JOSEPH C. STEWART.
The financial and commercial history of Missouri would be very incomplete and unsatisfactory without a personal
and somewhat extended mention of those whose lives are interwoven so closely with the industrial and financial
development of the southwestern portion of the state. When a man, or a select number of men, have set in motion
the occult machinery of business, which materializes into many forms of. practical utility, or where they have
carved out a fortune or a name from the common possibilities, open for competition to all, there is a public desire
which should be gratified to see the men.as nearly as a portrait and a word artist can paint them, and examine
the elements of mind and the circumstances by which such results have been achieved.
The subject of this sketch finds an appropriate place in the history of those men of business whose enterprises
have contributed to the general prosperity and to the commercial activity of Jasper county. His career has not
been helped by accident or luck or wealth or family or powerful friends. He is in its broadest sense a self made
man, being both the architect and builder of his own fortune. As president of the Exchange Bank of Webb City he
is widely and favorably known.
Mr. Stewart was born in Blair county, Pennsylvania, in 1844, and is a son of Robert and Charlotte (Flack) Stewart.
The parents were both natives of Pennsylvania and the father was a carpenter and joiner by trade. The son was educated
in the common schools and in a private school in Blair county, pursuing his studies until sixteen years of age,
when he entered upon his business career as a salesman in a general store. He was employed in that capacity in
different establishments until 1867, when he went to the Rocky Mountains, where he engaged in gold mining for five
years, and for two years he conducted a store there. In 1876 he returned to his home in Pennsylvania, and the following
year came to Missouri, locating in Webb City, becoming connected with the mining interests and accepting the superintendency
of the Center creek mines, which were among the first to be developed in the Webb City district. Here he has since
operated, the tract being very productive of rich zinc ore. Later Mr. Stewart had the entire management of the
business of the Center Creek Mining Company, and has since continued in that position. He is also interested in
the lumber business in company with his brother, W. C. Stewart, under the name of Stewart Brothers, and their enterprise
is a profitable one. Other industries and business affairs in Joplin county have elicited his attention and support,
and his wise business management has contributed to their success. He is the president and heaviest stockholder
of the Webb City Iron Works, and in 1889 he organized the Exchange Bank of Webb City, at which time he was elected
president, acting in that capacity continuously since, with the result that the bank has become one of the strongest
and most reliable financial concerns in this part of the state and is receiving a liberal patronage. His realty
possessions include some valuable mining land both in Missouri and Kansas.
On the 19th of March, 1879, Mr. Stewart was united in marriage to Miss Hortense D. Street, and unto them have been
born two sons, Robert and Edgar, both in school, and a daughter, Cora Lotta, now at Monticello Seminary, Godfrey,
Illinois. Socially Mr. Stewart is connected with Webb City Lodge, F. & A. M., and Wilmot Chapter, R. A. M.,
and has passed all the chairs in those organizations. He is president of the board of education and he heartily
cooperates in every movement tending to advance the educatonal, social, material and moral welfare of the community.
In politics he is a pronounced Republican, and was one of the delegates to the national convention which met in
Chicago in 1888 and nominated General Benjamin Harrison for the presidency. His varied interests, controlled by
superior business and executive force, have led to the substantial development of this section of the state, and
an honorable and straightforward career has commanded for him the esteem and confidence of his fellow men.
The Biographical History of Jasper County, Missouri
By Hon. Malcolm G. McGregor
The Lewis Publishing Co.
Jasper County, MO
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