House of Robert
Robert Stewart was the third son of Walter Stewart, Sr. and his first wife Mary Ross. He was born in 1790 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC. Born about two years after his parents came to this country, he was the first native-born American citizen among Walter Stewart's seven sons.
In 1821, when he was 31 years old, Robert bought 96 acres of land from Henry Campbell of the Bethany community for $325. According to the plat on the deed, this land lay beside his father's land about a mile behind Bethany Presbyterian Church, just to the west of his father across what was then known as Campbell's Creek. Here, we may assume, Robert built the house to which he brought his bride, Rachel Gilliland, two years later in 1823. Rachel was the youngest daughter of Nancy and Robert Gilliland of the Bethany community, and a sister of Anna Gilliland, the wife of Robert's brother, 1 Samuel Stewart. Family tradition says Rachel had red hair.
Robert and Rachel and their rapidly increasing family lived in the Bethany community for over twenty years. They were members of Bethany Presbyterian Church (founded 1833). They sent their children to Bethany school, where the older ones were taught for a time by their young uncle, 6 Clark Berry Stewart. Although we have no record of the matter, it seems likely that their two eldest sons, 31 William and 32 Robert Gilliland Stewart, served as apprentices in the Bethany community and gained the skills that led William to become a miller and young Robert a carpenter in later years.
Robert's half-brother, 6 Clark Stewart, recorded a remarkable event in his journal: the birth of the first twins in the Walter Stewart family. He visited Robert and Rachel's home to see these infants - their eleventh and twelfth children - just before leaving for Columbia Theological Seminary in the fall of 1841.
In 1844, after they had been married for 21 years, Robert and Rachel became the first Stewart family to leave the Bethany community since Robert's own father left for Georgia with his second wife and young sons in 1824. Robert and Rachel and their family moved about twenty miles northwest to fresh land in upper Laurens County, a few miles south of the old Indian Boundary Line and a stagecoach stop known as the Fountain Inn.
Old maps of the time show the route they must have taken - Scuffletown Road, the old wagon road past Bethany Presbyterian Church. One of the oldest in the county, this road ran parallel to the Enoree River from Newberry up through Laurens County to Greenville County, where it hit the old Post Road between Greenville and Spartanburg just before it crossed the Enoree River. For Robert and his family, it was a long day's trip up the road to their new home. They loaded their twelve children and household goods on wagons and made their way past Langston's Baptist Church and Tylerville to Scuffletown (now Ora), then on to Martin's Cross Road and Young's Post Office and finally Durbin Baptist Church, where they turned off to the left toward their new home. It lay about a mile and a half southwest of the church near one of the several branches of Durbin Creek, some six miles above its confluence with the Enoree River. Here Robert and his older sons had already built a log house on the 400 acres that he had bought in 1843 for $1200.
Robert and Rachel already had relatives in their new community. Robert Gilliland, Rachel's older brother, and his wife Martha Robinson had earlier moved up from Bethany, settling about two miles further to the southwest near Power's Shop, the blacksmith shop and post office on the new road from Laurens to Greenville (now US Highway 276). Many of Rachel and Robert's neighbors were new themselves, having moved up in the last few years from the old worn-out land in the lower part of the county. Their homes lay roughly halfway between the two original settlements in the area, some ten miles apart: the community around Durbin Baptist Church (founded 1781) to the northeast, and the community around Fairview Presbyterian Church (founded 1786) to the southwest, just across the Greenville County line near the old road between Laurens and Greenville.
Robert and Rachel and their large family put down their roots in a flourishing new community. Their neighbors - most of them Baptist or Presbyterian - had just built a new church not far from their home, appropriately named Harmony Church. Since neither group was numerous enough to erect its own house of worship, they had agreed to put up one building and share it. The Baptists were to use it one week and the Presbyterians the next, with special arrangements for alternating it for fifth Sundays in the month. (The agreement was found to be satisfactory. In 1982, Harmony Baptist Church and New Harmony Presbyterian Church still meet in the same building - their second structure in 134 years - on alternate Sundays.)
At its founding on August 13, 1844 New Harmony Presbyterian Church had thirteen charter members - Rachel's brother Robert Gilliland and his wife, and eleven adult members of an old Stoddard family who lived near Power's Shop, including the families of sons-in-law Robert Childress and Robert Bryson. Robert and Rachel Stewart joined the church by certificate from Bethany Presbyterian Church on September 14, 1844 as the fourteenth and fifteenth members. On November 24, 1844 their thirteenth and last child, Samuel Turner Stewart, was born in their new home. Four months later Rachel's brother Robert Gilliland, Clerk of Session of New Harmony Presbyterian Church, recorded the first death in the membership of the fledgling church:
Robert was 54 years old when he died. Like his father before him and his older brother 2 John Stewart a few years later, he died within a year after leaving the Bethany community for new land. He was the first person to be buried in the New Harmony Presbyterian Church cemetery. A week later, the indomitable Rachel presented her little son Samuel for baptism in the same church, together with the infants of Rev. John McKittrick (the minister), William Stoddard, and Robert Bryson.
Rachel reared her thirteen children in the Harmony community, where they built a second and larger home from portions of their log house, and eventually a third home - a two-story wooden house still standing in 1982 (remodeled and occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Wade Cox). Her little son, Samuel, it is said, started to school in Big Spring Schoolhouse near the Harmony community - probably one of several early one-room schools in the area.
The Civil War started in 1861, when the youngest of Rachel's thirteen children was sixteen years old. Having reared her four daughters and nine sons to maturity, Rachel now saw eight of the sons go off to war, one by one. Five of them died, including the 22-year-old twins, Joseph Warren and Benjamin Franklin Stewart. Not long after the war Rachel herself died at age 63. She is buried with her husband at New Harmony Presbyterian Church.
All of Rachel's remaining children eventually settled in or near the Fountain Inn area, several of them in the Harmony community. Her daughters 34 Isabella and 36 Martha, who never married, lived in the home all their lives, cared for in their last years by Samuel's eldest son, 3.13.1 Wesley Brooks Stewart, who like his father was a Chief of the Walter Stewart Clan.
Several of Robert and Rachel's descendants - as well as 61 Amanda Stewart, House of Clark - married into the Stoddard family who were charter members of New Harmony Presbyterian Church. They were descended from a David Stoddard (wife Mary Ensley) found on the 1790 Census for Laurens County, who is thought to have settled in the North Rabon Creek area southwest of the present town of Owings. (Old Power's Shop near this area was about a mile toward Fountain Inn from Owings.) Tradition says the Stoddards came from northern Ireland by way of Pennsylvania and North Carolina. The original David Stoddard's son, known as David Stoddard, Sr., and his first wife Nancy Stewart and their children and spouses were the founding family at New Harmony. So far as we know, there was no relationship between Nancy Stewart, wife of David Stoddard, Sr., and the family of Walter Stewart, Sr. This Nancy Stewart is said to be the daughter of a John Stewart found on the 1790 Census for Newberry County, just southeast of Laurens County. Walter Stewart's son 6 Clark, who usually identified his Bobo relatives as cousins in his journal, fails to claim kinship with any other Stewarts in the area, although there are indications that he was aware of the existence of another Stewart family.
Although membership in the two churches has never been large, the joint cemetery of Harmony Baptist-New Harmony Presbyterian Church is the final resting place of more descendants of Walter Stewart, Sr. than any other location. The church has been the site of most Stewart as well as Stoddard family reunions for many years. Clarence Alvin Power, Probate Judge of Laurens County and a descendant of one of the nine charter members of Harmony Baptist Church, gave this account of the origin of the name of the two churches in 1932, nearly ninety years after they were founded:
For many years Harmony-New Harmony Church was the site of a one-room (later two-room) school attended by many of Rachel and Robert Stewart's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The school stood to the right of the present structure, somewhat to the back of the church lot where the concrete tables now stand that accommodate the family reunions held at the church. Among the Presbyterian descendants of the House of Robert the school has always been known, of course, as New Harmony School.
3 Robert Stewart
William Stewart was the oldest child of Robert Stewart and his wife Rachel Gilliland, founders of the House of Robert. He was born in 1825 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC. As a young man he moved with his parents and large family to the Harmony community in upper Laurens County, not far from the present town of Fountain Inn. He was barely 20 years old when his father died in 1845, leaving red-haired Rachel with thirteen young children.
In 1850, William (or "Squire Bill," as he was called in later years) married 23-year-old Rebecca Stoddard, daughter of their neighbors Francis Stoddard and his wife Mary Ann Robinson. Family tradition says that William did not believe in owning slaves, but when he married Becky Stoddard, her family gave her a slave to take to her new home with her. This, it is said, started William Stewart with his first slave. How many more he ultimately owned is not known, but even one slave represented a sizeable investment in 1850.
Squire Bill and his bride settled in the nearby Durbin community, then called Jachin (pronounced Jake-in), on the old wagon road from Laurens to Spartanburg. Here they built a two-story wooden farmhouse and reared their family of nine children. The remains of the old house can still be seen in 1982 on County Road 67 between Fountain Inn and Woodruff, about a half a mile toward Fountain Inn from old Durbin Baptist Church.
For many years Squire Bill operated a grist mill and a sawmill - and a later years, a woodworking shop on South Durbin Creek, about a mile in front of his home through a path in the woods and fields across the road. During the Civil War he served as captain in Co. D, 4th Battalion, SC Infantry, a unit of older men and heads of families assigned to guard prisoners at Charleston, SC. At the end of the war he returned safely to Rebecca and their seven (later nine) young children. Of the original nine brothers in his family, there were left now only himself and three others: James Preston Stewart and Samuel Turner Stewart of the Harmony community, and Walter Clark Stewart, who in later years settled in the Fairview community near Fountain Inn.
