Bio-Pen Pictures

George W. Stewart, one of the early settlers of Moreland District, was born in Tennessee, September 8, 1834.  His parents, John N. and Isabella J. Stewart, removed from Tennessee to Mississippi when he was a child, and a few years later to Bowie County, in the northwestern part of Texas, where on a ranch George W. Stewart was reared.  When twenty years of age he became one of a party of fifteen men who started on the overland trip to California in the spring of 1854.  As they drove 600 head of cattle before them, their progress was necessarily slow, and the following winter was spent on Bear River in Salt Lake Valley.  Some time was also spent in grazing the stock in Carson Valley, Nevada, after which they pushed on and reaching this State in the autumn of 1855, sold their cattle in Placerville.  Thus was ended, without serious mishap, a journey of a year and a half.

In December of the same year, Mr. Stewart came to Santa Clara Valley, and ever since has been a resident of the county.  After spending the first two or three years in the cultivation of rented lands, he purchased his present home in 1859.  It is located on the San Tomas Aquino road, and at the time of the purchase contained 116 acres, fenced and slightly improved.  A portion having been sold, the ranch now contains ninety-four acres, which, until 1883, was devoted to grain production and general farming.  Now forty-five acres are in vineyard, and twenty-five acres in orchard.  Thirty-five acres of the vineyard were planted in 1883, and the remainder four years later.  The crop of 1887 was 174 tons, twenty tons being Muscat (table) grapes, which were sold at $20 per ton; the remainder (wine grapes) were sold at $12 per ton.  The orchard is in full bearing, and produces chiefly French prunes, although Silver prune, apricot, pear, apple, and almond trees are also to be found.

Mr. Stewart was united in marriage, December 2, 1858, with Miss Julia A. McCoy, who was born in Jackson County, Missouri, November 10, 1842, the daughter of James and Elizabeth McCoy.  Her father died when she was young and her widowed mother, with her family of two sons and three daughters, came to this valley in 1853, settling near the place where Mr. and Mrs. Stewart now live.  The latter have six children, all of whom are members of their father’s home, except the eldest, William L., who resides in Los Angeles.  Their names are: Frank, Robert, Eda, Nellie, and Marvin.  Realizing that knowledge is power, Mr. Stewart has given his children all the educational advantages available.  Robert and Eda are now attending the University of Pacific, and Nellie is attending the Moreland District School.  Mr. and Mrs. Stewart are members of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church.  In politics Mr. Stewart is identified with the Democratic party.  He may be styled a self-made man, for he possessed no wealth when he commenced in life in this State, and he has, by industry and a thorough understanding of his vocation, built up a prosperous and pleasant home for his family.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H.S. Foote. - Chicago:

The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
p. 457,458

Transcribed by Debbie Combs