San Francisco County
WILLIAM M. STEWART
Senator Stewart, from the State of Nevada, is one of the great “Commoners” of our country. He is a native of New York, and his youth was spent on a farm assisting his father until he was thirteen years of age, when he was allowed to start in the world for himself. Working on a farm for wages and teaching school enabled him to prepare for and enter Yale College. In the winter of 1849-50 he left for California before graduating, although the degree of Master of Arts was conferred on him by the college years afterward. He worked in the mines a short time and then commenced reading law. In December, 1852, he was appointed District Attorney of Nevada county, and in 1854 Attorney-General and removed to San Francisco. He returned to Nevada City, and thence removed to Downieville, and made particular study of laws relative to mining and water rights. In 1860 he took up his residence at Washoe, Nevada, and entered into active practice of his profession and became one of the leading attorneys of the State. He was elected in 1864 to the Senate of the United States, and was re-elected in 1869. He was the champion of the mining interest and thus to his efforts to sell all the mining lands of the country at public auction. During the years between 1875 and 1887, when he was elected again to the United States Senate, he practiced law, and was engaged in most of the important mining cases in Nevada and California. He is one of the most eloquent and engaging speakers in the United State Senate, and his forensic efforts on several occasions, in upholding the rights of the people, have been among the grandest in the history of our country. His sympathetic heart and eminent ability has always been enlisted in behalf of people in the humbler walks of life, and it seems quite appropriate that the miner’s friend should have the honor of being selected one of the trustees of the Leland Stanford, Junior, University.
Transcribed By: Cecelia M. Setty.
Source: “Illustrated Fraternal Directory Including Educational Institutions on the Pacific Coast”, Page 51, Publ. Bancroft Co., San Francisco. Cal. 1889.
© 2012 Cecelia M. Setty.