Jesse E. Stewart.Among the names familiar to the older residents of Wabaunsee and Pottawatomie counties is that of Jesse E. Stewart, who has been identified with the pioneer struggles of the state and at present is honorably filling the position of mayor of Wamego. He is an Indiana man, born in Rush county in 1862, and received his early education there. His father, R. A. Stewart, was also born in Indiana, where he received a good common school education and engagegd[sic] in farming; and his mother, Margaret Williams, met and married her husband in the Hoosier State. In 1871 they moved to Kansas and located in Lincoln county on a 160-acre farm, which Mr. Stewart soon improved and had in such shape that he sold it and bought more land in Wabaunsee county, where he lived for thirty years before he retired from active life and went to Wamego to live. He died there in 1909, but Mrs. Stewart still resides and makes her home with her son. Jesse E. Stewart was ten years of age when his parents came to Kansas, and he helped his father break the virgin soil of the two farms, herded cattle, plowed corn when the drought or grasshoppers left any to cultivate, and attended the district schools of the frontier. After finishing his education he engaged in farming by himself and followed that vocation for twenty-four years.
While living in the country he married Anna, daughter of D. W. Johnson, of Wabaunsee county, and three children were born to them: Ina G. is a student in Baker University, and Harold E. and Glenn are at home. After his marriage Mr. Stwart rented a farm, but he was thrifty, practical and a hard worker, and soon had made money enough to buy thirty acres of land. Shortly he added to this first farm until he had 120 acres, and this he improved and sold for a good price, but immediately purchased a still larger farm of over 330 acres. During the flood this was rather badly cut up and he determined to carry out an idea that he had been considering for some time, that of moving into Wamego and engaging in some commercial enterprise. He sold his land, built a home in Wamego, and opened a furniture store. This business has grown so in the fifteen years since it was established that more lines have been added, and recently a fine new building was erected to house the larger stock of goods. Mr. Stewart has natural business ability and this, combined with his genial personality, has caused his store to become one of the popular business houses of Wamego. He has always taken an active part in city affairs since moving to Wamego, became one of the leaders of the Republican party and was elected mayor of the city on that ticket. He is a well known figure in church circles, and it has been largely due to his influence and help that the beautiful Methodist church was erected. For some years he has been a member of the city council and the board of education, where he has served with great credit and to the entire satisfaction of the people who elected him. Fraternally he is a Mason, a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, American Order of United Workmen and of the Eastern Star.Pages 485-486 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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