Sunday, December 30, 2012

Founder of Victor Cleansing Co.

Charles Edward STEWART (collection of author) photo held jointly with North Stonington Historial Society

Charles Edward Stewart, Founder

I wish I'd known Charlie but he died, a widower, in 1937, (10 years before I was born) at the age of 77. [gravestone]

As an older man, my great grandfather, Charles Edward STEWART had this portrait-style photograph taken that not only shows his prosperity but also his confident attitude and handsome, slim, good looks. His wife was quiet, shy and judging from her wedding ring size, very heavy.  Sadly, she is the only one of 8 great grandparents whose photograph I do not have in my family collection. This couple was talked about long after they were gone. My daughter wears Charlie's wife, Ada Ann EVANS, diamonds in her wedding ring. They will be remembered.

My mother adored Charlie because he treated her like a princess and gave her a fifty cent piece every time he saw her. If she had been more like him, she would have saved that money. Grandpa Charlie (which is how I refer to him) was called Grandpa Stewart by his family. As a family tradition, men were called Grandpa and their surname if there were no other older men in their family still living. 

He was meticulous, kept a newspaper scrapbook from the age of 15 and collected stamps. My grandmother told me often how much I am like him. 

Born in North Stonington, New London, CT in 1859 to Dudley Wheeler STEWART (1822-1886) and his wife Eliza Fish DENISON (1833-1909), he was the first born child.  Charlie was a small boy when his brother Henry was born and died after only a year of life. His sister, Frances Dension STEWART was born in 1866. His father owned the only General Store in the town and did not serve in the Civil War. He may have paid for someone to replace him because of his livelihood and because he has the necessary fee needed.

Genealogical and biographical record of New London County, Connecticut : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and genealogical records of many of the early settled families. ( p. 948. published by DeBeers in 1905 (link to downloadable PDF of out of copyright book)

This biographical sketch was only found by me, (by accident doing research on another family) two months ago. It contains more information that I found previously even though I have his obituary from the Providence Journal in Providence, RI.

For the purposes of this project, you can see the evidence that Charles Edward Stewart was the founder of the Westerly Laundry and Victor Cleansing Co.  

This is his story...

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