For the past two years, I have, during my leisure time, compiled the following personal memoirs, with a view of putting into permanent form such a record of the principal events of my life, as would be of interest to my immediate family.
I cannot claim for the work, any literary merit. I have sought only to give a "plain, unvarnished tale", as to myself and my ancestors, in the hope that it will possess some interest to those for whom it is written.
I have been careful to state with accuracy, the facts given, as to persons and dates.
My inability to trace the genealogy of the family of "S T E W A R T" farther back than to my grandfather is a matter of regret to me.
A Mr. Watson Stewart, of Normal, Illinois, has placed me under obligations for information as to the ancestors of his family--showing strong marks of similarity to our branch of the family--evidencing the fact that both families are descended from the same ancestors.
I have not spoken at any length of my sons and their families; suffice it to say that, as to my wife and myself--if there has been one thing above another, in which we have prided ourselves, and of which we have boasted--it has been the fact that we were the parents of seven sons; all leading honorable, useful lives; all having reached manhood--some, middle life--all having brought into the family, wives whom we were proud to accept as daughters--and to have and love as such.
Cherishing these convictions and beliefs, a fond mother passed from this to a better life, a few years ago.
To the father, it has come to grieve over the wrong doing of one. He rests in the hope, however, that the erring one may return, and, so far as possible, make amends for the wrongs done--to himself and friends; showing himself still worth of the name of Stewart.
February 25, 1904