His educational advantages were meagre, and his early life was spent on his father's farm. He and his wife settled near the outskirts of Cleveland Oct. 14, 1856, and kept a hotel or road house as it was called there and here he remained four years. He then moved to Cleveland and was employed as a commission merchant for some years, when he removed to Oil Creek, and engaged in the oil business, and later dealt in real estate, making and losing a fortune. His natural turn of mind was astronomical study and with proper training he would have been a success in that work (Severance, B. Frank. Genealogy and biography of the descendants of Walter Stewart of Scotland and of John Stewart who came to America in 1718 and settled in Londonderry, N.H. Greenfield, Mass. : T. Morey & Son, 1905, pg. 147)