Steward, Henry J. (1820-1898)

Son of John and Mar­garet Carter Stewart of Liberty County, and grandson of Daniel and Martha Pender Stewart. Henry J. Stewart married Sallie Underwood (1823-1894), daughter of John J. Under­wood of Laurens County, Georgia. Their children were Eugene Charlton, Robert Stephen, and Ella Milledge Stewart. After receiving an education from private tutors, Henry J. Stewart read law in the firm of Charlton and Ward in Savan­nah, Georgia. He was admitted to the Georgia bar in 1843. He then relocated in Troupville, Georgia, where he formed a partnership with Samuel Spencer, which continued until Stewart relocated during the winter of 1849-1850 in Jasper, Florida. He was then admitted to the Florida bar and formed a partnership with his father-in-law, which continued for several years. He was elected county judge from 1850 to 1854, state senator from 1854 to 1855, again county judge from 1858 to 1861, and state attorney for the Third Judicial Circuit from 1885 to 1890, when he resigned.


He was active in Masonic circles. After serving in several lodge offices in the Jasper lodge, including the office or Worshipful Master for four years, he was elected Grand Junior Warden of the Florida Grand Lodge in 1858, and advanced the next year to Grand Senior Warden. He served as deputy Grand Master in 1861, and was Grand Master in 1867-1868. He was captain of the Lowndes County, Georgia, Hussars, from 1847 until he relocated in Florida.


He was a captain in the Second Florida Regiment, Confederate Army, during the Civil War. He resigned because of poor health. He then served in the quartermaster department of the Confederate Army. He died at his home in Jasper, Florida, on October 20, 1898. His wife died September 9, 1894. Both are buried at Jasper, Florida.


From “Sweet Land of Liberty, A History of Liberty County, Georgia” by Robert Long Groover; Appendix Number #, Page(s); Used by the permission of the Liberty County Commissioners Office