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Peter W. Stewart
Portrait and Biographical Album
Lake County, Illinois, 1891

PETER W. STEWART is the owner of a good farm of one hundred and nine acres situated on section 4, Warren Township. He has been a resident of this county since 1841, and is therefore numbered among its pioneer settlers. He was born in Will County, Ill., February 20, 1839, and is the eldest in a family of eight children whose parents, Peter and Elizabeth (Legg) Stewart, were natives of Scotland. The father was born in Strichen, Aberdeenshire, April 16, 1806, and in Canada was united in marriage with Miss Legg, who was born in Stewartfield, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, February 27, 1811, and came to America in 1833. They removed to Will County, Ill., in 1838, Mr. Stewart having a contract on the Illinois and Michigan Canal. In 1841, they came to Lake County, and settled in Warren Township where he purchased and improved a pre-empted claim. From that time until his death he made his home in this county. He superintended the construction of the bridge across the Illinois River at La Salle, but devoted the greater part of his time and attention to agricultural pursuits. His death occurred in Warren Township, October 23, 1874, and his wife died on February 8, 1889, at her home in Millburn, Ill. She was a sincere Christian woman, a kind and loving mother and was held in the highest esteem by her neighbors and friends. As before stated our subject is the eldest of their family. Ann E;., the second child, who was born in Will County, Ill., March 21, 1841, is the wife of John H. Hughes of Lake Villa; George L., born in Millburn, May 3, 1843, enlisted for the late war in Company C, Ninety-sixth Illinois Infantry, served until the close, is now married and resides in Waukegan; Alex H., born in Millburn, June 10, 1845, is married and resides on the old homestead in Warren Township; James B., born in Millburn, December 3, 1847, died in the pineries of Michigan in 1871; William B., born in Millburn February 24, 1850, is married and resides in the village of Millburn; John T., born July 10, 1855, resides with his family in St. Paul, Minn.; Eliza E., born in Millburn October, 1857, is the wife of James H. Bonner of Warren Township.

Our subject spent the days of his boyhood and youth on the old Stewart homestead and in the district schools of the neighborhood was educated. On beginning life he rented land for about three years, at the end of which time, by perseverance and industry, he had accumulated enough to purchase a small farm. In be bought an unimproved tract of timber land of sixty-four and one fourth acres and at once began its development. He was married in Warren Township, November 24, 1862, to Margaret Wedge, a native of Canada, and a daughter of Joshua and Margaret (Strang) Wedge Her father also was born in Canada, but her mother was a native of Scotland. They settled in Lake County, in 1841, and are now living retired lives in Millburn. On May 11, 1876, Mr. Stewart was called to mourn the loss of his wife who died at their home in Warren Township. He was again married in Waukegan, July 4, 1877, his second union being with Elizabeth Bonner, who was born in Avon Township, and is a daughter of James and Margaret (Anderson) Bonner, natives of Scotland. Her father came direct from Scotland to Lake County, Ill., in 1840, and cast his lot with the early settlers of Avon Township. The farm on which he first settled is still his home. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have one adopted child, Gladys B.

Mr. Stewart owns a good farm of one hundred and five acres and the well tilled fields and neat surroundings indicate the care and supervision of the owner. Since he cast his first Presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln he has supported the Republican party, and has held a number of offices of public trust, including those of Assessor, Tax Collector and Supervisor, and for four years was Justice of the Peace. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend and during the eighteen years with which he has been connected with the School Board, he has done much for the advancement of the schools in bringing them up to a higher grade of excellence. His wife is a member of the Millburn Congregational Church and a most estimable lady. Another enterprise with which Mr. Stewart is connected is the Millburn Mutual Insurance Company, he holding the office of Treasurer. It is a county organization and has a large membership. It was organized March 12, 1865, and was run without a charter until February 16, 1866, when it received a special charter, under which it now operates. It has written eighty seven thousand policies and on December 31, 1890, had in force $2,864,689. The officers of the company are, President, James L. Thain; Secretary, Edwin P. Dodge; and Treasurer, P. W. Stewart. The directors are; A. T. White, J. H. Nelson and Byron Colby. The company has always paid its losses promptly and is a commendable organization.
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