Norman Ives Stewart has lived on the upper Stockton road near Elk Grove in Sacramento county for more than fifty years, and was one of the earliest settlers of his locality. The country, the times and the people have changed wonderfully since he made permanent settlement in this part of the state, and besides being a witness of all these transformations he has also taken no inconsiderable part in all the affairs of his county. He is a man of large self-attainments, and is generously public-spirited, interested in many of the affairs going on about him. His enterprise and industry during his first years in Sacramento county were the causes for his rise to rank among the leading agriculturists of the "garden of the world," and his beautiful and well kept estate near Elk Grove is the visible proof of the labor of his hands during early life.

Mr. Stewart is himself an easterner by birth and of a New England family. His birth occurred in Oswego county, New York, February 24, 1833, and his parents were Samuel P. and Fannie (Cronk) Stewart, both natives of Massachusetts. His paternal ancestors were Scotch. His mother's father, John Cronk (whose name was formerly spelled Cronkite), lost his life while serving as a soldier in the war of 1812.

Mr. Steward was reared in his native state, receiving his education there, although he is in the main a self-educated man. He was about nineteen years old when he left his home and set out for California, leaving New York city in 1852 and by way of the Panama route arriving about a month later in San Francisco. He was in Sacramento during the big fire of the same fall, and also during the devastating flood of the following winter. In 1853 he came out to the site of his present ranch, which was then in a state of primitive wildness. Here he purchased three hundred and twenty acres of state school land, and went right to work to subdue it to his own uses. Since then he has prospered, has purchased more land until his ranch now contains four hundred and twenty acres, and the results of his industrious endeavors are apparent to even a superficial observer of his present beautiful estate, where he carries on the various farming enterprises, and on which he also has an excellent grape vineyard of forty acres.

Mr. Steward has been identified with many local affairs since his residence in Sacramento county. For twenty years all told he has served as a trustee of the Elk Grove school district, and has done much for educational progress in his community, having helped afford educational opportunities to the children of two generations. He is a loyal Republican in politics. He is a member of the Masonic order, and has served as treasurer of Elk Grove Lodge No. 173, F. & A. M., for more than twenty years.

In 1858 Mr. Stewart married Miss Jane Thompson, who was born in Vincennes, Indiana, and who has been a resident of California since crossing the plains to this state with her parents in 1854. Seven children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, and three survive: Mrs. Mary Peacock, a widow, residing in Oakland, California; and Samuel P. and John H., at home in Sacramento county.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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