Lorne Stewart (1916 – 2000)

Lorne Stewart Birth

Lorne Milas Stewart was born on 27 Nov 1916 in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA. An engineer at heart he worked as a freeholder, tv repairman, and auto-shop, and store owner. He spent his life in rural Oklahoma, living and raising a family around the town of Mulhall.

Lorne Stewart (far left) with parents Milas and Gailys, and siblings Ireta, Jesse and Paul in 1934
Lorne Stewart (far left) with parents Milas and Gailys, and siblings Ireta, Jesse and Paul in 1934

While I’ve not yet found an official birth record for Lorne Stewart, his birth date can be confirmed through numerous census’, and his draft records. Lorne was born to Milas Stewart and Gailys Burright.

1920s and 1930s

In 1920, the US census has Lorne, aged 3 living with his parents and older sister Ireta Stewart, in Rose Hill, Logan County, Oklahoma.

The Stewarts then move to Arkansas, USA where Lorne’s brothers Paul Stewart was born in 1922, and Jessie Stewart was born in 1925.

By 1930, the Stewart family has returned to Rose Hill, Logan County, Oklahoma. We also have records in our archives from 1935 that imply Lorne lived in, or owned property in LeBron, Logan County, Oklahoma. I think this came from a land patent that has since been re-filled in our archives. I’ll need to re-identify the document.

On January 28th, 1939 Lorne Stewart married Alice Legrande in a civil ceremony at the Oklahoma City Court House. Lorne and Alice had known each other for sometime before getting married. They corresponded with each other through the 1930s. They told their grandchildren how the postman would pick up a letter at Lorne’s house and cancel the stamp by crossing it out with a pencil, then deliver to Alice at one of his next stops down the road. But Alice’s responses had to go through the post office and would be delivered the following day.

Lorne and Alice’s first child Eugene was born in November 1939. During his birth complications resulted in oxygen deprivation and some damage to his brain which was to lead to him living in assisted living for much of his life, first in Enid and later in Guthrie. He died in 1994 from cancer that had invaded his lungs and his brain.

Midway Station, Mulhall, Oklahoma, USA
Midway Station at sunset, Mulhall, Oklahoma

Lorne Stewart and Alice Legrande in the 1940s

By the next census, in April 1940 the Stewarts were living at their farmstead near Mulhall, where they lived for the rest of their lives. The farmstead was a smallholding with a few animals, a gas station, auto-shop, and local store, as well as a television and radio repair shop. It was known as Midway. Lorne was quite an engineer and even built his own tractor to work the pasture next to the homestead. He also built a large antennae tower for his ham radio hobby.

In October 1940, as WWII raged in Europe, Lorne completed a military draft card. The story goes that when he was called up, his blood pressure was too low for him to be accepted. He must have been interested in signing-up because the examining doctor suggested he went outside and ran up and down a flight of stairs to get his blood pressure up but to no avail.

Lorne and Alice’s second son was born in Dec 1940. He left the farm in the 1960s and made a family of his own in the nearby town of Edmond.

The Stewart’s first daughter was born in 1943 but died soon after birth on 22 June 1943.

Their second daughter was born in August 1944. She also left the farm but returned towards the end of Alice’s life to help look after her and the property.

Lorne and Alice continued to work the shop and store through to the 1970s. After that, they continued to work the smallholding for their own purposes and as a family gathering place for their family. The grand-daughters remember fondly the hours spent on the property.

Lorne Stewart Death

In October 2000, while mowing a pasture the Stewart’s owned, Lorne’s ride-on mower caused a grass fire that engulfed him. Badly burnt he was rushed to hospital but eventually succumbed to his injuries, dying on 16 October 2000 in a hospital in Oklahoma City.

Sources:

Ancestry.com, 1940 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012), Ancestry.com, Year: 1940; Census Place: Le Bron, Logan, Oklahoma; Roll: T627_3307; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 42-21.

Ancestry.com, U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012), Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com, U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2011), Ancestry.com, Number: 446-22-9086; Issue State: Oklahoma; Issue Date: Before 1951.

Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002), Ancestry.com, Year: 1930; Census Place: Rose Hill, Logan, Oklahoma; Roll: 1912; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0030; Image: 556.0; FHL microfilm: 2341646.

Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), Ancestry.com, Year: 1920; Census Place: Rose Hill, Logan, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1470; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 68; Image: 1110.

Ancestry.com, Web: Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, Marriage Index, 1889-1951 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013), Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com, U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015), Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com, U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 (Lehi, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Ancestry.com, The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Draft Registration Cards for Oklahoma, 1940 – 1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 485.

Ancestry.com, Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995 (Lehi, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016), Ancestry.com.

Ancestry.com, Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995 (Lehi, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016), Ancestry.com.