William G. Stewart

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William Green Stewart

(Louisiana farmer and civic figure)


Born October 25, 1854
Pine Grove Community

Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA

Died October 31, 1925 (aged 71)
Minden, Webster Parish
Spouse Ida Nora Killen Stewart (married 1881–1922, her death

Children:
Ida Nora Stewart Pope
Rosa Claire Stewart
Albert Sidney Stewart
Ruth Seal Stewart Davis
Parry Dougald Stewart
Chester Graham Stewart
James Russell Stewart
William Killen Stewart
Thomas David Stewart
Parents:
Douglad, Jr., and Mary Elizabeth Culbertson Stewart
Other relatives:
E. L. Stewart (half-brother)
Daniel Webster Stewart, Sr. (half-brother)
Floyd D. Culbertson, Jr. (great nephew by marriage)
John Sidney Killen (father-in-law)
Tam Spiva (great-nephew)

William Green Stewart (October 25, 1854 – October 31, 1925)[1] was a farmer from a prominent family in his native Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. As a former president of the Webster Parish School Board, he was the namesake of William G. Stewart Elementary School, which operated on Middle Landing Street in Minden, Louisiana, from 1949 until its demolition the summer of 2011.[2]

William G. Stewart biographical sketch

Stewart was the third of four children of Douglad (correct spelling) Stewart, Jr. (1826–1884), a native of Sampson County, North Carolina, who was reared in Georgia, and the former Mary Elizabeth Culbertson (1830–1860), a native of Coosa County, Alabama. Stewart was born in the Pine Grove Community of then Claiborne Parish and educated at the former Minden Male Academy, the forerunner of Minden High School.[2] He then attended for one year the former Homer College in Homer in Claiborne Parish. He spent ten months in Texas, where he was briefly a schoolteacher.[1]

Stewart soon returned to Minden, where he was from 1879 to 1888 a deputy sheriff and ex-officio tax collector under three sheriffs, G. W. Warren, J. W. Reagan, and Daniel Webster Pratt. From 1900 to 1904, Stewart was a Ward 4 Minden member of the Webster Parish Police Jury, the parish governing body akin to the county commission in other states.[3]

In 1888, Stewart moved to his 320-acre farm north of Minden with his wife, the former Ida Nora Killen,[1] one of eight children of John Sidney Killen, a prominent farmer and cattleman, and his wife, the former Sarah Monzingo (1828–1913). Killen had fought with the Minden Rangers in the American Civil War[4] and was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Claiborne Parish in 1871, when Webster Parish was separated from Claiborne Parish. His term of service is not available in the state records.[5]

Nora Killen graduated from the former Minden Female College, another forerunner of Minden High School. The Stewarts married in 1881 and had nine children, two of whom died in infancy or childhood: Ida Nora Stewart Pope (1882–1959), Rosa Claire Stewart (1883–1884), Albert Sidney Stewart (1885–1956), Ruth Seal Stewart Davis (1889–1983), Parry Dougald Stewart (1891–1929), Chester Graham Stewart (1892–1967), James Russell Stewart (1894–1956), William Killen Stewart (1897–1901), and Thomas David Stewart (1899–1973).[6]

William Stewart was a member of the Methodist Church; his wife like most Killens and Culbertsons, a Southern Baptist. Stewart was also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias.[1] Two of Stewart's half-brothers were lawyers. E. L. Stewart of Minden was from 1904 to 1908 a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.[5] Daniel Webster Stewart, Sr. (1857–1935), was at the time of his death the oldest living member of the Webster Parish Bar Association.[7]

Stewart died in Minden at the age of seventy-one. He is interred along with other family members at the historic Minden Cemetery.[1]

After sixty-two years of use, Stewart Elementary was razed in August 2011. It was financed by a bond issue after World War II, along with a companion institution on the eastern side of Minden, the still-functioning E.S. Richardson Elementary School, named for E. S. Richardson, a former parish school superintendent and the president from 1935 to 1941 of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.

