JOHN F. STEWART

Source: Album of Genealogy and Biography, Cook County, Illinois with Portraits 3rd ed. revised and extended (Chicago: Calumet Book & Engraving Co., 1895), pp. 60-61

JOHN FLETCHER STEWART is the oldest resident of North Evanston, and has been prominently identified with its growth and development for nearly a quarter of a century.  He was born in Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, March 19, 1849, and is a son of John W. Stewart, a prominent pioneer and one of the earliest Knights Templar of the West.

John F. Stewart was educated in the public schools of Monroe, completing the course at the age of eighteen years, having taught several terms of school in the mean time.  Soon after graduating, he entered the First National Bank of Brodhead, Wisconsin, of which his father was one of the Directors.  He continued there in the capacity of Teller about three years.  In 1871 he came to Chicago, and made his home at North Evanston, which then contained but a few houses.  In partnership with his father, he bought forty acres of land, which they subdivided.  They were among the property-owners who built the railroad station at that point.  Mr. Stewart has given most of his time and attention to real estate operations, though he was in the mercantile business at North Evanston twelve years.  For five years he filled a position in the County Treasurer’s office, and has recently served three years as a member of the Village Council of Evanston.

He has taken special pains in promoting the cause of public education, and served as Chairman of the Building Committee which had charge of the construction of the North Evanston public school, an edifice of which all the citizens are proud.  He has been a member of the Board of Education almost constantly since locating in Evanston, and a part of the time officiated as President of that body.

In 1871 Mr. Stewart was married to Miss May M. Allen, daughter of Thomas J. Allen, of Brecksville, Ohio, a direct descendant of General Ethan Allen, of Revolutionary fame, and a native of Vermont.  Mr. and Mrs. Stewart are the parents of five children.  The eldest, Charles Allen, is a student of the Northwestern University at Evanston.  Eva M. is a student in the Evanston High School.  The others are John F., junior, Walter M. and Marion.

A life-long Republican, Mr. Stewart concerns himself little with the distribution of offices.  The family is affiliated with the North Evanston Methodist Church, for which he has helped to build two houses of worship.  He is active in the promotion and councils of the Masonic order, being a member of Evans Lodge and Evanston Chapter, and he is also identified with the Royal Arcanum.   He is a member of the Evanston Business Men’s Club, President of the Sixth Ward Republican Club, a member of the Commercial Travelers’ Republican Club, and of the North End Improvement Society, a social and charitable organization of North Evanston families, of which latter organization he is President.

Mr. Stewart has labored persistently to make this rural suburb what it is to-day, an aggregation of beautiful and cultured homes, and no worthy public movement has been allowed to languish for want of his hearty support and encouragement.

                                -- Submitted on 9/26/99 by Sherri Hessick ( slhessick@crosswinds.net )