Encyclopedia Titanica

Albert Ankeny Stewart

First Class Passenger

Albert Ankeny Stewart
Albert Ankeny Stewart

Albert Ankeny Stewart was born on 17 March 1848 in Somerset, Perry County, Pennsylvania (his birthplace is also stated as Gallipolis, Gallia County). His middle name was derived from the surname of an ancestor who had been a Revolutionary War soldier whilst the 1850 census shows that his close neighbours were farmers Isaac and Eleanor Ankeny and their young family.

He was the son of Robert Leeper Stewart (1820-1880), an attorney and insurance agent who was a Civil War veteran, and the former Isabella Beam (1823-1901), both natives of Pennsylvania who had married around 1840.
He had eight known siblings: Lillian (b. 1841), Ross Forward (b. 1842), Jean (b. 1850), Mary (b. 1854), Anna (b. 1856), Flavia (b. 1859) and Mabel (b. 1864). On the 1850 US census Albert lived with his parents and siblings at Somerset, Pennsylvania. 

Marriage Article
Gallipolis Journal, 16 June 1870

Albert was first married on 15 June 1870 to Louisa Evelyn Woodruff (b. 19 December 1850), the daughter of Leonard Woodruff and the former Josephine Louisa Jackson. The marriage produced three children: Josephine (b. 12 November 1872 in Cincinnati, later Mrs Oren Edwin Taft), Gilbert R. (1872-1874) and Evelyn (b. 1875). Their son Gilbert died as a toddler whilst their younger daughter Evelyn is believed to have died as a young woman(1).

While in Cincinnati, Stewart worked for the Aetna Life Insurance Company. He became involved with the Middleton & Strowbridge Lithographing Company “with what he considered a good idea for printing pictures. This idea was taken up and has gradually evolved.” This firm manufactured multi-coloured posters for theatres, circuses, and other entertainment venues. The company discovered a new process of creating the posters, using large blocks of a special slate from Germany which could be shaved down after each use, allowing the expensive blocks to be used for hundreds of different posters. The firm was perhaps the leading poster manufacturer in the Midwest. Stewart was sent to New York City when the company opened an office there. Barnum & Bailey Circus used Strowbridge posters and Stewart later invested money in the circus.

Stewart became a widower when his wife Louisa passed away on 15 April 1876 and was laid to rest in Spring Grove Cemetery. 

Signature
Albert’s signature from his 1878 passport

On 28 June 1878, Albert applied for a United States passport while living in Hamilton County, Ohio. He was described as being 5 ft 8 ½ inches tall, medium forehead, bluish grey eyes, proportional nose, small mouth, broad chin, dark brown hair, dark complexion, and an oval face. He may have been abroad on 9 June 1880 when his daughters Josephine and Evelyn lived in Cincinnati in a household headed by their great-grandmother, Evelyn Jackson that also contained their grandmother Josephine (Jackson) Woodruff. 

Around 1880 Stewart relocated to New York and was remarried there on 6 June 1881 to Delphina “Ella” Gordon (b. 24 May 1856 in Cincinnati), daughter of Portuguese-born George Gordon, an awning maker, and Elizabeth Baker of Ohio. The couple made their home in New York but the marriage was brief and dissolved sometime prior to 1885, ending in divorce. Delphina remarried twice and died in Cincinnati as Mrs Hugh McCulla in January 1922. She was laid to rest in Spring Grove Cemetery. 

By 1886 Stewart’s workplace was at 44 West 22nd Street whilst he lived at 232 West 23rd Street. Between 1888 and 1903 his lithography business was located at 1155 Broadway Avenue and he lived at a number of different addresses, including The Knickerbocker and 37 5th Avenue. He made frequent trips to Europe after 1888, sometimes taking his daughter Josephine with him (she reported that she had made eight trips between 1888 and 1914).

Albert was married in Detroit, Michigan on 27 June 1889 for a third time to Florence Amanda Coe. Miss Coe was born on 11 July 1857 in New York City, the daughter of merchant Luke Case Coe and the former Sarah J. Andrews. 

As the eastern representative for his lithography company, Stewart made dozens of trips abroad, travelling first class and typically bringing with him four pieces of luggage when he was alone. Between 1892 and 1895 he sailed aboard Umbria, La Bretagne, La Champagne and Philadelphia. With his frequent and often prolonged business and pleasure trips, New York Herald (17 April 1912) states that Mr Stewart was as much a resident of Paris as he was New York and was a member of the Board of Trade in the French capital. He and his family would often spend their winters in Europe. He maintained a home at 37 (or 35) 5th Avenue, although at times Albert may have lived at a separate address. The New York Herald (17 April 1912) states that for several years as of 1912, the Stewarts had no permanent residence in New York and whilst there inhabited either the Knickerbocker, Plaza or Grosvenor hotels. 

