of the place, joined a volunteer cavalry company, known as the Franklinton dragoons. He remained with this troop as ensign until it was disbanded, in 1832 or 1833. In 1815 he was elected sheriff of Franklin County and served until 1819, at the same time holding the post of county collector, an office long since abolished, whose encumbent's duty it was to go through the county and collect the taxes. In 1817 he married Miss Martha Sterett, a lady of much beauty and culture, who was the mother of his seven children, and who died in Columbus July 20, 1834. In the spring of 1819 he removed to Columbus and engaged in the dry goods business. His store at this time was located on the southwest corner of High and Chapel streets. Mr. Stewart here founded an extensive business, and in 1831 or 1832 removed it to its present locality, at No. 89 south High street, where it is conducted by the firm of Osborn & Company, of which his eldest grandson, M. F. Stewart Knox, is a member. Mr. Stewart was the father of seven children, and, with one exception, survived all of them. Mary, the eldest, wife of Joseph H. Geiger, died March 20, 1854, leaving two daughters--Lydiel J. and Ruth S., both of whom are living in Columbus; Olivia, died September 20, 1844; Sarah, wife of Joseph E. Baldwin, died August 31, 1845, leaving one daughter; Martha S., wife of Thomas H. Kennedy, now living in Covington, Kentucky; Charles died April 13, 1846; John married Virginia Miner, and died July 8, 1856, leaving two daughters--Kate M., wife of Alpheus Cutter--died Nov 2, 1876--and Sarah B., wife of George M. Dewey, now living in Brooklyn, New York; Martha died May 20, 1835; Ruth married F. W. Knox, of Virginia, who died January 8, 1865, leaving two sons, F. Stewart and Archie W. She then married James Kooken, who died August 11, 1872. Mrs. Kooken, the only surviving child, is now living in Columbus. Mr. Stewart served one term in the legislature, from 1832 to 1834. In December, 1836, he married his second wife, Sarah Benfield. About 1850 he retired from active business, leaving it in the hands of Mr. J. D. Osborn, who had been associated with him from boyhood, and whose heirs are now in the firm of Osborn & Company. On his eightieth birthday Mr. Stewart entertained many of his friends, among whom he moved with so firm a step and erect carriage as made them forget he was an octogenarian. A few months later he lost his wife, the devoted companion of many years. Mr. Stewart died January 3, 1874, having reached the unusual age of eighty-six years, mourned by those who knew him and respected by all. He was a man of quiet, modest habits, hospitable, generous, honest and possessed of strong common sense. Though not a member of any church, he was a firm supporter of law and order. Education and charity always found in him a generous friend; and after a long and useful life he died as he had lived--a man.

Transcriber's note: Mr. Stewart is buried at Green Lawn Cemetery, Lot 44 Sec O.

TOP


NOTICE: This electronic page may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by any organizations or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material, must obtain the written consent of the .