Clarence Stewart, a well-known businessman of Riverside, is a native of Rockford, Illinois, dating his birth in 1848. In 1849 his father, John N. Stewart, came to California and engaged in mining. In 1851 he returned East, and the next year brought his family to the State and located in Sacramento for about three years, and then moved to Sonoma County, where he engaged in farming until he came with his family to San Bernardino in 1865.
The subject of this sketch was reared in California and schooled in her public schools. Shortly after his arrival in San Bernardino he went to Arizona and was there employed by Indian Agent George W. Beihy as his deputy on the La Paz Reservation. He spent a year in that territory and then returned to San Bernardino and learned the trade of a wagon-maker, after which he spent a winter in Wickenberg, Arizona, and in 1869 established himself on the old Jurupa Ranch, about one and one-half miles west of the present site of Riverside. He purchased fifty-five acres of that ranch and engaged in agricultural pursuits and stock-growing. Mr. Stewart has a fine orchard of deciduous fruit, forty acres in extent, upon his ranch that in 1888 yielded over 250 tons of green fruit; also a large vineyard of raisin grapes. A large portion of his land is of a character that renders artificial irrigation unnecessary.
For nearly a quarter of a century Mr. Stewart has been a resident of San Bernardino, and has been engaged in many of the enterprises that have built up Riverside and other sections. In 1885 he established his residence in Riverside and entered into real-estate operations under the firm name of Stewart & Kingston. At a later date the firm established themselves in the carriage business. In 1887 Mr. Stewart purchased the interest of his partner and greatly enlarged his operations, establishing a branch house in San Bernardino. He was successful in building up one of the largest business industries in the county, and in September 1888, sold his San Bernardino establishment to Montgomery, Grant & Co., and in November of the same year sold his Riverside works to Thayer & Peters.
He conducted a large business under the firm name of Stewart, Chamberlin & Cover.’ He was an original incorporator and secretary of the Eighth Street Improvement Company, and was an incorporator and the treasurer of the Mound City Land and Water Company. He is also vice-president of the Stewart Hotel Association of San Bernardino, and was the principal promoter of that enterprise. He is also connected with banking interests and a stockholder in the Farmers’ Exchange Bank of San Bernardino.
Mr. Stewart is well known throughout the country, and his various enterprises have always been characterized by sound business principles and straightforward dealing that have gained for him the confidence and respect of the community. In political affairs he is a supporter of the Republican Party and an earnest worker, but not an aspirant for political honors.
In 1886 he was appointed a notary public, and has held the office since that date. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and affiliated with the lodge in Riverside, and Encampment and Canton of San Bernardino, and is also a member of Sunnyside Lodge, No. 112, Knights of Pythias, of Riverside. He is a supporter of the religious denominations, and is a member and steward of the Methodist Church.
In 1872 Mr. Stewart was united in marriage with Miss Rachel C. Ables, the daughter of Benjamin and Maria (Pulley) Ables, well-known residents of Riverside. From this marriage there are two children: Mary Estella and Henry B. Mr. Stewart’s parents, John H. and Charlotte (Tucker) Stewart, were natives of Massachusetts. His father was a pioneer of California, well known in San Bernardino County and also in Northern California. He died at San Bernardino in May 1884. Mr. Steward’s mother is now a resident of that city, as is also his brother, Richard Stewart.