Sunday Stories: Harry McElroy and Mary Francis (Johnson) Stewart

Excerpted from the Sutherland Centennial 1891 – 1991, published in 1991.

Harry McElroy Stewart was born July 9, 1884 in Portglenone County, Antrim, Northern Ireland. He had brothers and sisters, James, John William, Elizabeth, Jane, and Sam.

In May, 1906, he came to the United States of America. He spent three years in New York City, where he was a street car conductor. He then moved to Sutherland, Nebraska, where he resided for the rest of his life.

In 1917, he purchased a farm four and a half miles northwest of Sutherland, and that same year on June 3, 1917, was united in marriage to Mary Francis Johnson, daughter of John Henry and Caroline V. (Sinco) Johnson. Mary was born in Jefferson County, Iowa on May 20, 1883, one of 10 children.
When Mary was about five years old the family journeyed to Nebraska in a covered wagon and homesteaded 12 ½ miles southwest of Sutherland, Section 30-13-34, now owned by Goederts.
Mary’s father, John Henry Johnson, was a strong supporter of the Methodist Church, and his name is inscribed on the cornerstone of the Methodist Church built in Hershey, Nebraska. Her brother, Otto V. Johnson, was killed in World War I, and the Legion Post in Sutherland is named after him.

After receiving her education, she taught school for several years until her marriage to Harry M. Stewart on June 3, 1917. Harry and Mary lived on the farm until the time of Harry’s death. Harry served on the Sutherland School Board for many years; was Past Master of the Sutherland Lodge #299 AF and AM; Past Patron of Platte Valley Chapter #305EOS; an Elder in the Presbyterian Church; and an ASC Committee Member at the time of his death on October 15, 1952.
Harry M. and Mary Francis Stewart became the parents of six children: John Dudley, Genevieve Lowary, Patricia Francis, Harry Gene, and twin daughters that died at birth.

Submitted by Cora Stewart


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