Biography of Thomas D. Stewart
Polk County, MN Biographies

Thomas D. Stewart, a well known pioneer farmer of Polk county, now living retired on his farm in Huntsville township, is a native of Canada, born in County Lanark, Ontario, February 9, 1854. At an early age he became employed in the lumber woods and worked as a lumberman for a number of years, thriftily saving from his wages to later finance his farming venture. In 1878 he came to the United States and took a preemption claim in Grand Forks county, North Dakota, but the soil proving unsatisfactory he soon removed to Polk county where he purchased a quarter section of railroad land in Nesbit township. He owned two yoke of oxen and with these he broke ten acres for his first year's crop and was able to clear quite a sum of money selling ties and cord wood to the railroad. With thrifty management and industry, his farming venture prospered steadily and he soon built up a fine farm property. After eighteen years in Nesbit township, he sold the tract and purchased four hundred and sixty acres in section eleven of Huntsville township and this place has continued to be his home. His principal interest has been the cultivation of grain and his wheat crop alone in some years has yielded some six thousand bushels. Of later years he extended his activities to stock farming, starting a herd of thoroughbred cattle. In 1912, after many years of successful and creditable accomplishment, he retired from the active management of his estate and the operation of the farm has been assumed by his sons, Robert Stewart and Stanley Stewart. Throughout the years of his residence in Polk county, Mr. Stewart has given his influence and service in all matters of vital import in the development of the community life and has earned the respect accorded to the public spirited intelligent citizenry of a commonwealth. As a pioneer of Nesbit township he assisted in the organization of the district, when it was named in honor of one of its earliest settlers, David Ncshit, and subsequently served during his residence there in various official capacities, as township treasurer, chairman of the township board and clerk of the school board. In Huntsville township he has been prominently identified in the promotion or educational progress, particularly in the district in which he lives, the organization of the local school having been effected through his indefatigable interest and preserving efforts in the face of opposition. Mr. Stewart was married in March, 1880, at Fisher, to Agnes Ferguson, whom he had known in his Ontario home. A year after the marriage, her parents followed her to Polk county, settling on land in Huntsville township which is now included as part of the Stewart farm. Her father, James Ferguson, is now a resident of East Grand Forks. Seven children were born to Mr. Stewart and his wife, Ida, who married Joseph Mills, a surveyor, located at Granada, Minnesota; Robert; Edith, the wife of Lee Bryson, a Polk county farmer, living near Euclid; Kate, who married Willie McDonald, a farmer near Mallory; Maggie, Stanley and Ella. These children and Mr. Stewart survive the death of the mother and wife, whose death occurred in 1906. Robert Stewart and Stanley Stewart are among the capable and progressive younger generation of farmers and are capably carrying on the labors of the pioneer father. Robert Stewart was married to Mabel McDonald, sister of Willie McDonald and they have four children, Donald, Bert, Dorothy and Marian.


FROM:
Compendium of History and Biography
of Polk County, Minnesota
Maj. R. I. Holcombe, Historical Editor
William H. Bingham, Feneral Editor
W. H. Bingham & Co.
Minneapolis 1916

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