Thursday, February 13, 2014

THRILLER THURSDAY–Hobart B. Stewart Murdered - 1936


STEWART_Hobart_newspaper article re murder_page 9_18 Dec 1936_ClevelandPain Dealer_Cleveland Ohio_cropped

Hobart Basil “Hob” STEWART is a 3rd cousin twice removed on my maternal side of the family.  I was surprised to find this article at Genealogy Bank when I was researching his family.  Hobart was the son of Dr. Charles E. Stewart and Ida Lunsford.  He was born on 18 Sep 1896 in Lawrence Co., Ohio.  I have located many articles about his murder, but so far have not located an obituary.  

Hobart married Marcella Wood, daughter of Royal H. & Matilda Wagner, on 9 Jun 1917 in Ashland, Boyd, Kentucky. Hobart & Marcella had three children, Page Albert, Charles & Phyllis Jane. 

In 1920 we find Hobart & Marcella living with their two young sons in Mingo Junction, Jefferson, Ohio.  He is working as an Engineer in, I believe, a steel factory.  The entry for the type of industry is a bit difficult to read.

1920_STEWART_Hobart & Marcella & 2 sons_MingoJunctionJeffersonOhio_annotated

On 21 Oct 1923, their young son, Page Albert, dies of meningitis at the young age of 4 years. 


In 1926 their daughter, Phyllis Jane was born.

The family moved from Mingo Junction to Hocking, Ohio sometime between 1920 & 1930.  The 1930 census is enumerated on 6 Apr 1930  and you see that Hobart has taken a job as a Stationary Engineer at the power plant in a Boy’s Industrial School.

1930_STEWART_Hobart & Marcella_Charles & Phyllis_HockingFairfieldOhio_annotated

On 7 Aug 1930, just 4 months after the 1930 census was taken, Marcella Wood Stewart, Hobart’s wife, died at Deaconess Hospital of a post operative embolism after a laparotomy.   Now Hobart has his son Charles, age 12 & daughter, Phyllis, age 4 to raise by himself.  What trials he and his children went through during those times we may never know.  

But, it’s about to get much worse.

On 17 Dec 1936 Hobart is killed, at work, during an escape attempt by two youth’s at the Boy’s Industrial School.
STEWART_Hobart_newspaper article re murder_page 1_18 Dec 1936_ClevelandPain Dealer_Cleveland Ohio_cropped

This was a very horrible and sad thing for the Stewart family.  They lost a young son, then the mother dies and now their father is murdered.  Stories like this break my heart.
The two youth’s who committed this crime were caught, tried and convicted.

 STEWART_Hobart_newspaper article_conviction of killers_page 20_9 Jun 1937_The Repository_Canton Ohio_cropped 
In the 1940 census we find Charles, now 21 and his sister, Phyllis, now 14 yrs. old, living with their Grandmother Ida Lunsford Stewart.  Also in the house is their Uncle Mark & his wife, Myrtle. 

I haven’t taken this story any further, yet.  I need to find out what became of Charles & his sister Phyllis.  Did they marry and have children of their own?  I hope whatever they did that they were happy.  They certainly experienced a lot of tragedy when they were young.

NOTE:  Normally I wouldn’t spend this much time researching a 3rd cousin, twice removed and his wife and children.  They aren’t closely related to me and certainly aren’t blood relations.  However, sometimes you run across stories that peak your interest and you just have to follow them.  Of course, any time we research one part of the family, we never know what we will run across that will help with another part of the family.  As genealogists it isn’t always about  how close to us the person is, but about their story. 

Our ancestors were no different than we are today.  They lived and loved.  They made mistakes, they worked hard, and, they experienced the joys and sadness life brings.  

If anyone reading this is related to this Stewart family, I would really enjoy hearing from you.

I apologize for the fact that the articles are blurry when you enlarge them.  I have tried and tried to fix that issue and don't seem to be able to.  

Happy hunting,

Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2014   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Very interesting story! Lancaster is where I lived for many years . BIS later became Fairfield School for boys and now an adult prison called Southeastern Ohio Correctional Institute. One of the famous residents was Bob Hope.

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. I did not know that about Bob Hope. Very interesting. Certainly one of the things I love about genealogy research is all of the history we learn along the way.

  2. I followed your "Top 10" post over here to read about the murder. Those poor kids! What a lot to handle at such young ages!

    I have now written about 3 murders in my family in just the past 6 months or so. Only one of them was a direct ancestor. Yes, I follow stories if I uncover them and don't worry if they are direct ancestors or their siblings or not. Often, these stories affected our direct ancestors, too!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read my post Dana. Now I'm going over to your blog to read yours. It is so sad to find these stories, but hopefully by writing about them we help to honor their memories.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.