Sarah Stewart ’21 can be forgiven for being unable to name every family member who has attended Butler.
After all, her father can name only 30, which is just about half of the 58 or so Stewarts, Athertons, and Browns who have graced the Butler campus—relatives that reach all the way back to legendary Butler President Hilton U. Brown.
“I remember knowing about Butler ever since I was little,” said Sarah, who entered the University this fall. “My uncle, dad, and grandparents all took me to Butler plays and games—football, basketball, soccer—and we would always see family there. We still do.”
Sarah’s father, Paul B. Stewart ’89 MD FACS, said he grew up the same way.
“Butler is almost synonymous with my dad’s side. Family, church, and Butler were the three things we have always talked about.”
“Always” reaches as far back as the 1880s, when the Stewart family and Butler University began influencing each other.
Planting The Family Tree
Hilton U. Brown was still a Butler student when he fell in love with coed Jennie Hannah. After they married, Brown went on to become Butler College Director in 1885 and Board President from 1903 to 1955.
He’d also eventually be known as Sarah’s great-great-great-grandfather.
“Hilton Brown’s very strong commitment to Butler has extended throughout the family and has always been a big source of pride,” her dad said.
Sarah will encounter plenty of family members’ names throughout campus.
Her uncle John W. Stewart ’96 DDS commissioned the bulldog sculpture in front of Atherton, a building named after Brown’s son-in-law John W. Atherton. Great-grandfather James Stewart ’34 received a Butler Alumni Achievement Award and is in the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame, along
with great-uncle Kent Stewart ’60 JD and great-great-uncle Robert Stewart ’35 PhD. Brown’s brother, Demarchus, was Butler’s President for only one year in 1906. Hilton U. Brown Jr. was honored with a painting still in Robertson Hall. Great-great-aunt Jean Brown Wagoner is a children’s author.
Sarah finds comfort in such a legacy.
“I love Butler because it’s a smaller community that reminds me of family. When I see my family all over campus, it means a lot to me,” she said.
The line extending directly from Hilton U. Brown to Sarah Stewart goes like this:
Sarah’s great-great-great grandparents—Hilton U. Brown 1880 and fellow Butler student Jennie Hannah married and had 10 children, most of whom went to Butler.
Sarah’s great-great-grandparents—Mary Brown, one of Hilton’s daughters, married George Oliver Stewart. These two are the anomalies in the family tree; neither attended Butler, but they sent both of their sons, James J. Stewart ’34 JD and Robert Stewart ’35 PhD, there.
Sarah’s great-grandparents— James married Helen Gearen ’34; she and her sister, Marion, went to Butler, as did the latter’s husband, Victor Guio ’35.
Sarah’s grandparents—James and Helen Stewart had two boys who each attended Butler: Peter ’63 and Kent ’60 (whose wife and son also went to Butler). Peter married Joan Juvinall ’65 and had Sarah’s father, Paul B. Stewart ’89 MD and her uncle, John W. Stewart ’96 DDS.
Sarah’s parents—Paul married Anne Schumaker, and they had Sarah and her older brother, Grant Brown Stewart.
Sarah and her brother—Grant was accepted at Butler, but is attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Sarah is on track to become a Butler graduate in 2021.