Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies


Among the most efficient federal officials in northern California is John L. Steward, postmaster at Monterey, who exerts an enviable influence in the old historic town and also throughout Monterey county. A native of the state of Kansas, he was born at Havensville, October 3, 1883, the son of Lewis Cass and Sarah (Burns) Steward, the former a sturdy citizen who came to California and to Sacramento when John L. was five years of age. The father was for a while a cabinetmaker but later he took up farming. Passing away in February, 1922, he left an enviable record for worthwhile service to his day and generation-a successful life more noticeable, perhaps, because, when still in Kansas, he had had the great misfortune to lose his faithful wife.

Coming so early to California, therefore, that he was almost a native son, John Steward attended the lower grades of the public school of Sacramento, and then progressed through the courses of the high school in the capital city. Leaving school, he entered the postal service there, and after nine years of varied and excellent work in connection therewith he joined the staff of the engineer's department of the state and for a year followed reclamation work. Joining his brother, Lloyd P., as a partner, he next operated the gasoline boats on the Sacramento river and when he disposed of his interests there came to Monterey. Here he was with the Monterey Canning Company until, as the result of a stiff civil service contest, he was commissioned postmaster of Monterey, December 1, 1918, and was reappointed in February, 1923. Although a republican, he was first appointed by President Wilson, a democrat, and this simple fact speaks for itself. He has always taken a live interest in the important work of the Monterey Chamber of Commerce, and has never been wanting at a "get-together" and "forward march" showdown. He is also a captain in the Reserve, of the A .G. O. R. C, and is with the post office section.

Mr. Stewart was married in 1913 to Miss Hazel Best, a native daughter of Sacramento, and they now have two children-John L., Jr., and Norman Sheldon. Mr. Steward is an Elk, esteemed by his brethren of the order. He is also president of the Peninsula Rifle Club, is an expert shot, and is also fond of fishing.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.