As is the case with the majority of the successful business men of America, John Stewart, a leading citizen of Kapioma township, Atchison county, has been the architect of his own fortunes, and his example is well worthy of emulation by the ambitious young man of today.
He comes of the stanch Scotch-Irish stock which has furnished the brains and brawn to many of the most notable achievements of the Anglo-Saxon race. His father, John Stewart, was born on the Emerald Isle, but came to America and chose for a bride Mary Leight, of Pennsylvania. For many years he was engaged in farming in the Keystone state, and continued actively occupied in his accustomed labors until shortly before his death, at the age of three-score years and ten. His wife survived him, being seventy-seven years old at the time of her death. They were members of the Lutheran church, and were highly esteemed and loved by those with whom they were associated.
John Stewart of this sketch is one of six children. His sister, Rachel, is the wife of William Dewait, and his youngest sister, Elizabeth, is the wife of John Mcintyre. Sarah and Mary Isabella are deceased. Guthrie and Joseph are residents of Pennsylvania, as are the surviving sisters, with their families. Joseph, of Johnstown, lost all of his property in the dreadful flood which swept away much of that thriving place several years ago, and narrowly escaped with his life.
The birth of our subject took place in Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, July 21, 1839. After obtaining a district school education, and mastering the various departments of agriculture, he began earning his independent livelihood, and had a competence ere he married. After that event the young couple spent several years in Pennsylvania, and in 1882 concluded to try their fortunes in Kansas. At first Mr. Stewart bought one hundred and twenty-two acres of land, and within a few years added to it a tract of three hundred and sixty-five acres. Later he sold one hundred and twenty acres of this, and in its stead bought two hundred acres of more desirable property. His present homestead is justly regarded as one of the best in the county, and the comfortable house, barns, corn-cribs and modern farm machinery plainly show that the proprietor is thoroughly progressive and business-like. He raises a high grade of cattle and horses, and does the most extensive business in live stock in this vicinity. In his political creed he is a Democrat.
When he was thirty years of age the marriage of Mr. Stewart and Sallie McSwaney took place in Pennsylvania. She is a daughter of Byron McSwaney, and is of Scotch-Irish descent. Three of the four children of our subject and wife are married and have comfortable homes of their own. Mary, Wife of Joseph Snyder, resides upon a farm situated about one mile east of Effingham. Margaret is the wife of Fred Wirt, of Benton township, and Lillie is the wife of Peter Muller, of Benton township. Jimmie, the only son of our subject, is at home, and aids in the management of the large farm, which necessarily requires much care and attention.