William Charles Stewart
1824 – 1905
Kaysville’s First Shoemaker
William Stewart was a short, stout man with hazel eyes and black hair. He was born at Comworth, Bedfordshire, England on the 25th of January 1824.
William was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the 9th of May 1841 by George F. Adams in England. On June 11, 1843, he married Mary Ann Marriott who had also joined the church. Together they set sail from Liverpool, England, on October 2, 1850, arriving in New Orleans on November 22, 1850. When they arrived in New Orleans, Stewart was so weak he could barely walk. Their funds were completely depleted so he sold his watch for five dollars which paid their fare on a river boat to St. Louis where they arrived December 7, 1850.
After the journey across the plains arriving in Salt Lake City, they went north with three other families and settled in what we know as Kaysville, Utah. Their first winter was spent in a wagon box where William Stewart made shoes while other members of the group built three rooms in a row. This was covered with a big pile of dirt so that it would keep most of the rain out. They moved into a log home sometime in March 1852. In 1853 and 1854 a fort wall was built in Kaysville for protection from the natives. The Stewart family along with a number of their fellow settlers moved into this fort. That move took place in the summer of 1857. Their original log room was pulled down and moved into the fort.
In 1858, this family along with most members of the settlement left their all and moved west of Provo in fear of Johnson’s Army. They returned to their homes near the end of June.
The only effort to tan hides and make leather in Kaysville was by William Stewart and John R. Barnes at a point about a block south and a block west of the present day Kaysville City Hall. The business was successfully conducted until 1869 when the railroad brought in leather at a price that local competition could not meet.
After a very hard, but faithful life, William Stewart passed away August 9, 1905, at the age of 81.
- “2023 Kaysville Cemetery Tour.” Poster created by the Kaysville City Historic Preservation Commission & the Kaysville – Fruit Heights Museum of History & Art.
- Photos courtesy of FamilySearch.