Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
ROBERT R. STEWART. Two
miles east of the town of Moscow, Washington, is the handsome home of Robert
R. Stewart, the making of which has entailed great hardship and toil on
the part of its owner and his family. He came to the place in 1889,
the land then belonging to the railroad, and erected a very humble shack
in which to live while improving his farm. The winter of 1889-90
being unusually severe the family endured grave discomfort from cold and
exposure, since the domicile was roughly put together and open to the elements
to a distressing degree. Mr. Stewart was without means, and lived
for a year almost exclusively on the profit of the eggs from his farm,
which he must needs haul to Sprague or Spokane to market. Perseverance,
however, won out in the end, so that now this industrious and determined
pioneer is one of the well-to-do farmers of his county, owning eight hundred
acres of land all under fence, and one half under cultivation and annually
producing an abundant and profitable crop. His primitive hut has
been replaced by a large seven-room house with all the modern conveniences,
including the telephone, and his out-of-door improvements have been equally
well seen to. His land is divided by Crab creek, which furnishes
an abundance of living water, and the Great Northern railroad crosses a
portion of his farm.
Robert R. Stewart was born in Edgar county,
Illinois, May 23, 1845. His father was Samuel Stewart, a gentleman
of Scotch extraction, and died while our subject was an infant.
His mother, also deceased, was Rachel (Powers) Stewart, the daughter of
Luther Powers, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.
Mr. Stewart is the only surviving member
of a family of five children. He remained in the county of his birth
until attaining the age of seventeen, under the care of his mother's sister,
at which age the family removed to Vermilion county, Illinois. Mr.
Stewart received a thorough common school education, and during the month
of February, 1865, he enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Fiftieth Illinois
Volunteers. He enlisted as a private, but was later appointed corporal
by his captain, Lyons Parker, and served with distinction in the states
of Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama until being mustered out of service January
He then returned to Vermilion county and engaged
in farming. On October 28, 1869, Mr. Stewart was married to Ellen
Miller, and two years later they started west. They located in Sacramento
county, California, where they were engaged in farming and poultry raising
for a space, but later returned to a farm in Vermilion county.
On October 9, 1882, Mrs. Stewart died, leaving
three children, Grace, married to Joseph Thompson, in Vermilion county;
Clara, wife of U. S. Long, of Moscow, Washington; and Miss Oma Stewart,
an accomplished musician of Oklahoma.
Mr. Stewart was married a second time, November
1, 1883, his wife being Miss Ellan Clester, a native of Vermilion county,
Illinois. She was the daughter of Andrew and Amelia (Strong) Clester,
who are deceased. They continued to reside in Vermilion county until
coming to their present home.
Mr. Stewart is a member of General Rusk Post,
G. A. R., of Davenport, and has served as commander of his post.
On Christmas day, 1867, he entered the Cumberland church under the ministry
of the late Reverend G. W. Jordan, and was ordained an elder in 1880 by
the Reverend W. O. Smith. His wife is a member of the same church.
Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have a promising family
of five children, whose names are, Samuel Arthur, Daisy Lulu, Effie Oral,
Robert Andrew, and Rachel Ellen.