James Stewart, a native of Vermont, came to Champion in 1812 and soon after took up land in the bend of the river, above the present village of Great Bend, which he cleared, and there he died February 22, 1835, at 63 years. His wife, Mary, survived him nearly three years, passing away February 5, 1838, at the age of 60 years.
Their children are accounted for as follows:
1. Rachel, the first, married Dr. Eli West of Carthage, where she died
2. Thomas dwelt near his father in Champion, where he died
3. Alfred died at Great Bend
5. Sarah became the wife of Ira Paddock and died at Great Bend
6. Abner C. born in 1821 enlisted in August 1862 in Company C, 35th Regiment NY Volunteers and was discharged in the following year on account of disability from injuries while going up the bank of Antietam Creek at the Battle of Antietam. He died in 1897 at Great Bend.
Orson Stewart, No. 4, above, was born February 22, 1808 in Grand Isle County, Vermont, and was, therefore, just 27 years old on the day of his father's death. Soon after his majority he commenced buying land which he cleared up, and had 150 acres at one time. He sold this and in March, 1855 purchased 100 acres on Lot 2, where his son now resides. The stone house and part of the barn which now occupy the place were then in existence and he subsequently made additions to the barn, so that the appearance of the buildings has been little changed in the last 40 years. From this place he sold off 26 acres and still had a fine farm, beautifully located. He operated a home dairy many years, making butter for the market, but had the advantage of local cheese factories in his later years. Mr. Stewart was very fond of horses, and dealt in them considerably at one time, bringing them from Canada and selling them to his contemporaries. He was a man of strong sentiment and firmly fixed in principle. If one offended him he sought to prevent a repetition of the offense by avoiding intercourse with the offender. To his friends he was every loyal, and he sought to serve the general welfare in all things. He acted with the Whigs upon assuming the duties of citizenship, and was among those who gave their first allegiance to the Republican party.
He married on March 24, 1840 to Miss Sophronia M. Clark, daughter of William Clark. She was born September 22, 1816 in Champion and died September 11, 1891 in the stone house where most of her married life was passed, being eleven days less than 75 years old. Mr. Stewart passed away August 16, 1896, in his eighty-ninth year.
Thomas Nelson Stewart, the only son of Orson and Sophronia Stewart, was born March 7, 1847 near Black River, north of his present home, and grew up from the age of eight years in the stone house which still shelters him. He attended the village school at Great Bend until he was 18 years old, and continued to bear a share in the labors of the home farm until he was 22. He then went to Michigan, where he spent two years being engaged part of that time in driving the stage between Traverse City and Big Rapids. On account of his father's advancing years, he was then persuaded to return and manage the farm, which became his by inheritance. About 1873 he acquired by purchase 47 1/2 acres on the opposite side of the road, which he continues to cultivate in connection with the paternal acres. His dairy contains 15 cows and he gives some attention to the growing of young stock. He is a member of Great Bend Grange, in which he has held office, and is a steadfast Republican in politics. For two years he served the town of Champion as constable.
In January 1867, he married Minnie Slack, who died June 16, 1869, at 17years, 9 months, leaving a daughter, Minnie, now a resident of Watertown. In 1871, Mr. Stewart married Mary Chard who died July 18, 1895 at 46 years, leaving seven children:
1. William, now employed in Carthage
2. Carrie married William Davis, a farmer of Rutland
4. Eugene both at home, being employed at Deferiet.
6. Mary Belle
7. Abner (the last three at home)
Mr. Stewart married a third time on March 18, 1896 to Olive Hubbard, a daughter of Moses and Margaret (Ensign) Hubbard.
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