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Joseph Irving Stewart
 Joseph Irving Stewart, 1847-

From American Series of Popular Biographies. Massachusetts Edition. This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston: Graves & Steinbarger, 1891.


JOSEPH IRVING STEWART, of Dorchester, a prominent real estate dealer and builder, now serving as Representative in the Legislature for the Twentieth Suffolk District, was born in Kings County, New Brunswick, April 25, 1847, a son of Joseph and Mary (McVey) Stewart. His ancestors on both his father's and mother's side were Scotch, the former settling first in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Stewart's early years after his school days were spent in active employment on his father's farm and in the saw and grain mills, where he made himself generally useful. In April, 1867, at the age of twenty, he came to Boston and entered L.F. Whiting's iron foundry as an apprentice, but thus continued for only one year and nine months, when on account of his health he gave up that business. For two years subsequently he was employed at the cabinet-maker's trade in Cambridge. He then worked for a while in the piano factory of Chickering & Sons, after which he was engaged for seven years in the fancy wood business. This was followed by an industrial period of six years with the Bell Telephone Company. Then in 1886 he began business as a real estate dealer and builder, in which line of industry he has achieved an unqualified success. The assessed value of the property he has built in Dorchester alone amounts to about one million dollars. At Ashmont he erected sixty-one houses and three blocks. In four and a half years the value of this property had increased to five hundred thousand dollars. He purchased sixteen acres of land in Dorchester Centre, and built thereon fifty-four houses, putting in three-fourths of a mile of sewers and the same length of streets, all of which he subsequently released to the city of Boston. This property also included a large brick block known as the Stewart Building and Bloomfield Hall.

Mr. Stewart was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1897 on the Republican ticket, and in 1898 and 1899 he served on the Committee on Metropolitan Affairs. His record in the House has been highly creditable to himself and beneficial to his constituents, and he has always shown himself ready to advance the best interests of the citizens. He is a member of Massachusetts Lodge, F. & A.M.;* Tabernacle Chapter, R.A.M.** of Malden, Mass.; Beauseant Commandery, K.T.,*** also of Malden. He also belongs to the Order of the Golden Cross, of which he has been Supreme Trustee since 1895; the Knights of Malta; and the I.O.O. F.**** He is a member of the North Dorchester Republican Club, the Chickatawbut Club, and several others of a social nature.

He was married April 13, 1876, to Miss Margaret Wiggin, of Tamworth, N.H., a daughter of Henry and Hannah (Emory) Wiggin, of that place.

Mr. Stewart, while coming from the common people, without educational advantages except of the crudest and briefest sort, without money or influence, has unaided achieved for himself a name and an enviable position in the business and social life of the city of his adoption. A valued legislator, a prudent business man, a stanch friend, and an upright citizen, his achievements furnish a striking example of what prudence and untiring energy can accomplish.


*F. & A.M. Free and Accepted Masons.
**R.A.M. Royal Arch Masons.
***K.T. Knights Templar
****I.O.O.F. International Order of the Odd Fellows.

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Created: November 27, 2004   Modified: November 27, 2004