The Fife Herald of 2 July 1874 provides an insight into the pay and conditions of the schoolmaster job. It stated:
"Mr Stewart's, teacher, Lundin Mill Public School, salary was fixed at £65 per annum, together with the school fees, said fees to be collected by himself. Mr Stewart obtains the school house and garden free of rent, with permission to let the house during the summer holidays. Two pounds were also allowed per annum for cleaning the school."
The meeting questioned whether Mr Stewart was to blame for the bad report. One of the causes had been non-attendance. Another had been the condition of the closets. Someone commented that "Mr Stewart was never meant to be a scavenger", prompting laughter. There were suggestions that reports regarding Lundin Mill were "exaggerated and made as black as possible". Sentiments were expressed that a "good old faithful servant" should be given a "fair chance" and the school board (having been elected to represent the rate payers) take responsibility of some of the shortcomings. It was agreed that the school board should be asked to withdraw their resolution to dismiss Mr Stewart and a deputation of fifteen men was selected to meet with the board within the week. The meeting was followed by some drama, as the newspaper article concludes...
"At the close of proceedings, a large section of the youthful portion of the community paraded the village with a lay figure attired in a "surtout" coat and a satin hat covering a profusion of long hair. On the breast was a large placard bearing the words "Peacock Clipshear". The processionists carrying lighted torches attracted much attention, and, after promenading the principal thoroughfares, they burned the effigy at the east end of the village."
Another effigy was burned outside Kirkton School the following month, where the school board were supposed to be meeting to decide the fate of David Stewart. As it turned out, the meeting did not go ahead as all but one member of the board had resigned. This time the effigy was carried amid taunts of "Sudden death of the Clipshear", "through the streets of the Upper and Lower villages. Then it was taken to the sands and burned. A force of police was in the village but their services were not required." Well, David Stewart survived this episode and by 17 December, the St Andrews Citizen reported that "a movement is on foot to give Mr Stewart, the much respected teacher of Lundin Mill School, a presentation." He continued in post for another 12 years, passing away in the school house on 26 September 1905 at the age of 60. The Edinburgh Evening News of 28 September noted that he had been "the most brilliant student of his year at Moray House Training College". He was also Secretary of Lundin Golf Club and Session Clerk at Largo Kirk. The esteem in which he was held was demonstrated in 1906, when a "massive monument" was erected in Largo cemetery in the memory of the late head teacher. As the Fife Free Press on 23 June stated...
"It bears the following inscription:- "In loving memory of David Milne Stewart for 37 years headmaster of Lundin Mill Public School, who died 26 September 1905, aged 60 years, highly respected and deeply regretted by a wide circle of friends, and by the community in which he lived for so long". The stone is of Rubislaw granite, with an open book resting on a fern. There are four blocks of granite at the corners of the ground, joined by an enamelled chain. The sculptor was Mr Murdoch of Kirkcaldy, and the monument has been erected by Mr Stewart's family and many warm friends drawn from a wide area."
David Stewart's wife, all five children, and their spouses, now share his grave and headstone.