Wash. highway may be renamed to honor African-American Civil War veteran

Rep. Pettigrew with descendants of William P. Stewart. (L-R) Marilyn Quincy, Rep. Pettigrew, Marian Harrison, Donald Paul. Photo courtesy of Washington State Legislative Support Services.

State Route 99 in Snohomish Co., Wash. may be renamed after an African-American soldier who served during the Civil War -- before settling down in Snohomish in the 1880s.
William P. Stewart enlisted in the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry Co.
Stewart’s unit suffered enormous loss during the war; one in three soldiers were killed during service.
He and his fellow African-American soldiers received little recognition for their heroism.
Stewart was born on December 9th, 1839. He died in another December -- 68 years and two days later.
He was a farmer before volunteering for combat.
Stewart and his wife, Elizabeth Thorton, were pioneers in the city of Snohomish, Wash.
They lived on a homestead farm south of town, with their little son, Vay. Their home still stands.
The memorial requesting SR 99 be renamed the “William P. Stewart Memorial Highway” was passed in the House of Representatives Monday with unanimous support.
Now, House Joint Memorial 4010 goes to the Senate for consideration.
In a release advocated for the name change, State Rep. Eric Pettigrew said:

"I am proud to support memorializing the contributions that African-Americans have made to our country and to our state. Men like William P. Stewart paved the way for generations of black Washingtonians, including me and my family. I was honored to meet the family of William P. Steward as we voted to pass this measure out of the House today."

Want to talk about the news of the day? Join us on Facebook.