William H. Stuart, a marble dealer and stone cutter, sold drugs as a sideline. He emigrated from Pennsylvania in 1816. His brother, Edward R. Stuart, was a partner in the publishing of the News-Democrat in 1859. They were significant land owners in south Belleville, and in 1864, Washington Public School was built on 14 of their lots. In 1819, their father, Alphonzo, was killed in the infamous Stuart-Bennett duel — the only pistol duel fought in the history of the State of Illinois. It has not been determined who raised the two orphans.