Member Biography

John Stewart 


Portrait: PSA 1873 Constitutional Convention Album.


Sessions Office Position District Party
1881-1882       33 Independent Republican
1883-1884       33 Independent Republican

COUNTIES: Franklin, Huntingdon  


11/04/1839 - 11/26/1920

Adjutant, 1st Lieutenant John Stewart (R33) Franklin and Huntingdon Counties 1881-1884 

Early Life: 

Adjutant, 1st Lieutenant John Stewart, born November 4, 1839, Shippensburg, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania; son of Doctor Alexander and Elizabeth Hammil Stewart; College of New Jersey, Princeton, 1857, attorney, Cumberland County bar, 1860; Franklin County bar,1861; married, Jane Holmes Larmour Stewart, 1862, children, Alexander Stewart, Anna W. Stewart, Elizabeth Keith Stewart Farber, Janet Holmes Stewart, Helen M. Stewart; Adjutant, 1st Lieutenant, Civil War, 1862-1863; delegate, Republican National Convention, 1864, 1876, 1884; delegate, Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, 1872-1873; elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 1881-1884; unsuccessful, third party candidate, Governor, 1882; Board of Directors, Vice President, Cumberland Valley Railroad, 1883-1889; elected, President Judge, Franklin County, 1888-1905, reelected 1898, elected, associate justice, State Supreme Court, 1905-1920; died, November 25,1920, (aged 81) hit by trolley, Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania; interment, Falling Spring Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania

Early Career:

Enlisted, nine-month duty, 1st Lieutenant, Company A, 126th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry; August 11, 1862, Camp Curtin, Harrisburg; promoted, regimental staff adjutant, saw action, 2nd Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, mustered out with his regiment, May 30, 1863. 

Professional titles; business ownership; board memberships; local government; club memberships.

Member, Falling Spring Presbyterian Church, Chambersburg; member, Grand Army of the Republic, Housum Post 309, Chambersburg; trustee, Wilson College, Chambersburg; member, Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish Society. 

Pennsylvania Politics:

Delegate, Republican National Convention, Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland June 7-8, 1864, nomination of: Abraham Lincoln, Illinois, President and Andrew Johnson, Tennessee, Vice-President. 

Served, acting Mayor of Chambersburg, as Confederate General McCausland burned the city, July 30, 1864.

Served, Elector, President U.S. Grant, 1869. 

Delegate, Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, 1872-1873. 

Delegate, Republican National Convention, Exposition Hall, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, June 14-16, 1876; nomination of: Rutherford B. Hayes, Ohio, President and William A. Wheeler New York, Vice-President.

Elected, Republican, Pennsylvania State Senate, 33rd district, Franklin and Huntingdon Counties, 1881-1884, committee assignments, Finance, Judicial Apportionment, Judiciary General, Library. 

Unsuccessful, third party (Independent Republican) candidate for Governor, 1882. 

Board of Directors, Vice President, Cumberland Valley Railroad, 1883-1889.

Delegate, Republican National Convention; Exposition Building, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, June 3-6, 1884; nomination of: James G. Blaine, Maine, President and John A. Logan, Illinois, Vice-President. 

Elected, President Judge, 39th Judicial District, Franklin County 1889-1905.

Appointed, associate justice, State Supreme Court, Governor Samuel Pennypacker, June 1905, vacancy John Dean.

Elected, associate justice, State Supreme Court, 1905-1920; would have become Chief Justice, first Monday in January 1921. 


Brother, Lieutenant, Pennsylvania State Senator Alexander Stewart (R33) Franklin and Huntingdon Counties, 1901-1908.

Alexander Stewart  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

Law Partner, Pennsylvania State Senator Alexander Kelly McClure, Adams, Franklin, Fulton Counties 1861-1862. 

Alexander Kelly McClure  - Pennsylvania Senate Library (

Late afternoon, November 25, 1920, Judge Stewart stepped out from a parked automobile in front of his home (755 Philadelphia Avenue, Chambersburg- now an American Legion) into the path of an approaching trolley car, when, struck, impacted thrown into the curb, head first, killing him instantly


Cox, Harold. "Senate Members S"Wilkes University Election Statistics Project. Wilkes University.

Smull’s Legislative Handbook, (1883). Smull, W.P., (Editor) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, pages 765, 770-772, Biographical Sketches of Senators, page 736.

The Evening News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) Friday November 26, 1920, Page 1.

Thomas Kennedy and John Stewart: 'Power players' of Cumberland Valley (

John Stewart (1839-1920) - Find a Grave Memorial