In most small communities, there is always one outstanding individual who keeps the town on its toes, whether in sports, entertainment, civic pride, safety, or sanitation.
During the early years in Stewart, the town "keystone" was W. R. "Bill" Tooth.
Bill Tooth on left with friends In the years before Stewart incorporated, Bill was fire chief of the volunteer brigade, raised funds and also donated considerable money for equipment. He also was looked up on as sanitary inspector.
He would make his rounds of the prospectors' cabins, seeing if any were sick or needed assistance in any way, and did his best to keep the cemetery decent.
Bill was also the town crier as, on any special occasion such as a baseball game, dance or party, he would walk the main section of town, ringing a small bell and announcing the occasion to one and all.
In those days, we had some first-class baseball games between Premier mine, Hyder, Alaska, and the Stewart teams; mostly through the efforts of Bill Tooth and Walter Blanton of Hyder.
Bill also found time to labor on behalf of the Moose Lodge on each side of the border, as, in his early years, he had business establishments on both sides of the boundary.
Over the years, he acquired considerable real estate throughout the district. Mrs. Tooth played her part, assisting the ladies of the Moose Lodge and other organizations, and was also known as a wonderful gardener.
During the decades they lived in Stewart, Bill and Mrs. Tooth played a great role in holding the old town together through the good and bad years.