Surnames: DUFF, LEARY, WHITESIDE, DEAN, WISSIG
A fine type of the self-made, self-reliant Scotch-American is William D. Stewart, now enjoying, at middle age, a comfortable home at 377 South Second Street, San Jose. He was born at Pitlochry, Perthshire, Scotland, on January 1, 1855, the son of Duncan Stewart, a farmer, who had retied to Pitlochry, and was there living when our subject was born. He was a Scotch Highlander, well-informed and respected. He married Jane Duff, a sister of the late Dr. Duff, of Edinburgh, where Mrs. Stewart was born. The Duffs were always rated among the best Scotch families, and Dr. Duff was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland, and for many years served as a missionary to India.
Both of these worthy parents lived and died in Scotland. They had twelve children, but all are deceased save three: William D. is the subject of our interesting review; Finley is a plumber doing an extensive business at Tongi, Morocco; and Maggie has become Mrs. Leary, and resides near Liverpool, England. She has a son, Jack, employed by the California Packing Company at Madera, Cal.
William Stewart grew up in Scotland until his fourteenth year; and then he decided to some to America, doubtless largely on account of James Stewart, one of two older brothers already in the United States,who had served in the Union Army, and after that had come to Nevada. In April, 1870, William reached Elko, Nev., although he had arrived atCastle Garden, in New York, in July, 1869, after a voyage on one of the old Anchor Liners running out of Glasgow; his mother had died in Scotland two years before, and he had said good-bye to his father,relatives and friends. While in the East, he went to Washington, D. C., to see the other elder brother, Mungo Stewart, who was a stonecutter by occupation and was working on the Capitol. He stayed in Washington that fall and winter, and the following spring set out for Nevada. He has thus made his way in the world since he was fourteen.
He started to work in a livery stable, then became a swamper, and
having gained his empolyer's confidence, he was advanced to
seventy-five dollars per month, and although a mere boy, received the
highest wages paid to the best of the men. He soon became a teamster,
and then he was getting $125 per month and his board. He worked therefor
four years, and all this time he saved his money. The railroad was then
built, so he went to Alpha and handled general merchandise from Alpha
to Eureka with an eighteen-mule team.
When the railroad was completed to Eureka, the teams were put on to haul from Eureka to Belmont, Nev., a stretch of 100 miles, and also from Eureka to Tibo, another 100 miles, and also from Eureka to Piochi, 180 miles, and from Eureka to Ward, now called Ely, another 100 miles. That was in 1875, and he freighted all over those routes.
In 1878-79, he bought an eight-mule team from a Frenchman, and in 1883 J. L. Whiteside was his partner. From 1879 to 1883, their business grew, and in 1883 he owned five twenty-mule teams, with wagons and equipment complete. In 1883 he bought out his partner, who went to Los Angeles, where later he died. Business fell off-came practically to a standstill; and he met with heavy reverses, largely because of the demoralization of silver. He saved two twenty-mule teams, and startedoff with them to Butte City, Montana, and he was thirty-three days on the road going seven hundred miles. He slept out, suffered the hardshipsof rain and even snowstorms, and never stopped; and arriving in Butte, he engaged in the wood business.
On January 26, 1886, he sold all the mules and other equipment and
came to San Jose, arriving here in February, 1886; and he built three
cottages for rent on North Third Street, and up to June, 1888, did a
little real estate business. Then he had the opportunity to take charge
of the Dean Estate stock ranch at Beowawe, Nev., which consisted of a
vast range and had 4,500 head of cattle and 4,500 head of horses; and
for fourteen years he ran this stock enterprise successfully. In1902,
he went to Tonopah, and upon leaving the Dean Estate he was presented
with a gold watch, engraved as follows: "Presented to W. D.
Stewart, in gratitude for faithful service to the Dean Estate, April,1902." He was in Tonopah during the gold boom, and he ran a feed corral, and between 1902 and 1905 he made $20,000: In the fall of 1905, he cameback to San Jose, and he has been here ever since. Mr. Stewart is president of the Copa de Orr Mining and Milling Company, owners of a mine located at Glencoe, Calaveras County, Cal., which is a goodprospect; and he is at present retired except for the looking after his
interests there. In 1918 he slipped and fell at the mine and injured hisleft hip-joint, and he has been invalided ever since, and only recently he has been able to get around slowly and by the use of a crutch.
At Eureka, Nev., in 1883, Mr. Stewart was married to Miss Maggie Wissig, a native of Germany, who came to America the same year, 1869, in which he migrated, and who grew up in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
One child blessed this union-Frank, who is well known as a business
man of Santa Clara. Mr. Stewart is a Republican, and he holds to the
tenetsof the Presbyterian Church.