Friday, July 13, 2018
Cousin Wash Steward (the spelling he used) was one of the most romantic of us all.
Rebecca Jane Hinton had been widowed two times in 1862 when Cousin George Washington Steward came to see her—a widow with some unmarried children at home. There was a connection. Rebecca’s daughter had married Steward’s son Jeremiah in 1860.
When Wash Steward rode up to the Widow Whitaker’s home in Falls County, Texas he was blunt: He said, "Mrs. Whitaker, I've come down here to ask you to marry me. Tonight I'm gonna leave my saddle bags here in the hall. If I come down in the morning and they're still here, I'll know your answer is "No" and I'll leave. If they've been put somewhere else, I'll know your answer is "Yes and I'll stay".
In the morning the saddle bags had been moved. The new Mrs. Steward and her unmarried children moved over to Steward's Mill soon after that.
The new Mrs. Steward did not live long after her third marriage. We know how long it took the widower to remarry because that friend John reproached him for remarrying so fast after her death. That’s when Cousin Wash said, "Well, John, she is just as dead now as she will ever be."
When people wonder how Nancy Ann Stewart Costner's descendants came to behave so smoothly in all their personal dealings we just say it's all because of what the family learned from her cousin Wash.