Los Angeles County
DEAN EDWARDS STEWART
Dean Edwards Stewart is a man who has lived with music all his life and has brought music to countless others as a teacher and as a performer. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Mr. Stewart has been giving private lessons in Alhambra since 1926, and still teaches piano and organ part time.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, on October 13, 1893, Mr. Stewart is the son of Edwards Sullivan Stewart, who was born in northwestern Pennsylvania of Scottish descent and who was a farmer in Iowa in later life, and Antha Genevra (Dean) Stewart, also born in Pennsylvania. One of Mr. Stewart’s brothers, Earl I. Stewart, is retired and lives in Lancaster, California.
Dean Stewart attended Everett School in his home town and is a graduate of Sioux City High School there. At the age of eighteen he conducted the Sioux City Symphony. Graduating from the New England Conservatory with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1918, Mr. Stewart then took up residence in Mission, Texas, teaching music in the public schools as well as having his own dance orchestra. While living in Texas Mr. Stewart belonged to the Rotary Club, Odd Fellows, Elks Club, the Masons, and the Aztec Club. During that time, also, Mr. Stewart was married to the former Miss Nathalie Allen on December 25, 1919, in Sioux City, Iowa. Mrs. Stewart passed away on December 12, 1950. During their years together she taught piano along with her husband and bore him three children. She was also active in the First Methodist Church in Alhambra, of which Mr. Stewart is still a member, and was a member of its choir.
In 1924 Mr. Stewart came to Hollywood, California, and has resided in Alhambra since 1926 where he took temporary charge of the valley branch of the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music. Prior to World War II Alhambra sponsored many musical activities, among them the Alhambra Concert Orchestra, a Danish orchestra, and a Czechoslovakian orchestra. Mr. Stewart played with both of the latter. Many musical undertakings were fostered by Frank Van Gundy, who was musical director of the First Methodist Church. The Christmas Choir Festival was staged by the Ministerial Association and the Alhambra Playground; Mr. Stewart also helped produce “HMS Pinafore,” “The Mikado” and a minstrel show before the War. After World War II Alhambra’s chief musical group was the Alhambra Civic Chorus under Leslie Broad which was sponsored by the Post Advocate and the Alhambra Playground Association. Mr. Stewart reported musical activities for the Post Advocate between 1926 and 1936; he also wrote program notices. While living in Alhambra Mr. Stewart has played the drums, organ, and piano in theaters, churches, and dance orchestras countless times. In addition to giving private lessons he has also held various jobs in industry, such as bookkeeping. Mr. Stewart played tympani in Monrovia, and played four years with the Boston Symphony and four years with the Boston Opera.
A charter member, Mr. Stewart has been associated with the Alhambra Musicians Club since 1931 and is now serving as president of that organization. He also plays in the orchestra at Bethany Church in Alhambra, and sings in the choir of Marengo Methodist Church.
Mr. Stewart’s children, who are all Alhambra High School graduates, are Allen Dean Stewart, who lives in Hawaii and has one daughter; Mrs. Jeanne S. Kranz, who lives in San Bruno, California, and has three sons; and Charles Hamilton Stewart, who lives in Japan, is a pilot for Japanese Air Lines, and has three daughters.
In 1958, on May 30, Mr. Stewart married the former Mrs. Frances Stanton.
Mr. Stewart loves the out-of-doors and enjoys golf, tennis, and hunting.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Historical Volume & Reference Works Including Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel & Temple City, by Robert P. Studer, Pages 598-600, Historical Publ., Los Angeles, California. 1962.
© 2013 V. Gerald Iaquinta.