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Gideon Tabor Stewart Photo

Gideon Tabor Stewart

Gideon Tabor Stewart was born in Johnstown, now Fulton County, New York, August 7, 1824, of Scotch-Irish ancestry.  Hs paternal grandparents founded the first school and academy at Schenectady, afterward becoming Union College.  Gideon removed with his father (his mother having died when he was an infant) to Oberlin, Ohio in 1835, where he entered college, but did not graduate, being ambitious to begin the study of law, which he did first at Norwalk.  In 1843, he entered the law office of Hon. N.H. Swayne, at Columbus, who afterward was judge of the United States Supreme Court.  He spent 18 months with his brother in Florida, and returning was admitted to the bar of Ohio, in 1846, and of the United States Supreme Court in 1866, beginning his law practice at Norwalk.  There he edited the Whig organ, and was three times elected county auditor, serving six years.  He spent over six years in the newspaper business, being at one time principal owner of the Toledo Blade, and at another of the Toledo Commercial, and through the Civil War, sole owner and publisher of the Dubuque Times, then the only Union daily paper in the north half of Iowa.  Returning to Norwalk, he resume his law practice in the latter part of 1866, which he has successfully pursued there, in all, over 35 years.
     He publicly, both as speaker and writer, advocated the temperance cause when he was a law student at Columbus, and, through half a century since, he has given largely of his labor and means for its promotion without ever accepting any pecuniary compensation.  He was active in the Washingtonian, Maine Law, Sons of Temperance, and Good Templar movements, serving three terms as Grand Worthy Chief Templar of the Good Templars of Ohio.  In 1857, he was chairman of a State convention held at Columbus to organizer a political temperance party, but the movement was arrested by the outbreak of the slavery conflict in Kansas, followed by the Civil War.  In 1869, he was on the first Ohio Prohibition ticket as candidate for supreme judge, and was that year a delegate to the Chicago convention which organized the National Prohibition Party.  He was nominated by the Prohibition Party, once for vice-president, three times for governor, eight times for supreme judge, and several times for common pleas and circuit judge, and member of Congress.  He was through 15 years a member, and four years chairman, of the national Prohibition Committee.  In 1876, 1880, and 1884, the State prohibition convention of Ohio unanimously instructed the delegates from that State to the national convention to present his name for the presidential nomination, but, being present, he refused to have it offered there.  At the national convention of 1892, in his absence, the Ohio delegates presented his name, and it received next-to-the-highest vote of the convention for that position.
     Stewart died in 1909.

— Data from An Album of Representative Prohibitionists (1895)