Submitted by Martha J. Kounse

This was written by the late R.C. Hall, Ph. D., who was writing a complete series covering Lawrence county and Ironton, but was claimed by death before completing the work. The series on Symmes township was found by his mother after his death and submitted the The [Ironton] Tribune.

We now come to one of the soldiers of the STEWART family, Absalon N. STEWART, another son of John C. and Sarah McCartney STEWART and who was born in Symmes Township, Nov. 21, 1825. He married Elizabeth M. Handley, Jan. 24, 1850. She had been born in Monroe County in what is now West Virginia, Dec. 3, 1831. Her parents were Samuel and Elizabeth Barger Handley.

Mr. and Mrs. STEWART already had several children at the outbreak of the Civil War and as the government is seldom anxious to enlist men with families, Mr. STEWART did not immediately enter the conflict. However, as the war dragged on, many such men became inpatient apparently to join the army and hasten the return of peace by winning a quick victory and the government naturally became less particular, an so, in September 1864, Mr. STEWART joined the army and became a member of the 173rd Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry as a private. He served throughout the remainder of the war and was discharged after about one year in the service. Returning home, he resumed his work as a farmer of Symmes Township.

In addition to his military service, Absalom N. STEWART, served his countrymen in a number of local civil offices, such as Township Trustee and Clerk. Mr. and Mrs. STEWART had the following children: [all born before the Civil War]

1.Mary E.
2.Emanuel T.
3.Myra J.
4.Lavina H.
5.Julia M.

Middleton H. STEWART was another of this family who became a soldier and who served through a large part of the Civil War, seeing much hard service. He was also a son of John C. and Sarah McCartney STEWART, and was born in Symmes Township, April 25, 1837. His education and early training appear to have been as limited as those of other frontier or pioneer youths, but that did not appear to limit his ability as a citizen and public servant. On Sept. 7, 1856, he married Mary C. Nida, who was born in Aid Township, Lawrence County, Ohio Dec. 29, 1835. Like his brother already mentioned, Middleton H. STEWART was already the father of several children when the Civil War broke out, but he managed to enlist in the Federal Army as early as Oct. 30, 1861. He became a member of Company H, 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. Unlike so many of the “Union boys” of southern Ohio, who served under Sherman in the west or under Sheridan, Mr. STEWART became a member of the Army of the Potomac as that portion of the Federal army was called which operated east and so long in the vicinity of the Potomac River.

Arriving at the front in time to participate in the disastrous to the Federals at least-Mr. STEWART participated in most of the heaviest fighting in the east, it appears, according to accounts of his army service now before us. While it is certainly not particularly profitable to indulge in any arguments as to which battles of the Civil War were most important, most terrible, or had the most important results, it does appear reasonable to conclude that the Battles of Antletam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg were certainly three near the head of the list, while it appears that most of the supposed authorities on such matters classify Gettysburg a the turning point, if not the decisive battle, of the conflict. Any way when we note that Mr. STEWART participated in all three of these major battles, in addition to Bull Run and many of those General Grant’s immediate army, we can not avoid the conclusion that his army record was no mediocre one. At the close of the war, he also returned to his Symmes County [Township-mk] home.

Mrs. STEWART was the daughter of Jacob and Unice Caldwell Nida. Mr. and Mrs. Middleton H. STEWART were the parents of the following children:


Their farm was situated near the village of Waterloo which became their post office address.

Stewart Family of Lawrence County Ohio-
Part Two

This was written by the late R.C. Hall, Ph. D., who was writing a complete series covering Lawrence county and Ironton, but was claimed by death before completing the work. The series on Symmes township was found by his mother after his death and submitted the The [Ironton] Tribune.

Oliver P. STEWART, another son of John C. and Sarah McCartney STEWART, was born in Symmes Twp, according to available data, Jan. 22, 1834. His career was quite similar to those of his brothers, except that, so far as we have been able to learn to date, he did not participate directly, i.e., as a soldier in the Civil War.

He married Elizabeth A. Barnhouse, Feb. 4, 1864. She had been born in Scioto County, Ohio Oct. 26, 1845. Her parents were Joseph and Susan Bennett Barnhouse. They became the parents of the following children:

1.William T.
2.Florence L.
3.Lorena F.

Altho Oliver P. STEWART was essentially a farmer, he also held the responsible office of Treasurer of the Township for several years. His farm was located near his post office and the village of Waterloo.

One more of this rather remarkable family is on our list for consideration at this time. We say rather remarkable family because, while none of its members became president or held other high national or state office so far as we have discovered, there have been probably few other families established first in a virtual wilderness that have produced so many members not only successful in their own particular vocation, but also soldiers of bravery and ability as well as officials in local offices of responsibility and trust. This time we turn to a feminine member of the family. And this also brings to consideration, her husband, who is amply worthy of consideration on his own behalf.

Leuanna STEWART, was a daughter of John C. and Sarah McCartney STEWART, and was born in Symmes Township, July 1, 1827. Pioneer girls usually had even less opportunity for study and social pleasures than the boys, but many of them no doubt found fully compensating pleasures in becoming capable wives and mothers. Leuanna STEWART appears to have been in that class. On March 2, 1848, she married Providence M. ROBINSON, a young man who had recently come into Symmes Township as a school teacher.

Providence M. ROBINSON was a son of William G. Robinson, one of the first officers of Lawrence County. It may be that Providence Robinson was attracted to Symmes Township, about 1820. If this is correct, he must have remained there but a short time, for we find him listed as the first Recorder of Lawrence County, when the county was organized in 1817 and also serving as Sheriff in, or about 1824, when his son, Providence M. Robinson was born. Thus he must have made a short stay as one of the first settlers of Symmes Township sometime between those dates-1817 and 1824-and this would agree satisfactorily with the date given as that of the first settlement in Symmes Township in 1820.

The biography of William G. ROBINSON, therefore belongs more properly perhaps to the history of Fayette Township than to any other in the County, since as an early county officer, he naturally had to spend much of his time at Burlington, then the County Seat. Some time ago, his granddaughter, Mr. W.D. Hambleton, of near Ironton, informed us that she had evidence that he first resided near Haskellville, now Athalia, in Rome Twonship. And thus we have another example of how some of these pioneers moved about and how their history may very properly be considered a part of the history of several communities, town, or townships, and frequently counties and states

. But to return to Providence M. Robinson, father of Mrs. Hambleton. According to Hardesty’s record, he was born Dec. 5, 1824, in Fayette Township. And this agrees with information furnished by Mrs. Hambleton to the effect that her father was born in 1824, in the stone building in Burlington, which served as the county jail and the home of the sheriff, while his father was serving as County Sheriff.

Providence M. Robinson thus apparently by both heredity and environment was perhaps somewhat more fortunate than the average pioneer boy. Evan at that early date, Burlington offered some educational advantages and young Robinson must have taken advantage of them for we find that in 1845, he entered Symmes Township as a school teacher.