Albert and Florence sailed from Liverpool on 7 November 1906 aboard the Baltic, arriving in New York City on 16 November 1906. Another trip was aboard the Kronprinzessin Cecilie, leaving from Southampton and arriving in New York City on 10 March 1908. Albert was then described as a manager.

On 5 April 1910, Albert and Florence lived in an apartment building at 2 East 45th Street in New York and he was again working as a lithography agent, although the couple were actually in France at the time the census was taken. They boarded the La Provence at Le Havre on 2 April 1910, arriving in New York City on 9 April 1910. He made another trip aboard the same ship, leaving Le Havre on 26 August 1911 and arriving in New York City on 2 September 1911. He returned to Paris in January 1912.
Albert and Florence were both to return to the United States aboard the Titanic; Mrs Stewart purchased the tickets from an agent in Monte-Carlo and when Mr Nauth delivered them, he reported that she said “We were on the Olympic when she lost her propeller. We hope that this time we are not going to sink.” Florence, attending to an ill acquaintance, remained behind in Italy with her stepdaughter Josephine and two grandchildren. Albert boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg on 10 April 1912 as a first class passenger (ticket #17605, which cost £27, 14s, 5d). Stewart had a cabin on “B deck, right forward” with his bedroom steward being Alfred Crawford.

After the Titanic collided with the iceberg, steward Crawford convinced Albert to put on his life jacket. Crawford then “stooped and tied the old gentleman’s shoes.”

Helen Bishop later wrote a letter to Albert’s sister Jean B. Stewart describing his activities after the Titanic struck the iceberg.

"[O]n the evening of the disaster we left Mr. Stewart in the lounge about eleven o'clock and did not see him again until he knocked at our door some time after the disaster. This was after we had dressed, gone up deck, and gone to our beds again. Mr. Stewart said Dickey-bird, you'd better come up on deck and amuse yourself, in a tone that warned us. We dressed carefully and warmly, and met him upstairs in about ten minutes. He was also dressed warmly. When the order came to put on life belts we all separated and met again almost in no time. We went at once up the boat deck. Mr. Stewart gathered together Mr. and Mrs. Harder, Mr. Bishop and me shouting to us not to worry. The steam made so much noise that we could hardly hear a word. A few minutes later Mr. Stewart said "You four kiddies stay together and get in the first lifeboat. I'll be right back here." Three minutes afterward we were pushed into the first lifeboat. Mr. Stewart had gone inside, but there were not more than fifty people on the whole deck when we left, we expected he would follow in the next. The rest of the horrible details you know. We never saw him again."

After his death it was reported that:

“Albert A. Stewart, for many years connected with the Strobridge Lithographing Company of Concinnati, and had an office in the Times building, New York. He was also a part owner of the form of Barnum & Bailey. Stewart was a man of considerable wealth.”

His widow Florence, daughter Josephine Taft, and Josephine’s daughters Florence and Frances returned to the United States aboard Kronprinz Wilhelm, sailing from Cherbourg on 8 May 1912 and arriving in New York City on 15 May 1912.
Albert had $35,000 in life insurance. An inventory of his estate included bank deposits totalling $12,505.20; insurance, $5,000; two auto-mobiles, $1000; commissions from the lithograph company, $12,500, and various securities and stocks. The total value was $276,974. His wife received $92,307.76 and daughter Josephine Taft received $184,725.52.

The estate of another Titanic victim came up for adjustment in the Tax Department yesterday. It was that of the late Albert A. Stewart. Florence C. Stewart, widow and administratrix of the estate of Mr. Stewart, deposed that the taxable part of the estate consisted of $79,000 worth of unregistered bonds. As the other executor of the estate lives in the West it could lie taxed here for only one-half of the total amount, so the assessment was cut down to $89,500. The original assessment against the estate was $250,000. — The Saratogian, 12 November 1912

A marker dedicated to Albert Stewart was erected in the Mound Hill Cemetery in Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio.

