Robert Alan McLean Stewart, a Guelph businessman, local historian, and collector, was born in Guelph, Ontario on July 1, 1916 and died in Guelph in January 2000. Except for a period overseas during World War II, he lived his entire life in Guelph. Stewart was unmarried.
Stewart received his education from Miss Hayward's Private School (1921-1922), Guelph Public Schools (1923-1929), and Appleby College in Oakville (1929-1934). Stewart started working for his father at Stewart Lumber Limited as a clerk in 1934, was made Vice-President in 1937 and President in 1939 after his father's death. Stewart ran the family lumber business until 1968 when it went into voluntary liquidation. Stewart also served in the Royal Canadian Air Force between May 1942 and June 1945, with a year in Britain where he served with Training Command.
Stewart was very involved with the local history community as a member of historical societies and as a contributor to Guelph's written heritage. He authored and published a two volume "A Picture History of Guelph 1827-1978". Stewart also collected, copied and preserved historical photographs and documents from many sources.
Stewart was involved in many other associations such as the Stewart Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, the Historical Automobile Association of Canada, the UEL Association of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Legion. He was also interested in flying, travel, genealogy, electric trains, and cooking.