Throughout his adult life Stewart lived in New York and Connecticut, but he retained his connection to Anderson. He always mentioned his hometown on his book jackets. When the Anderson Daily Bulletin interviewed him in 1969 about his success as an author, he talked about a recent visit to Anderson. He was impressed with the town’s growth and predicted that eventually Anderson and Muncie would grow together to form one city. He had managed to get lost on the new 109 Bypass, but was glad to see familiar landmarks.
After his father’s death in 1975, he no longer had family in the area and seldom returned. He was glad to receive an invitation to speak at the opening of the new Anderson Public Library in 1987. Stewart spoke to a crowd of library staff and invited guests on the Saturday evening before the library’s opening. He was impressed with the new building and thought that it was unusual that a factory town should invest in such a fine library. He hoped that the building would inspire young people to dream ambitious dreams and challenged the community to read.
He returned again in 1992 for a Fred Mustard Stewart Day sponsored by Citizen’s Bank. Fred Mustard Stewart died of cancer in 2007 and was buried at sea
After his death, his widow Joan Richardson Stewart donated his papers to the Anderson Public Library, which is the home of the Fred Mustard Stewart archives. The archives contains material from his Triangle Club days, his unpublished musical Dracula, and copies of his novels in American and foreign language editions. Scholars and researchers who would like to use the Archives should contact the Fred Mustard Stewart archivist at the Indiana Room of the Anderson Public Library.
Beth Oljace works in the Indiana Room at the Anderson Public Library. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.