Many years later, after Squire Bill's death, his old Civil War comrade and neighbor Oliver G. Thompson recalled their hard times together after the war:
Squire Bill's granddaughter, 3122 Blanche Stewart Mattox of Chapel Hill, NC, remembers:
In spite of the hardship after the war, Rebecca and Squire Bill gave their children a good education for the times. Like most families in the Durbin community, they sent their children to one-room Ebenezer School about a mile east of their home (on Road 67 toward Woodruff). This was a school supported by the parents of the community, who hired itinerant teachers including Squire Bill's uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart of the nearby Fairview community - to give their children a few months of schooling each year. Many of their grandchildren also attended Ebenezer in later years.
Ebenezer School appears to be near the site of the old "Seceder" (Associate Reformed Presbyterian) Ebenezer Church in the Durbin community. In 1982, Durbin A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) Church stands at the same site not to be confused with old Durbin Baptist Church (founded 1781) nearby Ebenezer School stood to the left of the present church building, but further off the road near a spring.
Whether all of Squire Bill's children went further than the few grades provided by Ebenezer School is not certain, but it appears that the sons and at least one of the daughters - Mary Katherine - went to neighboring Spartanburg County to attend Reidville Academy. This school opened in the late 1850s to provide a high school education for both boys and girls. Early in the 1900s, Squire Bill's grandchildren began to attend new Fountain Inn High School in town.
Many letters have been preserved from Squire Bill's household dating from the decades 1880-1900, in the years when his children reached young adulthood. The letters show a wide range of friends and relatives in South Carolina and other states. One interesting letter from 1887 indicates a good bit of visiting back and forth between Squire Bill's children and the Pickens County grandchildren of his long-dead uncle and aunt, 5 Walter Stewart, Jr. and his wife Sallie Templeton, who died in 1842 back in the old Bethany community of "slow fever" (tuberculosis). These Pickens County youngsters were the children of Squire Bill's cousin, 53 Eunice Pauline Stewart, who married Addison Boggs of Liberty. The two cousins had grown up together in the Bethany community, but they reared their own families in households nearly forty miles apart by horse and buggy. In spite of the distance, their children knew each other well (see 534 Sarah Ada Boggs). We might suspect Rebecca's influence in some of this socializing. Her cousin Sallie Stoddard was married to the Boggs' children's great-uncle, David Humphries Templeton of the nearby Owings community.
Squire Bill and Rebecca were faithful members of New Harmony Presbyterian Church, although they and their children often attended nearby Durbin Baptist Church on alternate Sundays when the Harmony Baptists met at their home church. 3171 Chief Tinsley Stewart, a stanch Presbyterian himself, has a favorite story about his grandfather at New Harmony Church:
Squire Bill's granddaughter, 3122 Blanche S. Mattox, recalls:
William Stewart and his wife Rebecca lived in the Durbin community for many years. Their daughter Alice and their son Jim, who never married, lived at the old homeplace after their death, together with granddaughter 3133 Nan Jones, who came to live with them after the death of her father. Rebecca was confined to a wheelchair with rheumatism in her last years. She died in 1906 at age 77. Squire Bill was elected as the first Chief of the Walter Stewart Clan at the first reunion in 1907. He died in 1909 at age 84, and is buried with Rebecca at New Harmony Presbyterian Church.
Six of Squire Bill and Becky's nine children remained in the Fountain Inn area, with numerous descendants still living near Fountain Inn and in several widely scattered states. Their eldest son, Robert Francis Stewart, moved to Alabama. Two of their children, Martha Ann Stewart Hellams and Rev. John Calvin Stewart, settled in Texas.
3 Robert Stewart
Robert Francis Stewart was born in 1852 in the Durbin community of Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC. He was the oldest child of William (Squire Bill) Stewart and his wife Rebecca Stoddard. Bob, as he was called, was probably named after his two grandfathers, Robert Stewart and Francis Stoddard, both of the nearby Harmony community.
Young Bob was ten years old when his father left to serve in the Civil War, leaving Rebecca with Bob and his nine-year-old brother Baker and four little sisters. (Three more brothers were born later.) A few years later both of the older boys left home to attend Reidville Academy in neighboring Spartanburg County.
After finishing school, young Bob went to work in nearby Greenville. In 1883, at about age 31, he is listed in the Greenville City Directory as bookkeeper at Gilreath and Cauble, tanners, located at the City Railway Warehouse in Greenville. About this time Bob married young Emma Louise McKay, who with her two sisters ran a millinery shop in Greenville. About 1887, the business where Bob worked was closed because of a fire. In 1888 Bob and Emma moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where they lived the rest of their lives. They had one child, Elizabeth Marguerite Stewart (Lizzie).
From a modest beginning - possibly as a bookkeeper and apprentice carpenter Bob built up a successful construction business in Birmingham. He arrived at about the time the first blast furnaces and steel mills went into operation in the Birmingham area, creating a building boom. Bob's wife Emma was an expert seamstress and dressmaker, with clients and pupils who came to her home not only to be fitted but also to learn fancy needlework from her. She also advised and helped her four young sisters-in-law and her many nieces with their clothes during their "courting days."
She and Bob kept in close touch with their South Carolina relatives, with much visiting back and forth and exchanging of long newsy letters. In 1886, Bob's younger sister 313 Jane Stewart Jones lost her husband and was left with seven small children. Bob and Emma provided a home for her little daughter Emma, age-two, and reared her with their own little daughter Lizzie, who was born four years later. When Bob's young brother, 318 John Calvin Stewart, was ready to leave home he came to Birmingham to work for Bob as an apprentice carpenter - later putting his training to use in building a new church in Texas after going into the ministry.
Bob and Emma became faithful members of the Third Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, where Bob was Sunday school superintendent and elder for many years. He also served as an officer of the interdenominational Jefferson County Sunday School Association. From time to time he wrote his parents on the Association's official stationery, which listed him as the executive committee secretary.
Bob's wife Emma died in 1914 at age 60, after several years of declining health. Ten years later, at age 72, Bob married Mrs. Sarah Holder Greer, the third wife and widow of his former employee, Dudley Jefferson Greer (see 532 Mary Josephine Boggs, House of Walter, Jr.). Bob and his second wife lived in Birmingham until his death in 1932 at age 80. He is buried with his first wife Emma at Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham. In a letter written many years later to Historian 3174 Nan Stewart, Bob's daughter Lizzie noted that she had inscribed his name and date of death in one of her most prized possessions: the family Bible of Bob's great-grandfather, Robert Gilliland (1758-1823) of Laurens County. Bob's grandparents, Rachel Gilliland and Robert Stewart, had given it to their eldest son, William, who in turn passed it to Bob, his own eldest son.
Seen below is one of Bob's letters to his parents, Squire Bill and Rebecca Stoddard Stewart, describing life in Birmingham in 1897.
Dear Father & Mother,
B'ham is on somewhat of a little Boom for the last month. The new steel mill has started up about a month ago and is said to be turning out about 60 tons per day of as fine steel as is possible for Pennsylvania or any other country to make and it is being made out of Red Mountain Ore - a thing that was pronounced impossible a few years ago. The fact that steel is being made here has revived this Town wonderful. It is almost imposible to rent a house here now that is fit to live in. The Building trade is taking on new life and there is more new houses been started now than at any one time for 5 years past. I have not got any contract at present of very large proportion but have one or two in sight that I hope to get in a few days.
As a proof of the success of steel making the same company that put up the 1st furnace are working night and day on the 2nd one which they hope to have ready in a month or six weeks from now. The Rolling Mills are running now on full time & giving work to some 12 or 13 hundred men the first time in years so it does look like McKinly Prosperity had got here for some of the People for which I say Praise the Lord.
Write soon & give our love to all the kin folks. It would take to long to call them all by name.
God bless you all is the prayer of your son
3 Robert Stewart
Alexander Baker Stewart (Baker or A.B.) was the second child of Rebecca Stoddard and Squire Bill Stewart. He was born in 1853 in the Durbin community of Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
Like his older brother Bob, Bake left home as a teenager to attend Reidsville Academy in nearby Spartanburg County. He returned to the Durbin community, and at age 22 bought 66 acres of land beside his father's property. Here he set up not only a grist and flour mill later operated by his bachelor brother, 319 Jim Stewart - but also built a country store, which for many years was the Jachin (Durbin community) Post Office, later known simply as Stewart's Store. The thick-walled old concrete building that housed his store is still standing near his home in the Durbin community, although the building has been unoccupied for many years, except for storage.
Bake prospered over the years, adding more land, a cotton gin, a dairy, and one of the first peach orchards in the area to his various enterprises. Eventually, a pretty young widow caught his eye: Ella Owings Fowler, who had been hired as the first teacher at new Hunter Academy, a one-room school built by the parents of the Huntersville (Clear Springs) community a few miles from Durbin. Ella was the daughter of Nancy Dial and Samuel Dorroh Owings of the Dials community of Laurens County, a graduate of Williamston Female College (later Lander College) in Greenwood, SC. Bake set about building a large modern one-story house on his property, and in 1888 he and Ella were married. They went to Charleston on their honeymoon and bought furniture for their new home.
