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Scots and Scots Descendant in America
Part V - Biographies
Francis Edward Stewart, Ph.G., M.D., Phar.D.


DR FRANCIS EDWARD STEWART was born in Albion, New York, September 13, 1853. He is a descendant of the Perthshire Stewarts, derived from Alexander Stewart, Earl of Buchan and Lord of Badenoch, fourth son of King Robert II; and the great-grandson of John Stewart, of Perth, Scotland, and a son of Johnathan Severance Stewart (born Truxton, Cortland Co., N. Y.) and Ada E. Nichoson Stewart, his wife, daughter of Orson Nichoson, M.D., one of the earliest settlers in Albion and the first physician to locate there. He is also descended from the Severance, McClellan, Fay, Mathews and Morris families of New England. Robert Morris Stewart, who founded the railway system of Missouri and built the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, of which he was for a time president, and Governor of the State at the opening of the Civil War, was his uncle.

Dr. Stewart was educated at Cortland County Academy, Homer, N. Y.; Oberlin College, Ohio; Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, class of 1876; Jefferson Medical College, class of 1879; and post-graduate University of Pennsylvania. He became a resident of Philadelphia in 1872, when his father became superintendent of the American Dredging Company, then constructing the League Island Navy Yard. He practiced for a time in New York City, where he was a member of the Hospital Committee and chairman of the committee on Alms Houses of the County of New York, State Charity’s Aid Association, a member of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church and physician of the New York Loan Relief Association.

Dr. Stewart has made pharmacology his specialty, and even in his student days made several important researches and medical inventions. He has been an earnest advocate of reform in materia medica and the materia medica supply business, and of placing the pharmacal and pharmaco-chemical industries under the control of the national government, so far as the introducing of new remedies is concerned. As early as 1881, he outlined a complete plan which was endorsed by Professor Spencer F. Baird of the Smithsonian Institution and others, and by the American Medical Association in a memorial to Congress, but it failed to receive the authority of the government. Later he induced Parke, Davis & Company, Detroit, to establish a scientific department, and himself became associate-editor of the Therapeutic Gazette, published by them, in which he issued in connection with scientific expeditions sent out by that house, working bulletins and reports, afterward collected into a book of 1307 pages, enitled The Pharmacoloqy of the Newer Materia Medica. This book was donated to the Smithsonian Institution and to educational institutions teaching materia medica, and specimens of the plants investigated were placed in the materia medica collection in the National Museum, Washington. Dr. Stewart also was instrumental in bringing about the formation of a Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association, which has done much in controlling by co-operation with the medical journals the advertising of objectionable medical preparations; and by his many addresses at pharmacopceial conventions and contributions to the medical press has done much toward the standardization of the materia medica. While he has not been able to bring about his original plan of government control, the Pure Food and Drug Act of June 30, 1906, recognized the standards of the Pharmacopoeia, and manufacturers are obliged to conform.

In 1885; Dr. Stewart removed to Wilmington, Delaware, where he occupied prominent positions in the State medical and pharmaceutical societies; was electrician of the Delaware Hospital; leader of the University Extension of the University of Pennsylvania in Wilmington, and a member of Rodney Street, now Westminster Presbyterian, Church—first secretary of the Board of Trustees and one of the committee of three having charge of the first rebuilding of the church.

In 1891, Dr. Stewart accepted a position in the Glen Springs Sanatarium, Watkins, N. Y., but resigned in 1894 to organize a scientific department for Frederick Stearns & Company, manufacturing pharmacists, Detroit. In 1898 he became Chairman of the Medical Board of Merck & Company, manufacturers of medicinal chemicals, New York, and first editor-in-chief of Merck’s Archives, remaining as the head of that journal until 1901, when he went to California to assist in organizing the National Bureau of Medicines and Foods, proposed by him as a substitute for government control. The plan was afterward remodelled and became the origin of the Council on Pharmacy and Chemistry of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Stewart has served as quiz-master in Pharmacy and Theoretical Chemistry, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy; demonstrator and lecturer in Materia Medica and Pharmacy in the Medico-Chirurgical College, Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, and Jefferson Medical College; Professor of Materia Medica, Botany and Physiology in the Medico-Chirurgical College; and Professor in the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. He is director of the scientific department of the great chemical house of H. K. Mulford Company, Philadelphia; chairman of committees on patent law revision appointed by the American Pharmaceutical Association, Pennsylvania Pharmaceutical Associations, Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the Association of Medical Editors; and while in Wilmington he was a founder of the Delaware Trust Company and the Franco-American Food Company and a director of both. He is author of Stewart’s Compend of Pharmacy, and editor of Biochemic Drug Assay Methods, by Dr. Paul S. Pittenger, and Pharmaceutical Botany, by Dr. Heber W. Youngken, both associated with his chair at Medico-Chirurgical College. He received the degree of Pharmacy Doctor from the latter institution in 1914, for distinguished service in pharmacy.

Dr. Stewart is Historian and a life member of the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. He is a fellow of the American Medical Association; member of the American Academy of Medicine; organizer of the American Therapeutic Society; member of the Council of the American Pharmaceutical Association, and ex-President of the Philadelphia branch; member of the Pennsylvania State Medical and Pharmaceutical Societies; the Philadelphia County Medical Society and Medical Club; New York Chemists Club; a thirty-second degree Mason; a Noble of the Mystic Shrine; and an elder in the Presbyterian Church. He is a life member of the Stewart Society, an international organization of the ancient and once royal family of Scotland, of which the Right Honourable the Earl of Galloway, as titular head of the family, is Honorary President.

Dr. Stewart married, March 17, 1885, Mary Ida, daughter of Henry B. Seidel, President of the Seidel, Hastings Company, rolling mills, Wilmington, Delaware. He has two daughters, both graduates of Vassar: the elder, Mildred Penrose, graduated 1908, is instructor in Physiology and Hygiene, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N. Y.; the younger, Frances Marjorie Mathews, graduated 1915, is at home in Germantown, Philadelphia. Dr. Stewart is not only at the head of his profession but also a voluminous reader and a writer of merit on general subjects. He is a great lover of everything Scottish and has travelled extensively through Scotland and has a wide knowledge of its history, and has many influential friends in Edinburgh and elsewhere. He is of a genial disposition and always willing to give his advice and help.


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