Dr Earl M Stewart is the patriarch of our wing of the Stewarts.
He set up his medical practice in Imperial Nebraska, where he was THE doctor for the county
His daughter Jean Marie (my aunt) told of his being required somewhere for a birth or accident. His wife would hitch up the horses while he dressed and got his equipment. He would ride out to the patient, and sleep in the buggy on the way back – relying on the horse to get him home. Later he owned the first car in the county.
In addition to the practice, he owned a farm out of town, where the boys learned farming skills.
In the twenties, he moved to Eagle, Nebraska where he was again the county doctor. the move ws so the children could go to college in Lincoln. In the midst if the depression he built a large brick home largely – I understand – with contributed labor to pay medical bills.
In the forties, he had a stroke that ended his medical career.
After that,Jean Marie did the bookkeeping. She said when the war started, money started to flow in. Former patients or their sons had military income, and were finally able to pay medical bills from the depression years.
My only memories of his were when he was suffering from the stroke – confused.
The house in Eagle was interesting, and fun for us young boys to explore.
There was running water, but only cold. But to be safe, there was also a hand pump in the kitchen AS I recall, the water was hard as nails. To take a bath, we boys used a big wash tub in the kitchen filled with water some of which was heated on the stove. The stove had both electric burners and wood burning heat.
The phone in the hallway was a crank phone. To place a call, you turned the crank, which notified the town operator that you were wanting her. She would then ask for the party you wanted. She would then connect you,. Shortly after the war it was replaced with a dial phone.
The garage was in the basement, with a sloping driveway. Rain ran down the
drive, so the basement was eternally moist and muddy. There was an old Ford Model A parked there – unused And on the wall a large collection of license plates.
The laundry was also in the basement, and the children’s rooms were on the second floor. A chute started in the floor of the boy’s room and went to the basement where a wire basket caught the clothes. we boys always wanted to try going down the chute but were afraid to actually try it.
On the south side of the house was a very large garden with all manner of food, from corn to radishes. beyond that was the ‘old house’ an empty two story house that was the family home until the new house was built. It was fun to play there as boys.