John G. Stewart


John G. Stewart

John was born and raised in Brattleboro, Vermont, but like many New Englanders in the 1820s and 1830s, he caught 'Ohio Fever' and migrated west as a young man. Initially he moved to Columbus, Ohio, then to Akron, and then finally in about 1835 settled in Roscoe, a small village along the Ohio Canal next to Coshocton.

There he worked as a bookkeeper for one of the merchants but then became engaged in a general mercantile business for himself. In this he was very successful and when in the early part of 1871 he sold his store, he was recognized as one among the wealthiest men of the county. In the following fall he took charge of the J.K. Johnson & Co banking business previously conducted by his brothers-in-law which he continued until the beginning of his last illness.[1]

John married Sarah Humrickhouse, daughter of Peter Humrickhouse, Jr. "Four of Peter Jr's children married children of the David Johnston family and through these alliances, much of the commerce of this region of Ohio flowed through the hands of these 2 families. The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum of Coshocton is named for these families."[2]

Father: Phineas Stewart (ca1788-1872)
Mother: Huldah Denison (1788-1878)

Spouse: Sarah Humrickhouse



  • 1814

    July 29 - Born in Brattleboro, Vermont. The oldest of 4 children of Phineas and Huldah (nee Denison) Stewart. 

  • ~1832

    Sets out as a young man to Ohio: first to Colombus, then Akron and finally Roscoe where he is a bookkeeper and then a merchant.

  • 1844

    December 24 - Marries 18-year-old Sarah Humrickhouse in Coshocton, Ohio.

  • 1845

    November 1 - Daughter Belle born.

  • 1854

    November 27 - Daughter Haddie born.

  • 1868

    Becomes a director of the newly incorporated "Coshocton Savings and Building Loan Association".

  • 1871

    December 1 - Buys the "Johnson's Bank" from his wife's brothers-in-law and becomes its sole proprietor.

  • 1872

    Retires from his merchant business. Becomes a director of the Coshocton gas-works company.

  • 1874

    November 1 - Daughter Belle dies. Her two young daughters, Lulu and Bessie Ells, are then raised in the Stewart household.

  • 1883

    Early February - Suffers loss of about $1,000 in damage to hay, grain, and a barn from floods caused by several days of large-area storms.

  • 1884

    Early February - His farmland just south of Roscoe floods again and is greatly damaged.

  • 1884

    September - Becomes ill with heart disease.

  • 1885

    February - The worsening of his health and possibility of his death causes a run on his bank. 

  • 1885

    August 3 - Dies in Coshocton, Ohio, aged 71 years, of "dropsy". 

Stories to come

  • Being a merchant on the banks of the Ohio Canal
  • Becoming a banker
  • Saving his family from financial ruin

Newspaper ad for John G. Stewart's Roscoe store in The Coshocton Democrat, January 1870:
1870 newspaper ad for John G Stewart's Roscoe store

Stewart residence, Main Street Coshocton
The Stewart Residence, Main Street, corner Fifth Street, Coshocton, Ohio[3]
It was a large fenced-in plot of land with a large residence in the center. "It was no play yard for kids."[4]

John G Stewart in his later years

Footnotes & Sources 

  1. [1] The Democratic Standard (Coshocton OH), 8 Aug 1885. Obituary for John G. Stewart
  2. [2] - accessed 15 Aug 2020. 
  3. [3] Lithograph from NN Hill, Jr, comp., History of Coshocton County, Ohio: Its Past and Present, 1740-1881 (Newark, Ohio: AA Graham & Co, Publishers; 1881; facsimile reprint, Salem MA: Higginson Book Co; 1995), p607.
  4. [4] A. Demott Freese, "Florida Man Describes Coshocton 75 Years Ago", The Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton OH), 11 Aug 1963, Sun; p11. During his childhood, A. Demott Freese was a resident of Coshocton. 

Last updated: 30 March 2024

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