Bake and Ella lived for many years in the Durbin community, where they reared their family of two daughters and a son. Ella continued her career as a teacher for a number of years at Ebenezer School not far from their home, and Baker served as a district school trustee for many years as tax funds for struggling rural schools were made available. They were both members of New Harmony Presbyterian Church for many years and are buried there.
Like his older brother Bob in Birmingham, Bake and his wife Ella provided a home for his widowed sister Jane's children from time to time. Jane's eldest son, 3131 Bob Jones, started his career as a bookkeeper by working in Bake's store at Durbin. In later years two of Jane's grandchildren, 31342 David and 31345 Ben Jones, lived with Bake and Ella after the death of their mother.
The Baker Stewart homeplace still stands at the three-prong crossroad in the Durbin community near Fountain Inn. Even now - in 1982 - the citizens of the community gather there to vote in the living room of Baker and Ella's home. It is occupied now by their son Wayne's widow, 3123 Lydie Curry Stewart, and the family of her son Doug, who is treasurer of the Walter Stewart Clan.
3 Robert Stewart
Margaret Jane Stewart (Jane) was the third child and oldest daughter of Rebecca Stoddard and Squire Bill Stewart. She was born in 1855 in the Durbin community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
Jane Stewart grew up in the Durbin community, probably attending one-room Ebenezer School near her home with her brothers and sisters. At age 19 she married 21-year-old Jesse David Jones, who is thought to be a member of the family of Esther Louisa Johnson and Abner Jones, originally of Virginia, who settled in the Centerville community between Durbin and Fountain Inn (see 1515 John Herd Jones, Jr. and 3121 Clinton Cullen Jones). Jane and Jesse Jones were married by Jane's great-uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, on January 5, 1875.
Jane and Jesse Jones lived in a substantial two-story farm home about two miles northwest of the Durbin community, just off present SC Highway 418. (Although unoccupied, the house is still standing and in reasonably good condition in 1982.) Over the next ten years, Jane and Jesse had a rapidly growing family of three sons and three daughters. In 1886, with another child on the way, Jesse Jones died, just short of his 33rd birthday. He is buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near Fountain Inn. Four months later the widowed Jane had a little girl, whom she named Jessie after her deceased husband.
Left with seven young children, Jane could no longer manage the family farm. She moved to neighboring Anderson County to the booming little town of Pelzer, 15 miles west of Fountain Inn just across the Saluda River, where a large cotton mill had opened in 1881. The move had two advantages: it allowed Jane to open a boarding house and take in sewing to earn money without leaving her babies, and it provided employment for the older children, who could go to work in the mill by the age of twelve. Reluctantly, she agreed to send her sixth child, little Emma, to Birmingham to live with her older brother Bob and his wife Emma. Six-year-old Nan went to live with her grandparents, Squire Bill and his wife Rebecca of the Durbin community. The other five children appear to have stayed with their mother.
In 1894, several years after moving to Pelzer, Jane wrote a letter to her younger sister, 316 Mattie Stewart, who had just opened negotiations with her family concerning an old beau named Ed Hellams, who had announced his intention to marry her and take her back to Texas with him. Unlike some other members of the family, Jane was in favor of the arrangement. And like most older sisters, she was eager to help with the bride's trousseau and the "infare" - the wedding dinner:
Pelzer, Nov. 20 '94
I hope Will wont take any exception to the matter I am to get my teeth to day hope I wont have any trouble in wearing them I have no news to write about Pelzer so I will close as ever love to all
In later years, after her children were grown, Jane moved back to the Durbin community, where she lived with her bachelor brother, 319 Jim Stewart, and her daughter Nan Jones at the old homeplace of her parents, Squire Bill and Rebecca Stoddard Stewart. She died in 1933 at age 77, and is buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church with her husband Jesse David Jones.
3 Robert Stewart
Mary Katherine Stewart was the fourth child of Rebecca Stoddard and Squire Bill Stewart. She was born in 1857 in the Durbin community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
Like her brothers and sisters, little Mary was baptized at New Harmony Presbyterian Church as an infant. The records of the church show that she was baptized at the age of three months, on August 8, 1857, along with infant cousins 214 John Madden Sherman, 244 Margaret Linnie Stewart, and 66 George Howe Stewart. The baptismal service took place during "big meeting" week at the church, with services conducted by Rev. Zelotes L. Holmes and 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart.
6 Clark Stewart, Mary's great-uncle, also officiated at her marriage, which took place at the home of her parents on February 20, 1879. She married Henry Richardson Prior, one of the six sons and three daughters of Mary Gray and Joe Prior of lower Laurens County.
Henry R. Prior grew to young manhood during the Reconstruction days after the Civil War, and served as color bearer of the Red Shirts of Laurens County. For many years he owned and operated a grocery store on Main Street in Fountain Inn named "The Dixie Store," long before the days of a grocery store chain known as Dixie Stores.
Mary and Henry Prior reared their family of three daughters and two sons on a farm in the Durbin community on the east bank of South Durbin Creek, just upstream from Squire Bill's grist and sawmill. The house still stands in 1982, occupied now by their daughter Dora Prior Hunt. Like several other members of their family, Mary and Henry Prior are buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near their home.
3 Robert Stewart
Martha Ann Rebecca Stewart (Mattie) was the sixth child of Rebecca Stoddard and Squire Bill Stewart. She was born in 1862 in upper Laurens County in the Durbin community near Fountain Inn, SC.
Mattie attended school in the Durbin community and lived at home with her family until age 32. She was one of the last of Squire Bill and Rebecca's children to marry. Mattie was a member of the local "Gay Nineties" set in the Durbin community - and was probably the despair of her straitlaced parents. Some of her old letters and poems still survive in the family records. She corresponded at length with her many friends and cousins about the fishing parties and candy pullings and cotton pickings that brought the younger generation together, and she took a great deal of interest in the romantic affairs of her brothers and sisters as they married off, one by one. "Will says I would make a good lawyer," she commented in a letter to a friend.
One of Mattie's beaus was Ed Hellams, the son of their neighbors William Hellams and Mary Patton of the nearby Centerville community between the Durbin community and Fountain Inn. Mattie and Ed Hellams had a long courtship. Family tradition says Mattie told Ed to go to Texas after a lovers' quarrel, and he did. Mattie's friends wrote her teasing letters about her "cowboy." He eventually returned to claim her as his bride, taking her back to Texas with him over the protests of her anxious family.
Ed and Mattie lived and farmed in Rockwall County, Texas just east of Dallas. Over the years they lived in the communities of Friendship, McLendon, and Heath. They had a family of five children, one of whom died as an infant. They maintained warm ties with their South Carolina relatives for many years; their daughter Mary H. Smirl still remembers them well. Ed and Mattie Hellams are both buried at Chisolm Cemetery in Chisolm, Texas (Rockwall County).
Below is a letter home from Mattie, written shortly after the sad death of their little son Frank, who died just after the birth of their third child, Mary Rebecca Hellams.
I will try to write you of my sorrow & loss we had to give up our precious darling little Frank he had we thought Grip a little before I was confined that was the 12 of Febuary during that real cold time we thought he was doing fine altho he wheze a little when awake but breathed real easy while asleep he woke up sundy night 19th coffing real hourse & his breathing was much worse we sent for the same Dr that was with me when the little girl was born The Dr. stayed with us half the time I was not able to be up. oh how hard it was to liy there & see my dearest darling suffer & not be able to do any thing for him but surly God gave Edd extra strength for he sat with him on his lap nearly all the time. ...Ruby dear little sweet thing misses him so much of course her little mind cant understand much of it The little babe is the best one I ever saw it just wakes long enough to nurse She has black hair I am so thankful she is good for I am not strong yet- Edd & I have decided to name the little girl after you & his Mother Mary Rebecca & as you always was opposed to calling the children your name I tell him we will call her Mary Edd hasent got much done toward planting got his Oats sowed and is fixing his corn ground will not try to plant untill 12 of March he like all Texas fast folks planted last year in Feb & it all got kill I have not sowed a single garden seed yet I want to get some sowed soon Mother give my love to Will & Jincy Henry & Mary & all tell them all to write I think Alice & Jim might write once in awhile. I am going to write oftener than I have done tell Pa to write us more
3 Robert Stewart
William Clark Stewart was the seventh child of Rebecca Stoddard and Squire Bill Stewart. He was born in 1864 in the Durbin community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
Will, as he was called, is said to have been "good at figures" when he was in school. As a young man he worked for a time in a hardware store in nearby Greenville, but returned to the Durbin community about 1890 with an urge to get back to farming. He and a friend struck up a novel bargain: they would buy some land together, farm it, and the first one to leave would give his share to the other. The two bought 20 acres of land from a black neighbor named Jim Gailard, the tract lying just across South Durbin Creek from the grist mill owned by Will's father, Squire Bill. Will and his friend built a small house on the land and farmed it until his friend decided to pull out, leaving his share, as agreed, to Will.
Will's cousin, 3.13.6 Emma S. Fulmer, age 103 in 1981, remembers how he met his bride-to-be. Will visited his uncle, 37 Walter Clark Stewart, who lived for a time in Greer, some 20 miles north of Fountain Inn. Uncle Walter's family included two matchmaking young daughters named Nannie and Hattie, who introduced their handsome bachelor cousin to a friend, Jincie Ballenger, a local schoolteacher. Like Will's father, Jincie's father also owned a grist mill, in the "Dark Corners" section of upper Greenville County not far from the North Carolina line. Jincie was the tenth of the eleven children of Tinsley Ballenger and his wife Mary Rector.
