John Stewart was born in 1841 in Beckwith Township, Lanark. He was the youngest son of Alexander Stewart and Elizabeth Douglass. John Stewart became a partner in the Stewart Brothers enterprise in Waba with his brother Donald. His wife was Margaret Robertson of Robertson's Corners. They had 7 children. He was politically active on behalf of the Reform Party. He served as Reeve from 1879 - 1889 and 1906 - 1913. During the second period, he was appointed Warden of Renfrew County.