Caswell County Genealogy
 

Stewart, Charles Willis

Stewart, Charles Willis

Male 1906 - 1985  (79 years)

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  • Name Stewart, Charles Willis 
    Born 19 Feb 1906  Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Name Yank 
    Reference Number 20195 
    Died 1 Oct 1985  Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I19810  Caswell County
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 

    Father Stewart, Charles William,   b. 30 Jul 1869, Montgomery County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Apr 1925, Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Beckleheimer, Susan,   b. 1873, Montgomery County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 21 Sep 1951  (Age 78 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Married 4 Dec 1892  West Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Reference Number 229110 
    Notes 
    • Ancestry.com One World Tree indicates marriage in 24 December 1892 in Montgomery County, Virginia.
    Family ID F8917  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Hewett, Tiney Elizabeth,   b. 31 Jul 1908, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Aug 1965, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 57 years) 
    Reference Number 626924 
    Children 
    +1. Stewart, Doretha Tiney,   b. 10 Feb 1926, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 28 Jun 1986, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years)  [natural]
    +2. Stewart, Audrey Dessaline,   b. 22 Oct 1927, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Mar 2002, Brunswick County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [natural]
     3. Living
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F8916  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Hewett, Blanche Gertrude,   b. 22 Nov 1904, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1982, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 77 years) 
    Reference Number 606805 
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F8915  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Davis, Marceline,   b. 1 Jan 1950, Delco, Columbus County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Jun 1988, Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 38 years) 
    Last Modified 28 Jul 2022 
    Family ID F48530  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 19 Feb 1906 - Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1 Oct 1985 - Wilmington, New Hanover County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart
    Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart
    Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart Once Declared Outlaw
    Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart and Mary Elizabeth Stewart
    Lorena Faye Stewart and Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart

    Documents
    Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart World War II Draft Registration Card
    Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart World War II Draft Registration Card

  • Notes 
    • Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart (1906-1985)

      Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart (1906-1985)

      Yank Stewart (On Right)

      Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart (1906-1985)

      Ivy Bluff Prison Escape 1959

      (for larger image, click on photograph)
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      Second Photograph: Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart is on the right. The identity of the man on the left is unknown.

      Fourth Photograph: UPI News Press Wire Photo (8 December 1959): Ivy Bluff Prison (Blanch, Caswell County, North Carolina): Prison guards, their shoes in one hand and weapons in the other, chase through the swamps and hills surrounding the Ivy Bluff prison camp and the town of Yanceyville (Caswell County, North Carolina, in an effort to round up the twenty hardened criminals who escaped from the maximum security prison early December 8, 1959. This is part of a collection of a former UPI employee.

      He often was identified in the press as Charles Willis Stewart, Jr. However, Stewart family members advise that his is incorrect. His father, often shown as Charles Willis Stewart, actually was Charles William Stewart. And, while the name of the current entrant was indeed Charles Willis Stewart, he was not a junior. Based upon Stewart family input this database is being changed accordingly. Note, however, that census records show him as Charles W. Stewart, Jr. Thus it remain possible that his name actually was Charles William Stewart, Jr. Accordingly, researchers are advised to proceed cautiously in this area.

      Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart was born February 19, 1906, in Virginia. He died October 1, 1985, in Wilmington, North Carolina, thus attaining 79 years. When a young man his nickname was "Willie." Exactly when and why he obtained the nickname "Yank" is not known. Note that the birth certificate of his daughter, Audrey Dessaline Stewart, states that her father was born in Menden, West Virginia (and was a stack painter in 1927).

      The Stewart family is not from Caswell County, North Carolina. However, one member of the family, Charles Willis Stewart, spent some time in Ivy Bluff Prison near Blanch in Caswell County. Accordingly, the Stewart family is included in the Caswell County Family Tree.

      Note that the 1910 US Census provides West Virginia as his birthplace.

      Charles Willis Stewart apparently was married three times, including to sisters. His first wife was Tiny Hewett, the mother of all the children of Charles Willis Stewart (three daughters). Tiny Hewett Stewart divorced Charles Willis Stewart and married Clifford Robertson, who helped raise the Stewart children while Charles Willis Stewart was in prison. The Stewart family reported that Tiny Hewett Stewart Robertson died at a fairly young age of cancer (in her fifties). Charles Willis Stewart married secondly Blanche Hewett, a sister of Tiny Hewett. Blanche Hewett Stewart had been married before, to a Ramsey and had two children, Mickey Ramsey and Margie Ramsey. The third wife apparently was Marceline Davis (1950-1988), but not confirmed.

      Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart purportedly owned and operated a service station (possibly at Monkey Junction in or south of Wilmington, North Carolina).
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      Yank Stewart History
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      Stewart Family Photographs
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      The Professional Convict's Tale: The Survival of John O'Neill: In and Out of Prison, Elmer Hubert Johnson, Editor (2007).
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      Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart purportedly was cremated, but the location of his remains is unknown (but probably in or near Wilmington, North Carolina).
      _______________

      Terry Stewart left a comment on your post "Portrait of a Tough Guy: Yank Stewart"

      Yank Stewart was my great uncle, being my father's uncle. Strangely, I was about 13 and living in Roanoke at the time of his capture and imprisonment there. I remember my mother showing my sister, brother, and me the local newspaper stories about him and explaining who he was.

      Over the years, I've read a few articles about him but some of the info in this article I had not heard before. Thanks for making it available.

      With regard to his brother [William Elmer Stewart] and father [Charles William Stewart] (my paternal grandfather and great grandfather) being executed by the state of NC, they too helped to change the prison system. Their executions in the NC electric chair were so brutal and terrifying that the method of execution was changed shortly thereafter.