In 1894, when he was 30 years old, Will married his mountain sweetheart, Jincie, on the day before her 22nd birthday. He brought her back to his farm, where they reared a family of one son and six daughters. Will added more land to his property on South Durbin Creek, and built a two-story addition to their small house to accommodate their growing family. In later years he was called "Big Will" to distinguish him from his cousin "Little Will," 384 William Franklin Stewart, whose land lay back-to-back with Big Will's.
Will Stewart and his wife Jincie are buried at nearby New Harmony Presbyterian Church, where Will served as a deacon and Jincie was a longtime president of the Women's Auxiliary.
3 Robert Stewart
John Calvin Stewart was the eighth child of Squire Bill Stewart and his wife Rebecca Stoddard. He was born in 1866 in the Durbin community of upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
John was a restless youngster. He left Fountain Inn in 1888, when he was 22 years old, and went to Birmingham to live with the family of his oldest brother Bob (311 Robert Francis Stewart). Bob gave him a job as an apprentice carpenter in his flourishing construction business. Bob had no sons to help him in his business, and John's future seemed assured. But after two or three years - to Bob's consternation young John abruptly quit and left for Texas, where he sought out some of his Stoddard relatives and worked for a time at temporary jobs.
Somewhere along the way, John decided to go into the ministry. By 1897, when he was 31 years old, he was a Methodist minister in a small rural community on the gulf coast of Texas not far from Galveston. He wrote his mother and father:
Three years later, in 1900, John wrote a letter to one of his sisters (probably 315 Alice Stewart, the only one still at home) describing his activities and prospects with considerable satisfaction. His work was going well, and he had found the girl he wanted to marry. His "little girl," he noted teasingly, was even prettier than his brother Baker's wife, Ella:
I will begin the New Years by writing to you. I enjoyed your last letter so very much. I should have answered before this, but have been very busy getting settled in my new quarters.
I am well pleased with my new charge. I hope the people will be pleased as well as I am. I have a nice little arrangement of a study. The people of Sandy Point have built & furnished two nice rooms on the church lot to be used by the preacher - one as a bed room and the other as a study. So you see I am very comfortably situated. Have a good heating stove in my study and can read all the time without being disturbed. The weather has been so bad till I could not get around among my new people very much; but have visited some.
Have 4 appointments - though Sandy Point is a half station. Will not have so much traveling to do as I did on the Dayton charge. I am not very far from Rosenberg and can get over to see my old friends ever once in awhile.
But I am sorry to say that I am farther away from my little girl than I would like to be. I have just got the sweetest little girl you ever saw. She is about 5 feet 4 inches tall & weighs 115 pounds and is heap prettier than Bake's wife ever had time to be. But we wont quarrel about that - of course Bake cant help it if my girl is better looking than his.
I told my girl that I wanted to send her Photo to S.C. & she said she would have some new ones taken in the spring, so I could let you all see how she looks. Her name is Alva Ellisor - a Texan by birth, and Methodist through and through! Her father was born in S.C. so you know she came from good stock. I am going over to see her in a short time. Will tell her all about you.
I am glad you all are getting ready for a family reunion for next Xmas. It will be so nice for us all to get together once more. I do hope & pray that we may all be spared to see the glad occasion. I will try & shape my work so I can be there. In fact if I am alive I cant miss being there.
Dont know just yet whether my little girl can get off with me or not. She wants to wait a year or two before we are married. She seems to think she has good reasons for so doing. You see her mother is dead and she being the oldest girl - then her youngest sister has not finished her Education yet & she feels she ought to stay at home till her sister gets through school. I am not going to wait, unless I see that is the only way I can get her. I have told her all about the family reunion next Xmas. I hope & pray we may all meet then. Good bye Happy New Year to all
A little less than a year later, a stylish engraved wedding invitation arrived from a Mr. E.D. Ellisor of Cedar Bayou, Texas (Harris County), inviting the South Carolina relatives to the marriage of his daughter Alva to Rev. John Calvin Stewart. The two were married at the Ellisor home on November 28, 1900.
John and Alva reared their family of two daughters in various Methodist parsonages in small communities in the Galveston area. They eventually settled in Goose Creek (now Baytown) near Alva's old homeplace at Cedar Bayou. They are buried at Grace Methodist Church in the Cedar Bayou community.
John's brother Bob in Birmingham never entirely lost his misgivings about the young brother who passed up a chance to go into business with him. The years went by, and the children of Rebecca Stoddard and Squire Bill Stewart passed on, one by one. John was the last to go. Shortly after his death in 1944, Bob's daughter 3111 Lizzie Stewart Moffett of Birmingham visited John's widow Alva and her family in Texas. Lizzie's father was dead, but she made a full report to her cousin 3174 Nan Stewart, daughter of his brother Will of the Harmony community near Fountain Inn. Nan's reputation as the family historian was by then well established.
I know you want to hear about my visit to Aunt Alva, so here goes. After a week in Galveston visiting Dorothy & her husband, Alec Creagh, & little son "Leckie" who will be four the first day of June, they drove us to Goose Creek. It's about 30 or 40 miles.
I have often wondered about "Goose Creek" - it sounds so queer for a town's name. But it really is a bustling little city. Years after it became a post office, oil was found surrounding it & now, since this ship canal has been opened from Galveston Bay to Houston, Goose Creek has been developed into one of the shipping points for the Humble Oil Co. You can't imagine how that country looks without seeing it - marshes, swamps, bayous, creeks - water everywhere, what land you see as flat as a table top, & oil wells almost as thick as forest trees, and some even out in the water. There are three towns, Goose Creek, Pelly, & Bayton that merge into each other so closely that you can scarcely tell one from the other, & literally thousands of people have crowded into them to work in the tremendous oil refineries. All sorts of things are being extracted from the crude oil - such as butadiene, the stuff to make synthetic rubber, explosives, & of course the high octane gas. The "town" parts of these cities are very modern & pretty & many of the homes are lovely, especially those of the high salaried employees, but there are shacks of all descriptions everywhere you look, & not near enough for the people to live in. So the government is putting up housing projects in every direction, block after block of them & Nan, a good deal of the labor is being done by German Prisoners of War, big sun tanned young men with mops of straw colored hair, who stare at Americans - just as we stare at them. They look so surly & insolent - but they are good workers apparently.
All this leads up to this: I wondered what Aunt Alva's home would be like. We got to Goose Creek about 2 pm & found a place to eat & inquired about how to find her. She had sent her address, 125 Dyer St., Stewart Heights and there was no sign of elevation in any direction. But anyhow this man at the restaurant knew where "The Heights" was & we found our way easily. Her house is on the first street of this development, & was mighty comfortable & nice. I gathered it was an old one that Uncle John had remodelled. The yard is so pretty & every bit of it Uncle John planted & kept in condition for she said there wasn't a flower, tree or blade of grass there. But things grow so rapidly in that damp climate.
Aunt Alva's two granddaughters, Mary Virginia, 19 and Alva Ruth, 18 are living with her as they seem to have done a great part of their lives. Mary Virginia favors her father's people. She is very attractive & has lots of initiative & is Aunt Alva's stay & comfort. She certainly is a grand girl. The younger one is a Stewart, I could almost think I was seeing a sort of composite of Jennie, Blanche & me when we were 18. She has our build (sort of on the "plump" side) our hands exactly & even the way her hair grows & she really is pretty & the same easy going teasing way we all have. Mary Virginia's husband is a Lt. & is in Hawaii, Alva Ruth's is a Corporal, at present at Aberdeen Proving ground being trained to reopen oil fields.
Now about Uncle John. It seems in Jan. or Feb. Aunt Alva had a case of flu & Uncle John took it & became so sick & weak that the Dr. feared pneumonia. His heart was bad, as Aunt Alva says it had been for years. The Dr. advised they take Uncle John to the hospital in Houston which they did in an ambulance - a distance of 20 or 30 miles. But when the Dr. there saw him they said nothing could be done, his heart & lungs were too far gone. So they came on back to Goose Creek & he steadily grew weaker. She did not say it was tuberculosis, insisted it was pneumonia, but the girls said that Mary Lee had died in exactly the same way.
Aunt Alva took Harry & I one morning to the Cedar Bayou Cemetery where he is buried. It's just beautiful - way out from towns & oil fields & surrounded by the most enormous live oaks draped in grey moss & flowers just everywhere. That's her old church & it's a lovely one. You know Aunt Alva was born & raised there & her father planted cotton & had a boat that went from there to Galveston. So they are sort of pioneers in that part of the country. The funeral must have been a large one, she showed me the book with all the flowers & friends who called. Several of his old preacher friends had part in the Services which were held at the Goose Creek Church, I think it's called the "Grace" Methodist. Cedar Bayou is 2 or 3 miles away, I reckon.
I must tell you a bit about Stewart Heights & then I've got to stop. Aunt Alva seems to have inherited some 50 acres from her father's estate & her piece lay closest to Goose Creek. So she & Uncle John had it surveyed & plotted into blocks & lots of 50' by 100' which they sold at $250 per lot. All has been sold now but 3 lots. Aunt Alva said Uncle John was sorry for the poor man who was trying to get a home of his own, & that was the sort of people they sold to. Consequently there are not many pretty houses out there & of late years with building materials so hard to get, the places look pretty shabby. I did meet some mighty nice people, so I know she has worlds of friends. She has a brother who lives in her old home place, which was his part of the estate, & he & his wife & daughter were certainly fine & wholesome folks.
