ARTEMACY WILKERSON STEWART

(1834-1914) Wife of Levi Stewart

by Tamar Stewart Hamblin, granddaughter of Levi Stewart and Margery Wilkerson. Margery was a sister of Artemacy.

From An Enduring Legacy, Volume Three, p.155 and the History of Kane Co, Utah

KANAB'S MIDWIFE

 

When Kanab was permanently settled in 1870, Artemacy Stewart, wife of Bishop Levi Stewart, was the first midwife called and set apart by President Erastus Snow. In the blessing given her at that time, she was promised inspiration in her calling and that she should get up from her sickbed to care for the sick and in so doing be healed. I saw this verified at one time.

She had been very ill in my father's (William Thomas Stewart) home. John R. Findlay called for her to go and take care of Aunt Leah with her first baby. John was being told she wasn't able when she heard him. She called to her son "Tommy, come here." She had him wrap her in a quilt and carry her to the buggy, although he was afraid she wouldn't survive the ordeal. In a few days she came back to us healed.

Her husband, Levi Stewart, had a knowledge of the use of herbs, as also had his son, John Riley Stewart, who was a great student and pretty well read on medicine for that time. She often went to them for advice and aid.

At one time she was called to the bedside of two young women the same day to deliver their first babies. It was a cold, snowy day in December and a number of blocks from one place to the other. So the expectant fathers each kept a horse saddled and waiting at the gate. Artemacy was a small woman but very active. Putting her up behind them, she was conveyed back and forth to watch her patients. She delivered two baby girls that today are mothers and grandmothers.

She often said in later years, "Many times when it seemed that I would fail in my endeavors, I have bowed my head in my hands and asked God for that inspiration promised me. It never failed to come." A little child's scarlet fever was broken up with a tea of peach tree twigs in February. A little girl's burnt back was relieved by taking the skin of a cat while it was still warm and covering the burn. When the skin was removed the gangrene poison was drawn out. The child recovered.

Artemacy delivered babies in Kanab up until 1903 and was still at the same job until she was eighty years old.