See also

  • Marcus D. Wren, granddaughter's husband and pioneer Webster Parish dairyman

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 William Green Stewart. Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana in findagrave.com (1890). Retrieved on January 2, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 John A. Agan. "Echoes of our Past: The Impact of the Minden Male Academy". Minden Press-Herald in Minden Memories. Retrieved on March 14, 2015; website no longer on-line.
  3. Respect for the Past; Confidence in the Future: Webster Parish Centennial, 1871–1971, Webster Parish Police Jury, 1971, pp. 13, 15.
  4. John Killen Home. Minden Memories. Retrieved on March 16, 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2020: Webster and Claiborne parishes. house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved on January 2, 2020.
  6. William Green Stewart. records.ancestry.com. Retrieved on March 16, 2015.
  7. Services for D. W. Stewart Held April 26: Oldest Member of Webster Parish Bar Succumbs to Pneumonia. The Signal-Tribune & The Springhill Journal (April 30, 1935). Retrieved on March 14, 2015.

William G. Stewart Elementary School

William G. Stewart Elementary School is a defunct public school which formerly served the western portion of Minden, Louisiana. The institution was located at 215 North Middle Landing Road, a block north of common U.S. Highways 79 and 80, known in Minden as the Shreveport Road. It was one of four, since reduced to three, public elementary schools in Minden. The demolition of Stewart was undertaken in August 2011.​

School history

Under an economic realignment plan, the Webster Parish School Board contracted for the razing of Stewart Elementary in August 2011 after sixty-two years of use. The school was named for the farmer, deputy sheriff, police juror, and school board president, William G. Stewart, scion of a prominent Webster Parish family, who died in 1925.[1] Like many of the early city leaders, William Stewart graduated from the former Minden Male Academy, a predecessor to Minden High School, which opened in 1901, and then the former Homer College in Homer in Claiborne Parish.[2]

The companion school to Stewart on the eastern side of Minden is the still functioning E. S. Richardson Elementary School, named for educator and former Webster Parish school superintendent E. S. Richardson. Prior to Stewart and Richardson, elementary pupils had attended classes in the high school complex on College Street. Both schools were constructed through a bond issue approved by voters after World War II.

Prior to desegregation, the historically black Jerry A. Moore Elementary School (since closed and demolished) was operating in the western part of Minden. In its last years, Stewart was predominantly African American in enrollment, having had some 350 pupils in the 2007–2008 year, most of whom were eligible for federally funded school lunches.[3]

Beginning in 1958, Cecil C. Ross (1912-1994) was named to succeed Levelle Haynes (1922-2016) as the Stewart principal. Haynes later moved to Monroe.[4] Ross served until 1966, when he became the parish elementary school supervisor.[5]

From 1967 to 1994, Lonnie Milton Simpson (born March 26, 1937) served as principal. A native of Cotton Valley north of Minden and a graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, he arrived at the school in 1960 as a sixth grade teacher. Having since retired from the school system, he remains an active Baptist layman.

Notable faculty

  • Katherine M. "Kate" Crownover (1907–1995), a native of Ringgold in Bienville Parish, taught fourth grade for some two decades at Stewart Elementary School.​
  • Gloria Smith Johnson (born 1940), a native of Gibsland in Bienville Parish, taught first grade for twenty-seven years at Stewart Elementary prior to her retirement in 2004.​
  • Gay Lewis Jones (1908–1996)​
  • Martha Risdon "Mattie" Levins (1902–1998), a native of Mount Lebanon in Bienville Parish, taught elementary school for forty-five years, much of it the second grade at Stewart Elementary. She was named "Educator of the Year" in 1963.​
  • Willie Joyce Roberts McCausland (1916–2004), a native of Clarks in Caldwell Parish, taught third grade at Stewart during the 1950s and 1960s.[6]

References

  1. [​https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/57058683/william-g-stewart William Green Stewart]. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on January 2, 2020.
  2. John Allison Agan. "Echoes of our Past: The Impact of the Minden Male Academy". Minden Press-Herald in Mindenmemories. Retrieved on March 14, 2015; website no longer exists.
  3. "Real estate listing prices around Stewart Elementary School," schooldigger.com; information no longer on-line.
  4. Levelle Haynes. The Monroe News-Star (January 22, 2016). Retrieved on January 2, 2020.
  5. Minden Press-Herald, November 9, 1966.
  6. Minden Memories.org; website no longer accessible.