Write when you can, I did so enjoy your letter, Nan. And Aunt Alva was so glad you wrote & sent cards to Uncle John. She spoke so beautifully of you all & the girls made me describe Uncle John's boyhood home to them.
Lots & lots of love to all & won't you share this letter with the other kin who may be interested.
Your ever-loving cousin,
3 Robert Stewart
Robert Gilliland Stewart was the second child of Robert Stewart and red-haired Rachel Gilliland, founders of the House of Robert. He was born in 1826 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC.
Robert was a young man of 18 when his parents moved their large family from the Bethany community and settled in the Harmony community in upper Laurens County near the present town of Fountain Inn, SC. A few months later, in 1845, his father died. Old Laurens County court records show that when his father's estate was settled, young Robert took possession of most of his tools. He became a carpenter.
A few years later Robert's uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, served as pastor of Rocky Springs Presbyterian Church for a time, commuting from his home in the Fairview section near Fountain Inn to the church, which was not far from Laurens. In 1853, the Rocky Springs congregation built a new church. The following entries are found in Clark's journal:
Not long after this, Robert contracted to help build a large house (still standing in 1982) for Hastings Dial and his wife Polly Hudgens of Laurens County. Hastings Dial was said to be a native of Scotland, and with his brother Martin Dial settled in what was later known as Dials Township near Laurens. (Dials Methodist Church is also named for the family.) In his journal, 6 Clark Stewart refers to Hastings Dial as "Blind Hastings." A picture of him owned by 32322 Marion Milam Kay of Mountville, SC shows a portly and distinguished old gentleman with his eyes shut, suggesting that he was indeed blind.
3.13.6 Emma S. Fulmer, age 103 in 1981, relates this story of how her Uncle Robert met his future bride, Mary A. Dial:
Robert and his young bride Mary Dial were married May 1, 1855 by the Rev. Tolavar Robertson of the Warrior Creek section of Laurens County. He is remembered for having baptized over 2000 individuals and performing over 1000 marriages during his 49 years as a Baptist minister.
Robert and Mary Dial Stewart settled in Laurens County in the Fountain Inn area, probably not far from Robert's family in the Harmony community. He appears to be the Robert Stewart who on January 5, 1857 bought 102 acres "on Durbin Creek," which according to old courthouse records covered quite a bit of territory.
In a few years Robert and his wife Mary had three children: Emma, Haste, and little Rachel, who was born in 1861 just as the Civil War started. Robert enlisted and served with his younger brothers Walter Clark, David Taylor and Samuel Turner Stewart in Co. E, 3rd Regiment, SC Infantry (Kershaw's Brigade), where he was First Sergeant. His military record states that he died of typhoid fever at Louisiana Hospital in Richmond, Virginia on June 20, 1862. His body was brought back and interred at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near Fountain Inn. (The 3 Robert Stewart family Bible says that Robert died of disease at Adam's Run in Beaufort, SC on February 24, 1862. It is not certain which of the two versions of his death is correct.)
Robert's widow Mary, left with three small children, was one of the more fortunate widows in the hard years after the Civil War. In 1865 she married her husband's double first cousin, 17 John F. Stewart of the House of Samuel. John was a widower himself, with two small sons about the same age as Mary's young son and two little daughters. John and Mary Dial Stewart lived for many years in the Harmony community near Fountain Inn, and both are buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church. (See 17 John F. Stewart for further records.)
Emma Maria Stewart was the oldest child of Robert Gilliland Stewart and his wife Mary A. Dial. She was born in 1857 in Laurens County, SC, probably in the Harmony community near Fountain Inn.
Emma was a child of five when her father died in the Civil War. She and her little brother Haste and little sister Rachel were reared in the home of their stepfather, 17 John F. Stewart, whom their mother married shortly after the Civil War. The three children grew up in a lively household that also included their stepfather's two young sons by a previous marriage, and their mother's three children by their stepfather - James, Robert Walter (Bob Footsy), and Bess Stewart. All eight children were born within a twelve-year span.
As a young woman Emma married Benjamin Ellison Leonard, son of Sara Wakefield and Hamilton Leonard of Spartanburg County. They were married on December 7, 1880 by Emma's great-uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart of the Fairview community near Fountain Inn. According to his journal, they were married at a neighbor's house - probably because of the recent death of Emma's young stepbrother, 172 Samuel Stewart.
Emma and Benjamin Leonard settled on a farm in the Jachin (Durbin) community near Fountain Inn, about two miles from Durbin Baptist Church just off Road 67 to Allen's Bridge and Woodruff. They had a family of two sons and three daughters. One little daughter, Mary Rachel died as a child. Emma and Benjamin, and their little daughter are buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near Fountain Inn.
Many years later, in 1960, Emma and Ben Leonard's son Claude, 79, of Due West, SC was interviewed by a reporter for The Greenville News for a series of articles on senior citizens. Famous for his sense of humor, Claude described his childhood home thusly:
Claude Leonard's comment sheds an interesting sidelight on the name "Jachin" for the Durbin community. It was the name of one of the two pillars at the entrance of Solomon's Temple (I Kings 2:21) in Masonic tradition, translated as "established by God." If Claude's father Benjamin Leonard indeed originated the name, he must have done so as a young man. An 1880 map of Laurens County shows Jachin Post Office already in existence, located about two miles east of Durbin Baptist Church toward the Friendship community, at the home of R.H. Young. In later years Jachin Post Office was moved to 312 Baker Stewart's store, half a mile west of Durbin Baptist Church.
3 Robert Stewart
Hasting Dial Stewart was the second child and only son of Robert Gilliland Stewart and Mary A. Dial. He was born in 1859 in Laurens County, SC, probably in the Harmony community near Fountain Inn.
"Haste," as he was called, appears to have been named after his maternal grandfather, Hastings Dial of Laurens County. However, in later years he signed his name "Hasting Stewart." He also gave the name Hasting to one of his sons, 3224 George Hasting Stewart.
Haste was only two years old when his father Robert Gilliland Stewart died in the Civil War. He grew up in the home of his father's cousin, 17 John F. Stewart, whom his mother married when little Haste was six years old.
At age 21, Haste married 19-year-old Alice Martin, daughter of Jane Hanna and Reuben Martin of the Martin's Crossroads community between Gray Court and Enoree (see Bethany map). Haste's granddaughter, 32221 Ruth Stewart Owens of Clinton, SC has an old letter from Haste to his great-uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, who performed the marriage ceremony at the home of the bride's widowed mother:
The Rev. Clark Berry Stewart joined the happy pair and duly noted the marriage in his journal (Haste paid him $3.00). The next night he attended the joyous "infare dinner" for the young couple at the home of the groom's mother and stepfather, Mary and John F. Stewart of the Harmony community near Fountain Inn.
Haste and Alice settled on a farm in the Martin's Crossroads community, where they lived in a comfortable two-story wooden farmhouse, still standing in 1982. Here they reared their family of five sons and two daughters. Haste remained a Presbyterian all his life, but his wife Alice was a Baptist. The family probably attended Warrior Creek Baptist Church (founded 1790), about a mile south of their home toward Laurens. Alice Martin and Hasting Stewart are buried at the old Martin family cemetery at Martin's Crossroads about two miles from their home.
Hasting Stewart was a member of the original Invitation Committee for the first Walter Stewart Clan reunion in 1907, and also served as assistant secretary until his death in 1929 at age 67. In later years he opened a crossroads store on the outskirts of Laurens, and added a neatly groomed goatee to his snow-white moustache. To this day, says his grandson 32225 Edwin Stewart of Indianapolis, he never passes a Kentucky Colonel billboard without remembering his handsome grandfather. His granddaughter Ruth S. Owens says:
3 Robert Stewart
Rachel Stewart was the third and last child of Robert Gilliland Stewart and his wife Mary A. Dial. She was born in 1861 in upper Laurens County, probably in the Harmony community near Fountain Inn, SC.
Little Rachel was about a year old when her father died of typhoid fever while serving in the Civil War. The only father she ever knew was her father's double first cousin, 17 John F. Stewart, whom her mother married when Rachel was four years old. She grew up in a household that consisted of her own brother and sister, Haste and Emma Stewart, her step-brothers 171 Charley and 172 Samuel Stewart, and her three younger half-brothers and sister 173 James, 174 Robert (Bob Footsy), and 175 Bess Stewart. During her teenage years Rachel witnessed the sad deaths of young Charley, Samuel and James from malaria. Samuel was almost exactly her own age, 19, when he died. Their birthdays were only a month apart.
In 1882, 21-year-old Rachel married young John Marion Garrett of the Harmony community, whose family already had old ties with the Walter Stewart Family. John was the son of Miles Rainwater Garrett (died in the Civil War) and his widow Nancy Stoddard. Young John's uncle, James Lewis Stoddard, was married to 61 Amanda Stewart of the Fairview community near Fountain Inn. His aunt, Sallie Garrett, was the widow of 16 Walter Monroe Stewart of Forsyth County, Georgia. John also had a distant cousin named John Garrett, killed in the Civil War, whose widow, 25 Isabella Katherine Stewart, lived near Fountain Inn.
Rachel Stewart and John Garrett were married December 5, 1882 at Rachel's home by her great-uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, who mentions the marriage briefly in his journal. (John paid him a handsome fee - $5.00.)
