From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Celeste MacCormack.
WILLIAM H. STEWART, proprietor of the Stewart house in Athens, N.Y., and representative citizen of this place, was born in Jacksonville, now Earlton, in the town of Coxsackie, Greene County, on December 8, 1849, son of William C. and Margaret (Hardick) Stewart. William C. Stewart, who was born in Coxsackie, was a lawyer by profession, and practised in his native town for over a quarter of a century. He was a leading man there, and for a number of years was justice. In his later life he made his home with his son William. His death occurred in 1884, at the age of sixty-eight. He was a Republican in politics. His wife was born in the town of Athens, and died in Earlton at the age of sixty-three. She was the daughter of Jacob Hardick, who carried on farming on what was known as the Hardick farm. She bore her husband six children, only two of whom are living; namely, William H. and his sister, Lucy J. The latter, who now resides in McHenry, Ill., is the wife of Isaac Wentworth, formerly of Athens, Greene County, N.Y.
William H. Stewart’s early years were spent in Jacksonville in the town of Coxsackie, and he attended the public schools there until he was fifteen years of age. He then went to work as errand boy in the store of Daniel Whiting, who dealt in general merchandise, and also carried on a brick manufactory and a wood yard. Young Stewart rose from the humble position of errand boy to that of clerk, and in this capacity worked for Mr. Whiting some ten or twelve years. Subsequently to that he was clerk for a year in the Wormer House, now the Arlington House, of Athens and at the end of that time, in 1875, he purchased his present property. The small house then standing on the lot was torn down, and finely appointed Stewart house of to-day erected in its place. The building is three stories high, and is fitted with all modern improvements, such as steam-heating apparatus, electricity for call bells and for lighting, hot and cold water and sanitary bath tubs. Besides the main house, Mr. Stewart owns the three adjoining houses and the dock where the ferry boat from Hudson lands. He has accommodations for about fifty guests, and as a landlord is deservedly popular. He has always taken an active part in politics, and has been trustee of the village a number of years and also school trustee.
Mr. Stewart was married in 1877 to Ida Hollenbeck, who was born at Guilderland Centre, in Albany County, daughter of Garret and Harriet (Van Valkenberg) Hollenbeck. Her father, who was a farmer, died when only forty years of age. Her mother, who was born in Albany, is still living, being now sixty-nine years of age. Of Mrs. Hollenbeck’s three children, Mrs. Stewart is the only one living. Mr. and Mrs. Stewart have one child, Hattie W., who lives with them. They lost a son, Wilfred D., at the age of ten years.
Mr. Stewart is a member of the Custer Lodge of Odd Fellows, No. 508, and of the Knights of Pythias, No. 129, of Athens. He has served several years as a member of Mackawack Hand Engine company, but is now exempt from duty with that company, though he is an active member of the Hook and Ladder Company, which is said to be one of the finest in the State. He is also the oldest hotel man in this town, and with one exception the oldest in the county. His wife and daughter attend the Reformed church. In connection with his hotel Mr. Stewart carries on a livery, which is one of the best in town.