His early life was spent in farming and shoemaking, buying his leather and selling the products of his labor in Haverhill, Mass. About the time the shoe business received such an impetus throughout New England he disposed of his farm and engaged successfully in shoe manufacturing at Haverhill, and continued in that business during the rest of his life (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. 69, 138).