John and Rachel settled not far from his Stoddard relatives just south of New Harmony Presbyterian Church, where they lived for several years. About 1893 they moved to the flourishing new mill village of Pelzer in nearby Anderson County, where John had a dairy farm for many years in the section known as West Pelzer. Here they were neighbors and friends of the families of 64 Rev. Calvin Lewers Stewart and 68 Twyman Clark Stewart, also of West Pelzer. The children in the three families were about the same age and all grew up together. In 1982 Rachel and John Garrett's granddaughter, 32322 Marion Milam Kay of Mountville, SC was still in possession of her grandparents' pictures of several members of the two Stewart families.
More ties with the Stewart family were added as time went on. In 1900 John Garrett's niece, Nannie Elizabeth Garrett, married Rachel's cousin, 383 James Hamilton Stewart of Fountain Inn. In 1911 his nephew, Rev. William Butler Garrett, Jr., married another Stewart cousin, 3213 Lora Alene Leonard. Not surprisingly, John Garrett was elected as one of the seven Subchiefs of the Walter Stewart Clan at its first reunion in 1907.
John's wife Rachel died in 1900 at age 39, a few days after the birth of their sixth child, a little son named Clarence Edwin Garrett, who did not survive. Rachel is buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near Fountain Inn. John Garrett later married a second time to Mary Grice, by whom he had a seventh child, Marion Grice Garrett.
John Marion Garrett was an elder for many years in the Pelzer Presbyterian Church. He died in 1934 at age 75, and is buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near his first wife Rachel. The funeral was conducted by his nephew, Rev. William Butler Garrett, Jr.
3 Robert Stewart
Nancy Ross Stewart (Nannie) was the fifth child of Robert Stewart and red-haired Rachel Gilliland, founders of the House of Robert. Nannie was born in 1831 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC. As a child she moved with her family to the Harmony community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
Nannie was fourteen years old when her father died in 1845, leaving Rachel a widow with thirteen children. Like her sisters 34 Isabella and 36 Martha Stewart, Nannie lived with her mother for many years and helped rear her seven younger brothers.
Like most young people in the community, Nannie joined her family's church as a teenager. She joined New Harmony Presbyterian Church during the week-long "big meeting" in the fall of 1849, when she was eighteen years old. According to the church records, nine persons - including one slave - were admitted to membership during the week. Alexander Ramsey Stoddard (Alec), the young son of charter members Hannah Taylor and David Stoddard, joined the church at the same time as Nannie, his future wife.
A few years later, Alec Stoddard left the Harmony community to serve in the Civil War as a private in the "Laurens Briars" Company G, 3rd Regiment, SC Infantry (McGowan's Brigade). Alec was wounded in Virginia, but he survived to return home. He was married twice, first to Nancy Pamelia Power (who had sons Wister Breckenridge and Robert E. Lee Stoddard), and second to Sallie Byrd Dupree (who had son William Dupree Stoddard). Both wives died in childbirth, leaving Alec a twice-widowed father of three young sons.
Two years after the death of his second wife, Alec married his childhood friend Nannie Stewart, who by then was nearly forty years old and approaching spinsterhood. The ceremony was performed on February 14, 1872 by Nannie's uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart. The wedding must have been a family affair indeed - by this time Nannie's brother 31 Squire Bill Stewart was married to Alec's first cousin Rebecca Stoddard, and her cousin 61 Amanda Stewart was married to Alec's first cousin James Lewis Stoddard.
Nannie and Alec lived for many years on a farm in the Powers' Shop community between Fountain Inn and Owings, near the homes of other Stoddards who had settled in the area. Here they reared Alec's three sons plus a little daughter of their own, whom they named Rachel Isabella Stoddard.
Alec and Nannie Stewart Stoddard are buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church, where they were lifelong members.
3 Robert Stewart
Rachel Stoddard was the only child of Alexander Ramsey Stoddard and his third wife, Nannie Ross Stewart. Rachel was born in 1873 in Laurens County in the Powers' Shop community between Fountain Inn and Owings, SC. She was the youngest of Alec Stoddard's four surviving children. She grew up in the same household as her three older half-brothers Wister, Robbie and Will Stoddard.
In 1893 Rachel Stoddard married John Thomas Brooks, the son of Nancy Strawhorn and Warren Thomas Brooks of Hodges, SC (Greenwood County). Young John Brooks worked for the railroad, first in Marshall, North Carolina, after which he was transferred to the newly-opened Charleston and Western Carolina depot in Fountain Inn.
John and his bride Rachel made their home in Fountain Inn, where John later operated a wholesale warehouse and furniture business and also farmed. They lived in a two-story home (still standing in 1982) at 102 Brooks Lane in Fountain Inn, where they reared their family of five sons and three daughters.
At the time of his death at age 92, John Thomas Brooks was the last surviving charter member of Fountain Inn's Trinity Methodist Church, founded 1887, where he had been an honorary steward of the official board for a number of years. He and his wife Rachel are buried at Cannon Memorial Park in Fountain Inn.
3 Robert Stewart
Walter Clark Stewart was the seventh child of Rachel Gilliland and Robert Stewart, founders of the House of Robert. Clark, as he was called, was born in 1834 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC. He was about ten years old when his parents moved to the Harmony community near the present town of Fountain Inn. Clark's father died not long after building a log house near New Harmony Presbyterian Church for Rachel and their thirteen children.
Clark was 27 years old when the Civil War began in 1861. He and three of his brothers enlisted in the same unit: Co. E, 14th Regiment, SC Infantry (McGowan's Brigade). The unit saw action early in the war on the coast of South Carolina - where family tradition says Robert Gilliland Stewart died of disease - and later joined the Army of Northern Virginia, where young David Taylor Stewart was killed in the Battle of Chancellorsville. Clark and his brother Samuel Turner Stewart returned safely to the Harmony community after the war, both having served as privates. Their oldest brother William (Squire Bill) Stewart also came back safely. Five other brothers failed to return.
In 1866, two years after the war, Clark married Mary Frances Harrison Stoddard, the young widow of David C. Stoddard of the Harmony community, who died in the Civil War. Fan, as she was called, was the daughter of Laura M. Baker and Thomas Creighton Harrison of the Fairview community near Fountain Inn. Clark's uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, performed the ceremony:
Oct. 19, 1866. Friday. Yesterday 4 P.M. Married My Nephew W.C. Stewart
A few months later the Rev. Clark Berry Stewart performed the same ceremony for his oldest daughter 61 Amanda Stewart, who married James Lewis Stoddard, the brother of Fan's deceased husband David C. Stoddard.
Clark and his bride Fan settled in the Harmony community, where they lived for a time in the house later occupied by the family of Clark's younger brother 38 James Preston Stewart. They were members of New Harmony Presbyterian Church, where their Uncle Clark was supply pastor for a number of years.
In 1880, when the oldest of their five children was about thirteen years old, Clark and Fan moved to nearby Greenville County. Here they lived near the Spartanburg County line at Greer's Station (Greer), which for nearly ten years had been a depot on the Richmond and Danville Railroad between Atlanta and Charlotte, NC. Their home was on the site where Greer's first post office building was later erected.
Like the citizens of many small communities of the time, the parents of Greer's Station tried to supplement the meager educational facilities provided by the county - enough to educate children about three months out of the year, according to one source. With a family of young children of their own, Fan and Clark Stewart joined their new community's efforts. Not long after they moved to Greer's Station, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart visited the family of his nephew and former church member when he was in the community on church business. His visit appears to have coincided with the parents' fund-raising efforts on behalf of their school. As any modern P.T.A. parent would know, the outcome of the visit was entirely predictable.
Feb. 19, 1881. Saturday. Visited W.C. Stewarts family at Greers Station
Fan and Clark lived at Greer's Station for a number of years and reared their five children there. It was here that their two young daughters, Nannie and Hattie, introduced their cousin 317 "Big Will" Stewart to his future bride, a young local schoolteacher named Jincie Ballenger. In later years Clark and Fan returned to the Fairview community near Fountain Inn, where they farmed and lived in a house just past the Fairview Stock Show grounds near Fairview Presbyterian Church. (The house has since burned, but the old stone foundations and chimney could still be seen in 1982.) Clark and Fan and several of their children are buried at Fairview Presbyterian Church.
3 Robert Stewart
David Creighton Stewart was the oldest child of Frances Harrison Stoddard and Walter Clark Stewart. He was born in 1867, just after the Civil War, in upper Laurens County near the present town of Fountain Inn, SC. When he was about thirteen years old his parents moved to Greer, SC, in Greenville County not far from the Spartanburg County line.
As a young man, Creight (as he was called) moved to Harris, North Carolina, an old community just across the North Carolina line in Rutherford County, north of Spartanburg, SC. Here he married young Mary Harris, the daughter of Sarah Etta Waters and William Decatur Harris of the Harris community.
Creight and Mary lived in Harris for many years. Creight - like his son William Clark after him - was station master for the Clinchfield Railroad, which hauled coal from the Virginia coalfields down to Spartanburg. Creight also had an extensive apple orchard. (Apples were and still are a well-known money crop of the Blue Ridge mountain area of North Carolina.)
Creight and Mary were members of the Methodist church and are buried at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in Harris. In the years after Creight's death, his widow Mary was joined by his younger sisters Nannie and Hattie Stewart, who lived with her after retiring from their business careers in Greenville, SC.
3 Robert Stewart
Robert Walter Stewart (Walt) was the third child of Frances Harrison Stoddard and Walter Clark Stewart. He was born in 1873 in upper Laurens County, SC four miles north of Fountain Inn in the Bethany Baptist Church community. He was reared in Greer, SC in nearby Greenville County.
