Thursday, April 21, 2016

Celebrating Rockwell

As a child I heard stories that my grandfather Rockwell D Stewart and his sister Sylvia attended the Dana School of Music. I contacted the school at Youngstown State to inquire about early records. The music school director graciously sent me a book about the school's history,

William Henry Dana opened Dana's Musical Institute in Warren in 1869. It remained in Warren until 1941 when the school moved to Youngstown State University. On April 19th we visited both the Archives at the Youngstown State Library and the Warren Public Library. Neither place had my ancestors listed as students in their materials.

Rockwell was 16 in the 1870 census and Sylvia was 13. They lived with their parents John and Adeline Stewart in Lenox, Ohio. In the 1880 census Sylvia had married Chester Bailey. John Stewart died in 1876. The 1880 census lists Rockwell as single and living with his mother and younger brothers Elroy and Birch in Lenox. I believe the music education  of Rockwell and Sylvia ended abruptly when their father died. Rockwell would have had to go home to work the farm in his father's place.
Rockwell never lost his love of music. He played the fiddle for Saturday night dances in Lenox so I was told. Perhaps that is where he met the love of his life, Lillie Walton.
After returning home I reviewed the information I have about my grandfather Stewart. He died on April 19th, 1913. To our great surprise we had celebrated and remembered Rockwell D Stewart on the 103rd anniversary of his death.

 Pictured here are Rockwell D Stewart in Lenox with two of his six children.

No comments: