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John R. Stewart

John R. Stewart's farm of 720 acres, is one of the finest for successful agricultural purposes to be found in Cleveland County, and the manner in which it is conducted is in full keeping with the personal characteristics of the owner, who is a man of energy, determination and intelligence. By attending strictly to his chosen calling he has done much to advance the farming interests of the county, and is in the enjoyment of an extensive acquaintance, and is highly respected.

He was born in Montgomery County, Ala., September 20, 1833, and is a son of Beniah and Mary Ann (Respass) Stewart, who were born in the State of Georgia. They were married there but afterward moved to Alabama, thence to Arkansas, in 1849, locating in what was then Bradley County, now known as Cleveland.

They were members of the Missionary Baptist Church for many years, and he was a life-long Democrat, and a successful farmer, being a slave owner before the Civil War. He was a man strictly temperate in all things, and although he always kept liquor in his house he was never known to be under its influence. He did not use tobacco in any form, and it is perhaps owing to these facts that he always enjoyed such excellent health, and lived to such an advanced age. He came of Scotch-Irish stock, and died in Cleveland County, Ark., in 1888, aged eighty-eight years. His wife's death also occurred in Cleveland County, in 1856, at the age of fifty years. Five of their nine children are now living, John R. being the fourth of the family.

His early school days were spent in Alabama, but after coming to Arkansas with his parents when sixteen years of age, he continued to go to school for some time, and when nineteen years of age he began wielding the ferule near his present home, he being one of the first teachers in this community. After following this occupation for some time, he married and turned his attention to farming, and his labors in this direction have met with the above  mentioned results.

In the month of May, 1861, he joined Col. O' Neal's squadron of independent soldiers, but one year later he was attached to Gen. Cabell's brigade in the Second Arkansas Confederate Cavalry, in which, service he was until the close of the war. He was in many battles, among which may be mentioned Fayetteville, Pine Bluff, and was with Price on his raid through Missouri, participating in all the engagement of that campaign.

In the battle of Poison Springs he received a flesh wound in the right leg, and during the battle of Mark's Mill his house was utilized as a hospital. After the war his means consisted of a team of two mules, which he had taken to Red River bottom for safe keeping, and with the desire to accumulate something for his family, and with their assistance he set to work and became very successful in time.

He was married to Miss Lucy Crane, in 1853, a daughter of Warren Crane, her birth having occurred in Arkansas, in 1835. She died in 1870, having borne three children, two now living: John F. and William H., who are successful farmers of Cleveland County; Mary N. was the youngest child, and died when about twenty seven years of age, the wife of A. C. Clements, a farmer, of Texas.

In 1871 Mr. Stewart took for his second spouse, Miss Mary E. Stephens, who was born in Georgia, in September, 1845, and by her is the father of six children: Cora E., Oscar T., Anna B., Bessie L., Roxie R.. and Alice G. Mr. Stewart and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and socially he is a member of the Masonic order, and in his political views a Democrat.


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas
Copyright 1890
Published by The Goodspeed Publishing Co.; Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis