Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens


WILLIAM ROY STEWART. Greene county has been especially fortunate in the character of her pioneers, who, save in rare instances, possessed the pluck, fortitude and sound judgment of the true Anglo Saxon--that race which appears to delight in difficulties, because thereby an opportunity is afforded to conquer them. The founders of this country were brave, strong-armed, far-seeing, law-abiding citizens, patriotic and true to their native land, and conscientious in the discharge of their every duty toward their fellow men. Such was the Stewart family, who emigrated from the old Blue Grass state to Greene county, Missouri, fifty-four years ago, and have proven to be among our substantial citizens from that remote day, over a half century ago, to the present time. One of the best known of the present generation is William Roy Stewart, who, although a young man, holds the responsible position of yard-master at Springfield for the Frisco railroad.

Mr. Stewart was born in this city on January 31, 1883. He is a son of John W. Stewart, who was born in Kentucky, near the old city of Lexington, and from there he came to Greene county, Missouri, in 1861, and has since resided here, living now on College street. After attending the schools he began his railroad career, in 1880, as brakeman for the Frisco, becoming conductor in 1881, and he continued in this capacity until 1908, or a period of twenty-seven years, during which time he was one of the best known conductors on the system, and that his work was, highly satisfactory in every respect is indicated by his long service. In 1908 he quit the road and entered the yard service of the Frisco as switchman in Springfield, which position he has held ever since. Politically, he is a Republican. He belongs to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine and the Knights Templars; also the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, the Order of Railway Conductors, and to the Methodist Episcopal church.

John W. Stewart married Emma Kite, whose death occurred in December, 1905, at the age of forty-three years, and she was buried Maple Park cemetery. Three children were born to these parents, namely: W. Roy, of this sketch; Walter, who was in the employ of the road, and was killed in 19l3 by a locomotive; Guy D. died in infancy.

A. Dudley Stewart, paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch, spent his earlier days in Kentucky, removing with his family to Springfield, Missouri, about the commencement of the Civil war. He has devoted his active life to railroad service, and for many years worked as carpenter and car repairer in the North Side Frisco shops. He is still living at the advanced e of eighty years, making his home on North Jefferson street, this city.

William Roy Stewart moved with his parents from Springfield to Denison, Texas, when a child and there spent his boyhood and received his education in the public schools, but left the school room when only fourteen years of age to begin his railroad career, his first work being that of night baggage agent at Joplin, Missouri, in 1899, for the Frisco. In 1900 he began braking out of Monett and in 1902 was promoted to conductor, his run being between Sapulpa, Oklahoma, and Sherman, Texas, also ran out of Monett, Missouri, as conductor. He resigned this position in the spring of 1905 and in the fall of that year went to work as switchman in the Springfield yards, and in the same year was promoted to the position of yardmaster, which position he has held to the present time, having twenty-five hands under his direction. In all capacities in which he has worked for the Frisco he has given eminent satisfaction. He has charge of the work in the yards at the passenger station.

Mr. Stewart was married in 1904 to Kate Crow, a daughter of James Crow, a native of Louisiana. To this union one child has been born, Belva Stewart, now ten years old and attending school.

Politically, Mr. Stewart is a Republican. He belongs to the Order f Railway Conductors, holding the office of assistant chief conductor in e local lodge. He is president of the local Switchmen's Union. He belongs to Solomon Lodge No. 271, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. He also a member of the Methodist Episcopal church.

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