His widow Florence never remarried and by 1916 lived at 35 5th Avenue. She had a summer home at Watch Hill and occasionally appeared in the New York Times society columns between 1928 and 1933. She died on 28 March 1934:

“On Wednesday, March 28, 1934, Florence Coe Stewart, wife of the late Albert A. Stewart, beloved mother of Mrs. Oren Taft of Chicago. Services will be held on Saturday, march 31, at 10:30 A.M., at her residence at the Hotel St. Regis, 5th Av. And 55th St.” — New York Sun, 30 March 1934

Daughter Josephine
Albert’s daughter Josephine, 1922

His daughter Josephine was married on 25 April 1894 to banker Oren Edwin Taft (b. 28 October 1868 in Paxton, Ohio) and they made their home in Chicago, having two daughters, Frances and Florence. Josephine died in Chicago on 2 December 1939.

Notes

  1. Evelyn’s fate remains uncertain; however, in October 1898 a Cincinnati-born Evelyn Stewart (b. circa 1877) married California-born Claude Eagleson (b. circa 1875), an actor. The couple resided in Manhattan at the time of the 1900 census and on 21 January the following year had a daughter, also named Evelyn who died after only hours of life. Evelyn Eagleson died in Manhattan on 9 June 1903 from tuberculosis; her parents were named as Alfred and Evelyn Stewart (possibly a corruption of Albert and Louisa Evelyn Stewart?). She was laid to rest in Fairview Cemetery. 

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Albert Ankeny Stewart
Age: 64 years and 29 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Florence Amanda Coe
Occupation: Businessman
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17605, £27 14s 5d
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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References and Sources

Albert A. Stewart and Florence C. Stewart entries, New York City Directories, 1886-1916.
Albert A. Stewart household, 1910 US census, Manhattan Ward 19, New York, NY.
Albert A. Stewart, Oren Edwin Taft, and Josephine Stewart Taft entries, Passport Applications
Alfred Crawford Titanic Inquiry testimony
Alkeny Family History by Lawrence W. Jenkins (1981), p. 211-212;
Caroline Stewart household, 1860 US census, Limestone, Clarion County, PA.
Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), 18 April 1912
Color Printing Process A Cincinnati Invention. Cincinatti Post, 7 August 1903, p. 2.
Dowagiac Daily News (Michigan), 10 May 1912
Everline Jackson household, 1880 US census, Cincinnati, Hamilton County, OH.
Florence Stewart household, 1920 US census, Los Angeles Assembly District 66, Los Angeles, CA.
James Stewart household, 1850 US census, Monroe, Clarion County, PA.
Local ties explored during 100th anniversary of Titanic.
Luke C. Coe household, 1860 US census, New York Ward 12 District 3, New York, NY.
Ocean Disaster, Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio), 17 April 1912, p. 2.
Stewart obituary, New York Times, 31 March 1934, p. 2.
Stewart-Coe entry, Michigan Marriages 1822-1995, online at Familysearch.org.
Titanic Victims Insurance, New York Times, 7 May 1912, p. 4

Newspaper Articles

Brooklyn Daily Times (17 April 1912) ALBERT A. STEWART ONE OF THE LOST ISLANDERS
New York Sun (17 April 1912) Was the Mayor's Friend
L'Eclaireur de Nice et du Sud-Ouest (18 April 1912) Mrs. Schabert, Mr. Mock, Mr. and Mrs. L.P. Smith, Mr. Stewart
Hartford Courant (18 April 1912) MRS. STEWART DID NOT SAIL ON TITANIC
Chicago Evening Post (20 April 1912) ANOTHER CHICAGOAN HIT IN TITANIC WRECK
Billboard Magazine (27 April 1912) Henry B. Harris (2)
New York Times (1 February 1913) A. A. STEWART LEFT $276,974
New York Times (12 April 1948) Albert Stewart - In Memoriam

Bibliography

Walter Lord (1955) A Night to Remember
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Comment and discuss

  1. Cheryl Enyart

    Cheryl Enyart said:

    Just a visitor. The Albert A. Stewart that was listed as a 1st class businessman is originally from my hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio. He had built a beautiful home on the riverbank of the Ohio but never got to live there... His sister inherited the house and contents. He was lost at sea but the family did erected a gravestone in his memory.

  2. vickie patterson

    vickie patterson said:

    i am from gallipolis ohio and have done alot of research on albert stewart. he and his family lived here. i work as the director of "our house museum" and help our at the historical society. if anyone needs info i would love to share it.

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Acknowledgements

Gavin Bell, UK
David Bronson
Homer Thiel, USA