Among the sturdy old pioneers of the Hayward district of Alameda county was the late William Stewart, who not only
developed a splendid ranch and met with a large measure of success, but also contributed of his time and means
to the improvement of his community, being a broad minded and public spirited man, deeply interested in the welfare
of those about him.
Mr. Stewart was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1824, and was a son of David and Elizabeth (Adams) Stewart, both
of whom also were natives of Glasgow, They moved to Portglenone, Ireland, where the father engaged in farming,
his place being known as the White Hill farm, and there he and his wife spent the remainder of their lives.
William Stewart was reared and educated in Ireland and in 1848 he embarked on an old sailing vessel for the United
States, being three months on the voyage around Cape Horn to San Francisco. He went to the gold mines in Placer
county and staked out a claim, but was unfortunate in losing the sight of one of his eyes while engaged in blasting.
He went to San Francisco, where he was under the treatment of Dr. Pardee for one year, almost losing the sight
of his other eye. When sufficiently recovered he went to Cull canyon and took up a tract of land, on which he engaged
in farming and stock raising, improving the ranch and living there until 1893, when he removed to Hayward. Here
he bought thirty seven acres of land, a part of the old C. W. Hathaway ranch, and set out a fine apricot orchard
and otherwise improved the place, developing it into one of the best ranches in the locality, and here he lived
up to the time of his death, which occurred in December, 1919. His canyon ranch comprised seven hundred and forty
acres, and he only gave it up because of his eyesight. When he came to this locality things were still somewhat
primitive, ox teams being used in the building of roads to the ranch, but he lived to see the locality become one
of the most desirable sections of the county. At one time he had an eating place on his farm to accommodate the
people who traveled through here. The stage coaches took people to and from the boats which docked at East Oakland
to pick up freight and passengers. In 1863 Mr. Stewart lost a large number of cattle in the great flood which followed
a long period of rain. He was greatly interested in everything pertaining to the development of his community and
gave the money with which was purchased the site for the Congregational church, also assisting in the building
of the edifice. He was a deacon and trustee of that society and generously supported it, as he did other local
benevolent enterprises. He was a republican in his political views.
In 1849, in New York, Mr. Stewart was united in marriage to Miss Ann Boyce, a native of Paisley, Scotland, and
a daughter of William and Nancy (Maitland) Boyce, the former of whom was a manufacturer of shawls. To Mr. and Mrs.
Stewart were born six children, Ann Eliza, Elizabeth, Martha A., William, David and John.
Of these Martha A. is the only survivor, and she now devotes her attention to the management of the estate. She
has taken an active interest in educational affairs, having taught for seven years at Redwood Canyon, to which
school she rode on horseback. She also taught in the San Lorenzo school; in the Oakland Night school and two years
in Yolo county. She took upon herself the rearing and educating of the five children of her brother David J., namely:
Ruth S., now Mrs, White, who is a teacher in the Pleasanton school; Gene Boyce, who is a trained nurse in the Franklin
hospital, San Francisco; Ralph David, who is taking the law course in the University of California; Bruce William,
who is manager of an oil and gas service station in Hayward; and Joyce Maitland, who stood at the head of her classes
in high school. In addition to managing the home ranch, Miss Stewart also operates a dairy and is the owner of
a fine flock of sheep, showing sound business judgment and meeting with well merited success. Because of her gracious
qualities of manner and her kindly and cordial manner, she has a host of warm and loyal friends throughout the
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928
Alameda County, CA
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