M. I. Stewart, president and active head of the Stewart-Taylor Company, has for several years directed the destinies of a business and industry that under successive names and changes is one of the oldest commercial printing houses in the northwest, and one that has been kept equal to the demands of commerce and art as represented in the printing trades from time to time.
The business was first established about 1887 by Mr. J. L. Thwing, but it was nearly twenty years later before Mr. Stewart acquired an interest in the business. Mr. Stewart was born at Lynchburg, Ohio, November 27, 1877, and came to northern Minnesota when a boy. He acquired a public school education and graduated from high school in Duluth in 1896. During 1896-97 he attended the University of Minnesota and from 1897 was a student at the University of Nebraska until graduating in 1902. While in university he took up newspaper work and was employed by the State Journal Company of Lincoln. In 1902 he bought a half interest in the Faribault Journal in Minnesota, but sold out the following year and returned to Duluth and became connected with the newly organized City National Bank, serving the best interests of that institution for over two years.
On December 1, 1905, Mr. Stewart bought a half interest in the printing establishment of J. L. Thwing, thus bringing into existence the firm title of Thwing-Stewart Company. It has been conducted as a high class commercial printing establishment, handling all classes of general printing. During the past fifteen years great advances have been recorded and many improvements and changes in the business. When Mr. Stewart entered the firm in 1905 the plant was at 26-28-30 West First street.
The following year more space had to be secured for the growing business and the location was changed to 116 West First street. Two years later another move was necessitated by business demands, and this time the company made its last move to date, to 310-312 West Second street. In 1909 the business was incorporated with J. L. Thwing as president and Mr. Stewart as secretary and treasurer. In 1912 Mr. Thwing sold his entire interest to Mr. Stewart. A year later Charles W. Oppel entered the organization, and a few months later the name was changed to the M. I. Stewart Company. About the same time Alonzo W. Taylor, who had been connected with the City National Bank of Duluth for eight years, joined the company and assumed the office of treasurer.
On the retirement of Mr. Thwing Mr. Stewart succeeded him as president, while Mr. Oppel has been secretary and vice president several years. Since January 1, 1920, the name of the company has been the Stewart-Taylor Company.
On November 21, 1907, Mr. Stewart married Elfrida G. Schlick, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. A. T. Schlick, of Duluth. They have one son, M. I. Stewart, Jr. Mr. Stewart is a member of the Commercial Club, Rotary Club and Boat Club.