Mystery Place: Stewart farm had a leg on both sides of Townline Road

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Ginny Hall | December 31, 2015

The Stewart farm occupies land on both sides of  Richmond/Darien Townline Road, west of Highway 89 in both of those townships,  Section 32 in Richmond and Section 5 in Darien.

The 1857 plat map shows owners of this current farm as Andrew Stewart and Varnum Arnold. Stewart owned the farm in Richmond Township.

In fact, his farm is shown as being in sections 32 and 33. Arnold had the Darien farm.

The 1873 plat book shows that the farms in both townships were owned by Stewarts. The Richmond farm was divided and owned by Elizabeth Stewart and by James Stewart. The Darien part was owned by S.A. Stewart.

In 1907 the Richmond section was owned by J.H. Stewart,  while  R.J. Stewart owned the section in Darien Township.  This ownership continued in the 1924 plat book. In the 1930 plat book the Richmond section owner was indicated as Art Stewart. Roy Stewart was shown as the owner of the Darien farm.

The 1882 “History of Walworth County” indicates that Andrew and Arthur Stewart came to the county from Pennsylvania in 1837. They settled in Section 33.  In 1842, Samuel Stewart settled on Section 32.

According to Beckwith's History of Walworth County, Andrew served as chairman of the Richmond Town Board in 1882, which meant that he also served on the county board of supervisors.

He was their town clerk in 1865 and 1866. He was the town justice of the peace in 1893-'94 and 1896-'97 and he served in the State Assembly in 1864.

The Prairie Farmer's Directory of Farmers and Breeders tells us that in 1919 the property in Richmond Township was owned by James M. Stewart. The name of the farm was Stewart Homestead. 

This Stewart was married to Milssa Welch. Their children were Arthur, Leon and Roy, who  no longer was living at home.

Roy was listed as owning a farm in Section 5 of Darien. He was married to Della R. Knott. Their children were Ruth E., Lenora J. and Russell L. The name of their farm was Beautiful View Farm.

James and Roy raised Holstein cattle. Roy raised Duroc Jersey hogs and Rhode Island Red chickens. James raised White Leghorn chickens. Both men drove Reo cars and both of them had 10-20 Case tractors. 

Beckwith indicates that James served as an associate town supervisor in 1896 and 1897.

The 1977 plat book shows the owner as Russell Stewart. The later plat books list the owners as Russell L. & Mariann E. Stewart.

Ginny Hall, a Delavan historian, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.


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