EZRA BATES STEWARD
Too much credit cannot be given to the pioneers who suffered hardships that words poorly portray, and, as has often been said of the founders of this great nation. "they builded better than they knew." Kansas, whose early days were especially troublous, was blessed with a host of brave, hardy souls, who never faltered in the great work of making this one of the foremost trans-Mississippi states. Among this honored band of patriots is enrolled the name of Steward, and below is subjoined a review of the lives of our subject and his father, both prominent in Atchison county.
They come from good old New England stock, the paternal grandfather of E. B. Steward having been Captain Ezra Steward, a native of the Green Mountain state. He came to Kansas in 1855, accompanied by his family, and from that time to the present they have been closely identified with the progress of this section of the Union. William, father of E. B. Steward, was born in Ohio and reared and educated in Indiana. For many years he was sheriff in Jasper county, and held an influential place in the community. While living in the Hoosier state he married Sarah Yeoman, (daughter of Stephen Yeoman, who died in Indiana. She was a native of Indiana and grew to womanhood there. In 1855 William Steward came across the plains with a team and wagon. and passed through Atchison when that town comprised but four houses. He took up his abode in the northwestern part of section 13, Kapioma township, and passed the remainder of his life there, dying when forty-two years of age. His wife, who died in 1874, was in her forty-eighth year. Both were members of the Methodist church. They had but one son and one daughter, Hannah, wife of James Thomas, of this township.
Ezra Bates Steward was born in Jasper county, Indiana, in 1847. When he was seven years of age he came to this county, and here he attended the district schools. which, as might be expected, were of very poor quality, as compared with those of the present day. It was, moreover, his privilege to be a student in the Monrovia school for one year. Only a few houses could be seen in the course of a long day's ride through the county, everything being wild and desolate, bearing little promise of the brilliant future in store for it. On his father's farm he mastered agriculture in its various details. As a result of this industry and good business principles he now owns one hundred and ten acres of well-improved land in Kapioma township. A comfortable house and barns, as well as other accessories of a modern homestead, are upon the place. Mr. Steward also owns a house and lot in Muscotah, and a house and two lots in Effingham, and a house and two lots in Horton, Kansas.
In the centennial year Mr. Steward married Jettah Streeter, a native of Illinois. She was educated in the higher branches of the Leavenworth Normal School, and was a popular and successful teacher prior to her marriage. Her father, the Rev. William H. Streeter, was an earnest worker in the Methodist denomination. He was born and educated in Albany, New York, and after living in Illinois for some time came to Kansas in 1870, locating in Nemaha county. His wife was a Miss Hannah Van DeCar before her marriage. They were the parents of nine children, of whom six survive. Hattie Adams is a resident of Rockford, Illinois; Harvey Streeter lives in Holton, Kansas; Frank makes his home in Muscotah, Kansas; Mrs. Minnie Bradey lives in this township, and Charles lives in Effingham. The four children of our subject and wife are: Mabel S., wife of Lloyd Petree, of Effingham; William E., Virgil Leroy and Bertha H.
Politically Mr. Steward is a Republican, and has served for several terms as a member of the local school board. He is a loyal member of the Advent Christian church, and not only works in the church and Sunday school, but also sings in the choir and aids in every department.