Portrait: PSA 1873 Constitutional Convention Album.
Born in Shippensburg, Cumberland County, on November 4, 1839, Justice John Stewart was the son of Dr. Alexander and Elizabeth (Hammil) Stewart, and the brother of Senator Alexander Stewart (49). He graduated from Princeton in 1857, studied law under Frederick Watts of Carlisle and joined the Cumberland Co. bar in 1860; returned to Chambersburg in 1861, joined the Franklin bar, and married Jane Holmes (Larmour) in 1862. He mustered in for nine-month duty, 1st Lt., Company A, 126th Regt., PVI; August 11, 1862, at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg. Within four days he was promoted to regimental staff adjutant, seeing action at 2d Manassas, held in reserve at Antietam; intense action at Fredericksburg (Marye’s Hill) and Chancellorsville, mustering out with his regiment, May 30, 1863. On his return from service, he served as acting Mayor of Chambersburg as Confederate Gen. McCausland burned the city. Stewart was elected as a delegate to the 1864 Republican National Convention; served as an Elector for Grant, 1869; was a member of the 1873 Pa. Constitutional Convention; a delegate to the 1876 Republican Convention in Cincinnati; served in the state Senate, 1881-1884; an unsuccessful, third party (Blaine Independent Republican) candidate for Governor, 1882; nominated James G. Blaine for the presidency at the 1884 Republican National Convention; was elected President Judge in Franklin County, 1888-1905; and ascended as an associate justice of the state supreme court from 1905 until his death on December 31, 1920, in Chambersburg.
Hon. A.J. White Hutton, “John Stewart, LLD: A Story of 60 Years of Public Life,” Papers read before the society, Feb. 1928 to June 1939, Vol. XI (Fayetteville, Pa.: The Kittochtinny Historical Society, Dec. 27, 1928), pp. 21-38.