      Terry Stewart
      April 2, 2018
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      "This Is The Law" by Robert E. Lee (Sponsored by The Lawyers of North Carolina)

      "Outlaws"

      Is there in North Carolina a statutory procedure whereby a person may be declared an outlaw? Yes. Only two other American states have a statute on the subject.

      Outlawry has been abolished in England. The last judgment of outlawry rendered by a court in England was in 1855.

      The statute in effect at the time was enacted in 1868 and provided: "In all cases where any two justices of the peace, or any judge of the Supreme, superior or criminal courts shall, on written affidavit, filed and retained by such justice or judge, receive information that a felony has been committed by any person, and that such person flees from justice, conceals himself and evades an arrest and service of the usual processes of the law, the judge or the two justices, being justices of the county wherein such person is supposed to lurk or conceal himself, are hereby empowered and required to issue proclamation against him reciting his name, if known, and thereby requiring him forthwith to surrender himself; . . . which proclamation shall be published at the door of the courthouse of any county in which such fugitive is supposed to lurk or conceal himself . . . and if any person against whom the proclamation has been thus issued, continues to stay out, lurk and conceal himself, any citizen of the State may capture, arrest and bring him to justice, and in case of flight or resistance by him, after being called and warned to surrender, may slay him without accusation or impeachment of crime."

      The North Carolina statute does not deprive the outlaw of a trial. Its apparent purpose is merely to extend a citizen's power of arrest. Furthermore, the citizen cannot slay the outlaw until he has been "called and warned to surrender."

      Outlawry is a relic of the past and a legal curiosity. the North Carolina statute differs greatly from outlawry in ancient times. Under the early common law of England an outlaw was completely outside the protection of the law. Once a person was adjudged an outlaw he was, in effect, convicted of the crime and his goods and chattels were forfeited to the crown. "It was no offense in ancient times to kill an outlaw. The people of the community were expected to hunt him down like a wild beast and slay him."

      Has the North Carolina statute on outlawry been used in recent years? Yes. It has been used in a number of instances where a notorious or heinous crime has been committed.

      . . . .

      "Yank" Stewart, the leader of the notorious mass escape from the Ivy Bluff Prison in recent years, was declared an outlaw." [Note, however, that Stewart's outlaw status was not in connection with the Ivy Bluff Prison escape.]

      Source: The Robesonian (Lumberton, North Carolina), 16 November 1975, Sunday, Page 7.
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      Note that even when a "guest" at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina, Charles Willis (Yank) Stewart was required to register for the World War II draft.
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      Ivy Bluff Prison History:1959

      When Yank Stewart escorted 20 prisoners from the less-than-secure Ivy Bluff Prison in Caswell County, inappropriately called "Little Alcatraz," the following descended upon Caswell County:

      1. Sixteen NC Highway Patrolmen
      2. Seven FBI agents
      3. Four SBI agents
      4. Two military helicopters from Fort Bragg
      5. Packs of blood hounds from other jurisdictions

      6. "Scores" of prison guards
      7. The head of NC prisons
      8. Dozens of newspaper reporters
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      1910 United States Federal Census
      Name: Charles W Stewart Jr.
      Age in 1910: 4
      Estimated birth year: abt 1906
      Birthplace: West Virginia
      Relation to Head of House: Son
      Father's name: Charlie W
      Father's Birth Place: Virginia
      Mother's name: Susie
      Mother's Birth Place: Virginia
      Home in 1910: Tunstall, Pittsylvania, Virginia
      Marital Status: Single
      Race: White
      Gender: Male
      Household Members: Name Age
      Charlie W Stewart 40
      Susie Stewart 37
      Oscar W Stewart 16
      Elcie G Stewart 15
      Anthony D Stewart 12
      Lousia F Stewart 10
      William E Stewart 8
      Charles W Stewart Jr. 4

      Alcatraz, California, U.S. Penitentiary, Prisoner Index, 1934-1963
      Name: Charles Willis Stewart
      Ethnicity: White
      Birth Date: 19 Feb 1906
      Birth Place: Wilmington, NC (?)
      Death Date: 31 Oct 1985
      Date Received at Alcatraz: 1 Aug 1960
      Incarceration Reason: Transporting Firearms Interstate
      Place of Incarceration: Alcatraz, San Francisco, California
      Transferred From: A
      Old Box Number: S-23
      New Box Number: 1218
      Shelf Location: 3140G
      Inmate Number: 1469
      Case File Screened: No
      Remarks: SSDBI

      North Carolina Death Collection, 1908-2004
      Name: Charles Willis Stewart
      Gender: Male
      Race: White
      Marital Status: Married
      Social Security Number: 239461037
      Father's Last Name: S
      Age: 79
      Date of Birth: 19 Feb 1906
      Birth Location: Virginia
      Birth State: Virginia
      Residence County: New Hanover
      Residence State: North Carolina
      Date of Death: 1 Oct 1985
      Death City: Wilmington
      Death County: New Hanover
      Death State: North Carolina
      Autopsy: No
      institution: General Hospital
      Attendant: Physician
      Burial Location: Cremation in state
      Source Vendor: NC Department of Health. North Carolina Deaths, 1983-87

      Social Security Death Index
      Name: Charles Stewart
      SSN: 239-46-1037
      Last Residence: 28403 Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina
      Born: 19 Feb 1906
      Last Benefit: 28401 Wilmington, New Hanover, North Carolina
      Died: Oct 1985
      State (Year) SSN issued: North Carolina (Before 1951)
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  • Sources 
    1. Details: Ancestry.Com OneWorldTree (not totally reliable).