Like his parents, Walt returned to the Fairview community near Fountain Inn. As a young man he married Annie Lucinda Brownlee, the third child of Oney Yeargin and George Washington Lafayette (Fate) Brownlee of Senatoba, Mississippi. Fate Brownlee, it is said, came to the Fairview community on a visit, met Oney Yeargin, married her, and took her back to Mississippi with him, but they returned to live in the Fairview community when little Annie was about three years old.
Walt and Annie settled on a farm in the Fairview community near Walt's parents, where they reared their family of three sons and three daughters. Their two-story wooden farmhouse was still standing in 1982, occupied by their son Thomas.
Walt served on the original Invitation Committee for the first Walter Stewart Clan Reunion in 1907. He was elected as its first Secretary, a position which he held for fifty years, until his death in 1958. Together with his older cousin, 62 Wistar Stewart (second Chief of the Clan), Walt recorded the first genealogy of the Walter Stewart family, the original source of the present Walter Stewart Family History. The old meticulously hand-written ledger that Walt first used in compiling the genealogy still exists in the family records, with Wistar's notes on his 1901 interview with 31 "Squire Bill" Stewart still tucked in its pages.
Walt and his wife Annie are buried at Fairview Presbyterian Church, where they were members for many years. Walt served as an elder of the church and as long-time secretary-treasurer of the Sunday school. At the time of her death at age 99, Annie was the oldest member of the church.
3 Robert Stewart
James Preston Stewart was the eighth child of Robert Stewart and his red-haired wife Rachel Gilliland, founders of the House of Robert. Jim was born in 1836 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC. As a child he moved with his family to the Harmony community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn. Jim was nine years old when his father died a year later, leaving Rachel with thirteen children.
Jim had a crippled foot and walked with a limp all his life. His bad leg kept him out of the Civil War as a young man. He stayed on the farm with his widowed mother and his four sisters while his eight brothers went off to war. Three of them returned.
In 1869, a few years after the war, Jim married Martha Ann Elizabeth Cely, daughter of Jane Caroline Alexander and Henry Merritt Cely. Martha's mother Jane was the great-granddaughter of John Peden and Peggy McDill, who many years earlier had settled in the Fairview community near Fountain Inn after coming to America from County Antrim, Ireland.
After their marriage, Jim and Martha settled on a farm a short distance from Jim's homeplace near New Harmony Presbyterian Church. They lived first in a log cabin, and later in a two-story farmhouse, where they reared their family of one daughter and three sons.
Jim's wife Martha died in 1884 at age 47, when their oldest child, Dora, was fourteen years old. Jim never remarried. He reared his three young sons with the help of his daughter Dora. After their father's death, Dora and her youngest brother William ("Little Will") continued to live at the old homeplace. They were later joined by Little Will's bride, Lucy Peden. Dora never married, and lived with Little Will and Lucy for many years and helped rear their eight children.
Jim was elected as one of the seven Subchiefs of the Walter Stewart Clan at its first reunion in 1907, not long before he died. He and his wife Martha were longtime members of New Harmony Presbyterian Church, where they are buried. Their two-story farmhouse still stands in good condition in 1982, maintained as a vacation home for the family by Little Will's son, 3841 Gene Stewart, who lives across the road from the old homeplace.
3 Robert Stewart
Robert Henry Stewart (Bob) was the second child of James Preston Stewart and Martha Cely. He was born in 1872 in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC. He was probably named for his two grandfathers, Robert Stewart and Henry Merritt Cely.
Bob was twelve years old when his mother died. After her death he helped his fourteen-year-old sister Dora care for his two younger brothers, ten-year-old James and six-year-old Little Will. He appears to have been a been a good pupil at the school at New Harmony Presbyterian Church that they attended for a few months each year. Many years later an old friend, C.A. Powers of Laurens, SC, wrote this about him in a tribute published in The Greenville News:
We attended the same country school and he was universally known as a good boy, gentle, meek, considerate, and yet firm enough to always stand for the right. The good traits of his boyhood followed him into manhood throughout an upright and honorable life.
About 1900, when he was 18 years old, Bob left the Harmony community for Augusta, Georgia, where he attended one of the business schools that had opened to train young men and women for the business world. He returned to Greenville, SC, county seat of Greenville County, which in the early 1900s was a bustling little textile manufacturing and rail center with a population of 20,000. He started work as a bookkeeper at Samson Mill, and later became a partner in a clothing store, the firm of Childers, Anderson, Stewart and Merritt, established in 1907. Bob bought out Childers and Anderson, and in the 1920s he also bought out Merritt. He became a prominent and respected merchant in the city. Although the sole owner of his business, he continued to operate it until his death in 1931 as Stewart-Merritt Clothing Store, at 26 South Main Street in Greenville. After his death, his wife was president of the firm for a number of years.
In 1910, Bob married Mary Earle Sloan Thornwell, born in Anderson County, the daughter of Florence LeCelle Earle and the Rev. Dr. James Henley Thornwell, a Presbyterian minister who in later years lived in Fort Mill, SC (York County). Bob and Mary lived for many years at 511 Buncombe Street in Greenville, later at 34 Pinckney Street. They reared a family of two daughters, Mary Robert and Martha Preston Stewart. They were faithful members of the First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, and are buried at Springwood Cemetery in Greenville. Their daughter, Mary Robert S. Kagin of Louisville, Kentucky recalls:
3 Robert Stewart
James Hamilton Stewart was the third child of James Preston Stewart and Martha Cely. He was born in 1874 in the Harmony community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
As a child, James was called "Little Jim" to distinguish him from his father, Jim Stewart. He was ten years old when his mother died. Big Jim never remarried, so Little Jim and his two brothers were reared by their father with the help of their older sister Dora, who for many years was the only woman living in the household.
Like his older brother Bob, Jim left the farm as a young man and became a successful and respected businessman. He settled in Fountain Inn, which in 1886 was chartered as a town and also gained a railroad through the completion of the Charleston and Western Carolina Railway between Laurens and Greenville. Jim founded Stewart Lumber Company, located not far from the depot on South Main Street. In later years he also served as mayor of Fountain Inn.
In 1900 young Jim married Nannie Elizabeth Garrett, the 22-year-old daughter of Isabel Yeargin and William Butler Garrett, Sr. of the Harmony community where Jim was reared. Jim's great-uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, had baptized Nannie as a child some years earlier, and recorded the event in his journal. It was on a Sunday when he had the rare pleasure of sitting by while his son, Rev. Calvin Stewart, conducted the service at New Harmony Presbyterian Church. He enjoyed the day immensely.
"Mrs. Nancy," the children's grandmother, was probably Nancy Stoddard Garrett, the widow of Miles Rainwater Garrett of the Harmony community. She was also the sister of the Rev. Clark Berry Stewart's son-in-law, 61 James Lewis Stoddard.
Jim and his wife Nannie Garrett lived for many years in a large two-story white house at 505 North Main Street in Fountain Inn, where they reared their family of one daughter and two sons. (Their house was still standing in 1982.) Jim and Nannie were faithful members of the First Presbyterian Church in Fountain Inn. They are buried at old Fountain Inn Cemetery.
3 Robert Stewart
William Franklin Stewart was the fourth and youngest child of James Preston Stewart and Martha Cely. He was born in 1877 in the Harmony community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC. He was seven years old when his mother died, leaving his father with three young sons and a daughter, 14-year-old Dora.
William Franklin Stewart was called "Little Will" as a child to distinguish him from his older cousin, 317 "Big Will" Stewart (Squire Bill's son). When Little Will was a teenager, Big Will married and settled on a farm that lay back-to-back with Little Will's homeplace. The two cousins were close neighbors all their lives, thus the nicknames stuck.
Little Will and his sister Dora continued to live at the old homeplace after the death of their father in 1909 at age 72. In 1917, hovering on the edge of bachelorhood, Will married Lucy Allen Peden, the young daughter of Mary Dorrah and John Thomas Peden of nearby Gray Court.
Lucy, like Will's mother Martha Cely Stewart, was a descendant of the "Fairview Pedens." Lucy had graduated a few years before from Chicora College in Greenville, SC, a women's college founded in 1895 under the auspices of the Presbyterian church. She had taught school in the Horse Creek and Green Pond communities in Laurens County. Then she came to teach in the Harmony community, where she captivated Little Will -by then a staid 40-year-old deacon at New Harmony Presbyterian Church.
Will brought his young bride back to the old homeplace in the Harmony community, where they lived for many years and - with Dora's help - reared their family of three sons and two daughters. In later years Will served as chairman of the board of trustees for Fountain Inn schools, and was a highly respected member of the community. When he died in 1956, not only the elders and deacons of New Harmony Presbyterian Church but also the deacons of Harmony Baptist Church served as the honorary escort at his funeral. He is buried at New Harmony, where his wife Lucy was laid beside him in 1971.
3 Robert Stewart
Samuel Turner Stewart was the thirteenth and last child of Robert Stewart and Rachel Gilliland, founders of the House of Robert. He was born in 1844 in the Harmony community near the present town of Fountain Inn, SC not long after his parents moved there from the Bethany community in lower Laurens County. Little Sam was one of the first four infants to be baptized in New Harmony Presbyterian Church, which was organized a few months before he was born. His father, who died before Sam was a year old, was the first person to be buried in the church cemetery.
Sam grew up as the youngest in a large family, with twelve brothers and sisters. Many years later his nephew 373 Robert Walter Stewart (Walt), Secretary of the Walter Stewart Clan, described Sam's boyhood in a memorial read at the 1918 Stewart reunion.
