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Henry Havelock Stewart


Bibliography: Library of Congress. "Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910." Washington: Library of Congress, 1999. Aiken, Andrew J. "Men of Progress, Wisconsin." Milwaukee, WI: Evening Wisconsin Co., 1897. p. 514

STEWART, Henry Havelock, a resident of West Superior and treasurer of Douglas county, was born at Breadalbane, Ontario, September 6th, 1864, the son of Peter A. and Annie McLaren Stewart. Peter A. Stewart has been sessional clerk of the house of commons at Ottawa, Ontario, for the past thirty years, and is "the son of John Stewart, who was the son of Peter, who was the son of another Peter, who was the son of John Roy Stewart. They were of the royal Stewarts of Garth, descended from the Wolf of Badenoch and the duke of Albany, the king's brother. H. H. Stewart's grandfather was born in the parish of Kenmore at Loch Tayside, Scotland, and emigrated with his parents to Ontario about 1808, when five years of age. John Roy Stewart was a celebrated character in his day. He fought with the duke of Cumberland, to whom he was personally known, in Germany; and against him and for Prince Charles Edward in 1745 and 1746. The battle of Culloden was a crusher to him as well as to many others, whose chief inheritance thereafter was poverty." It will be seen, therefore, that the family were all of Highland Scotch descent.

H. H. Stewart was educated in the common schools of Ontario, which at that time were of an inferior order, the teacher's chief accomplishment being the ability to inflict corporal punishment with straps, sticks and switches. He ran away from a school of this kind when seven years old, walking sixteen miles into the country, dragging with him a younger brother. He did not enjoy going to school until he was twelve years of age. He wanted to work for himself when ten years old, and resolved to get away from home, and did go when sixteen years old, and has never stayed at home since. He was stubborn and caused his parents much trouble to control him. He also attended the Ontario Business College at Belleville. After this he went to Saginaw, Mich., in April, 1883, where he worked at handling coal, rock, etc., in the hold of a vessel, piled lumber and worked in the woods. In August, 1884, he went to Chippewa Falls, Wis., where his first job was as cook's helper. His next was laying ties and iron on the railroad from Chippewa Falls to St. Paul. After that he worked in lumber camps, on river drives and then as tally man at the Beef Slough boom. Then he became delivery man for a meat market, later book-keeper, and next clerk in a grocery. In short, he showed his willingness to do anything by which he could make an honest living. In 1887 he went to Superior, and was book-keeper for a meat market there; and afterwards he was book-keeper for several years for Rhodes Brothers, street, dock and railroad contractors. During these years the firm changed several times, and finally Mr. Stewart became the junior partner, the firm being Rhodes & Stewart. Their work was mostly railroad construction, on the Duluth, S. S. & A., the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific and the Superior Terminal railways. At this time he was taken sick with typhoid fever, and was confined to his room for nearly a year, during which most of his property was swept away by the expenses involved in his sickness and his inability to look after his interests. Upon his recovery, however, he set to work again to repair his losses, taking the position of book-keeper for the Lake Superior Logging Railway company. In the spring of 1894 he was appointed assistant city treasurer, which office he held until elected county treasurer in November, 1896.

Mr. Stewart was married on the 27th of June, 1894, to Jessie C. McLaren of Chippewa Falls, Wis., who is the daughter of a prominent lumberman of that city.

Mr. Stewart has always been a Republican, and has done what a citizen may honorably do for the success of the party which he has espoused. He is prompt and energetic, accurate in the discharge of his official duties, is genial and courteous in manner, a very popular official and enterprising citizen, as all the leading men of Superior seem to be. He joined the Odd Fellows Lodge in 1888, and [p.515] afterward the various branches subordinate. He has been twice noble grand, twice chief patriarch and twice captain. He was district deputy grand master; joined the State Grand Lodge and was several times representative therein. He instituted Oak Lodge, No. 340, of the order.

Whatever success Mr. Stewart has attained is due entirely to his own energy and untiring exertion. His life so far is a striking illustration of what a young man can accomplish if he is industrious, economical and honest, and is inspired by a worthy ambition. In view of what he has already attained his friends may reasonably and confidently anticipate for him a very successful and distinguished career.

 

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