Stuart, Robert

Dr. Robert Stuart, a prominent physician of Henderson, was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, December 1, 1837; son of Olivia (Hall) and Rev. David Todd Stuart. His father, David T. Stuart, was born in the parsonage attached to Walnut Hill Church (near Lexington) July 27, 1812; took the degree of A. B. in Transylvania University at the age of twenty years. In 1832 he entered Princeton, N. J., and studied the regular course of theology. At the request of Rev. William L. Breckinridge he passed the summer of 1836 in preaching at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Kentucky, where he formed the acquaintance of Miss Olivia W. Hall, whom he subsequently married.

He preached for fifteen years to the churches of Shiloh and Olivet in Shelby County. In June, 1851, he removed to Shelbyville and took charge of the Shelbyville Female College, where he continued until his death, September 26, 1868. Eleven children were born to him, viz.: Robert, Winchester, John, Theodore, David T., Isabella, Amelia, Mary Lou, Maggie, Florence and Annie.

Rev. Robert Stuart (grandfather) was of Irish- Scotch parentage, and was born in Virginia; received a collegiate and theological training at Hampden Sidney, and came to Kentucky before the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1798 he was elected one of the first three professors of Transylvania University, and held the position of professor of languages for a number of years.

For more than half a century he filled the pulpit of the Walnut Hill Church, Fayette County, Kentucky. The degree of D. D. conferred upon him was merited by his learning and long service. He died at the age of eighty-four years in Nicholasville, Kentucky. His wife, Hannah Todd, a member of one of the best families of Lexington, died in 1832. They had eight children.

Dr. Robert Stuart attended his junior year in Center College in 1855. In 1857 he graduated from Jefferson College, Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania. He attended one course of lectures in the Kentucky School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from the Jefferson School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa., in the spring of 1860.

He first practiced his profession in Yelvington, Daviess County, Kentucky, where he made the acquaintance of Miss Susan E. Read of Owensboro, Kentucky, a most beautiful and accomplished woman, to whom he was united in marriage May 8, 1861. In February, 1862, he accepted the position of assistant surgeon in the Second Kentucky Cavalry, and served in that capacity until the summer of 1863, when he was compelled to resign on account of impaired health. He was present at the battle of Shiloh, being detailed to accompany the Louisville Legion on the field and attend to their wounded. He was also present at the battles of Stone River and Perryville, Kentucky, and accompanied his regiment in the march of Buell’s legions in the pursuit of Bragg’s army to Louisville and back again to Tennessee.

After returning from the war he settled in Henderson County, Kentucky, and practiced his profession for more than twenty years at Zion, a quiet village six miles from the city of Henderson.

On December 19, 1891, he had the misfortune to lose his faithful wife after a long and painful illness—one of earth’s purest and brightest jewels. In 1893 he removed to Henderson, where he is at present located; is a member of a number of medical societies; elder in the First Presbyterian Church and a citizen of high standing. He is the father of six children: Robert, Benjamin, Annie, Alice W., Mary and Susan Elizabeth.

Source: Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. John M. Gresham Company, Chicago, Philadelphia, 1896.