(Walt's reference to Grandfather Walter repeats the old tradition that he was a weaver, but we might question whether he wove the material for young Sam's jeans, since he had been dead for nearly twenty years when Sam was born.)
Like seven of his older brothers, Sam served in the Civil War. His official military record shows that he enlisted in 1860 at age sixteen, when the first call for volunteers went out, but family tradition says he was eighteen years old when he went into battle. (He may have been in training in a Laurens County unit prior to this time, however.) He served as a private in Company E, 14th Regiment, SC Infantry (McGowan's Brigade), and was wounded in the right arm at Darby Town, Maryland during the retreat of the Confederate forces from Gettysburg.
Five of Sam's brothers died in the war, and Sam himself was in the hospital in Richmond, Virginia on the day of surrender. He returned to the Harmony community to the home of his mother, who died two years later. After her death Sam married eighteen-year-old Louisa Holcombe, the daughter of Sara Edwards and Bradley Wright Holcombe, thought to have lived near the old Huntersville (Clear Springs) community north of Fountain Inn.
Sam and Louisa reared a large family of five boys and six girls. They stayed on the old Harmony community homeplace with Sam's older sisters Belle and Martha, who never married. Over the years the family acquired more property in the neighborhood and built up a sort of "Stewart compound" consisting of the original log house Sam's father built when he moved his family from the Bethany community, the two-story house Rachel and her sons built in 1856 (still standing in 1982), and a smaller house across the road (no longer standing) occupied by Sam and Louisa and their family. After Rachel's death, her daughters Belle and Martha continued to live in the home. In later years Sam and Louisa's oldest son Brooks was sent over to fetch kindling and haul water from the well for his two aunts. He eventually moved in with them and took care of them until they died.
Sam's wounded arm gave him trouble the rest of his life, but it did not prevent him from becoming a successful farmer and blacksmith. His daughter, Emma S. Fulmer, remembers that he always repaired shoes for his family and cut the boys' hair. Sam was also musically talented. He led the choir at New Harmony Presbyterian Church and taught singing, using the old "shaped notes" system of musical notation.
In his last years, shortly before the First World War, Sam served as the third Chief of the Walter Stewart Clan, an office which he held until his death in 1917. He and Louisa are buried at New Harmony Church, where they were faithful members.
Like his father before him, Sam and Louisa's oldest child Brooks was a Chief of the Walter Stewart Clan - the fifth - in later years. Brooks lived with his two elderly aunts for a number of years, and in 1905 became the first horse-and-buggy rural mail carrier on the red dirt roads of the Harmony community. He thought it would be "easier than plowing," he later said. After his aunts' death he moved to nearby Fountain Inn, where he "bached" at various places for some years. In 1924, at age 55, he married young Nelle Parsons, the niece of his brother-in-law, 3.13.4 Guy M. Drummond, and the daughter of Elizabeth Allen Drummond and Mack Jackson Parsons of Fountain Inn. He and Nelle lived at 206 Craig Street in Fountain Inn. Later Brooks built a home directly across the street (207 Craig Street) for his single sisters, 3.13.8 Lula and 3.13.10. Willie Stewart, where they lived after the death of their brother, 3.13.11. Frank Stewart of the old Harmony community homeplace.
In addition to his job as rural mail carrier, Brooks was also bookkeeper for the James H. Stewart Lumber Company, owned by his cousin 383 James Hamilton Stewart. After retiring in 1934 at age 65, Brooks embarked on a second career as partner in Stewart-Taylor Hardware Company in Fountain Inn, and then served as mayor of the town in his 70s. Over the years he held nearly every office at New Harmony Presbyterian Church, including clerk of session. In 1955, at age 86, he was elected fifth Chief of the Walter Stewart Clan. When Brooks reached his 90s, the local paper began to issue yearly bulletins on his birthday, reporting that he was still climbing and pruning his pecan trees and passing the South Carolina driver's test without the help of glasses or hearing aid. Brooks died in 1965 at age 96, and is entombed at Cannon Memorial Mausoleum in Fountain Inn. His widow Nelle, age 90, lives in Fountain Inn at 100 Inn Circle with her sisters Druscilla Parsons and Elizabeth Parsons.
Brooks was not the only remarkable senior citizen in his unusual family. Three of his sisters - Sallie Kate S. Stoddard, Ellen S. Templeton, and Annie S. Drummond -lived full and productive lives into their late 80s and 90s. His sister Willie Stewart of Clinton, SC is 92, and his sister Emma S. Fulmer, the oldest living member of the Walter Stewart Family, reached her 103rd birthday in 1981.
On special request, "Miss Emmie" Stewart Fulmer, born in 1878, has supplied some details on old Ebenezer and New Harmony schools, which she and her brothers and sisters - and their father and his older brothers and sisters as well - attended as children. These were typical one-room schools of the times, probably not very different from the schools at Bethany and Sandy Springs attended by the first and second generation of American-born descendants of Walter Stewart, Sr. This description was compiled by Miss Emmie's daughter-in-law, 3.13.61 Louise G. Fulmer, from conversations with her.
3 Robert Stewart
Sallie Catharine Stewart (Sallie Kate) was the second child of Samuel Turner Stewart and Louisa Holcombe of the Harmony community near Fountain Inn, SC. She was born in 1870 at the old Samuel Turner Stewart homeplace about a mile behind New Harmony Presbyterian Church.
On Christmas day in 1890, when she was twenty years old, Sallie Kate married David Dupree Stoddard, the young son of Robert (Robbie) James Stoddard and Frances Duree Dupree of the Owings community near Fountain Inn. David was the nephew of Alexander Ramsey Stoddard (Alec), who married Sallie Kate's aunt, 35 Nannie Ross Stewart.
David and Sallie Kate settled in the Owings community between Fountain Inn and Gray Court, where they lived all their lives and had a family of five sons and three daughters. David died in 1917 at age 49, when their youngest child, Brooks, was six years old. Sallie Kate reared her children on the family farm, which she managed with the help of her sons and daughters.
Like several members of her family, Sallie Kate passed her 90th birthday with flying colors. A few days before this occasion in 1960, The Greenville News (Greenville, SC) reported the following:
Sallie Kate died in 1963 at age 93, and is buried with her husband David Stoddard at New Harmony Presbyterian Church, where they were both lifelong members.
3 Robert Stewart
Ellen Ozella Stewart was the third child of Samuel Turner Stewart and Louisa Anne Holcombe. She was born in 1872 at the old Sam Stewart homeplace about a mile behind New Harmony Presbyterian Church in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC. She grew up in a lively family of eleven children.
As a young woman, Ellen married Lucius Langdon Templeton of the Owings community between Fountain Inn and Gray Court. Ludie, as he was called, was a descendant of two families with old and numerous ties to the Stewart family. His mother, Sallie Stoddard Templeton, was the daughter of Elizabeth Owings and William Stoddard, charter members of New Harmony Presbyterian Church (see 3 Robert Stewart, and 61 Amanda Stewart and James Lewis Stoddard, House of Clark). Ludie's father, David Humphries Templeton of Pickens County and the Owings community, was a descendant of the same Templeton family from whom Ellen's great-grandfather Walter Stewart, Sr. bought land not long after coming to the Bethany community from Ireland. Ludie also had close ties with the "Pickens County Stewarts" - his aunt, Esther Catherine Templeton, was the wife of 58 Samuel Dixon Stewart of the House of Walter, Jr. (Ludie's father David was the "Uncle Dave" in the letter written by 553 Bessie Stewart of the House of Walter, Jr.)
Ellen and Ludie Templeton lived for many years on a farm in the Owings community, where they reared their family of three sons and two daughters. They were charter members of Owings Presbyterian Church, where they are buried. Ludie died in 1951 at age 71. Ellen, like several other members of her long-lived family, attained a ripe old age. On her 88th birthday in 1960, not long before her death, The Greenville News (Greenville, SC) reported:
3 Robert Stewart
Annie Rebecca Stewart, born in 1874, was the fourth child of Samuel Turner Stewart and Louisa Anne Holcombe. Like her ten brothers and sisters, she was born and reared at the old Sam Stewart homeplace about a mile behind New Harmony Presbyterian Church near Fountain Inn, SC.
As a young woman, Annie married Guy M. Drummond, who was born in Spartanburg County, SC. He was the son of James Simpson Drummond and Druscilla Young, who in later years lived in the Durbin community near Fountain Inn, SC. Guy's niece, Nelle Parsons, later married Annie's oldest brother, 3.13.1 Brooks Stewart. His nephew, Fred Owings Drummond, later married 2422 Madge Cook of the House of John.
Guy and Annie lived on a farm near Fountain Inn for a time. After the birth of their second child they settled in Spartanburg, where they reared a family of one son and four daughters. (One daughter died in childhood.) Guy died in 1929 at age 59, at the beginning of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Annie lived with her daughter Vivian for many years, and like several other members of her family, attained ripe old age. She died in 1962 at age 87. She and Guy are buried at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens in Spartanburg. Both were members of the First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg.
Guy and Annie Drummond's daughter, Vivian Drummond of Spartanburg, SC, says:
Guy M. Drummond was descended from a family with old Spartanburg County roots. His great-grandfather, Ephraim Drummond, is described in Landrum's History of Spartanburg County, published in 1900:
Later members of the family have traced its roots to John Drummond (1588-1634) of Inverness, Scotland, of whom Guy M. Drummond is said to be the ninth generation descendant.
3 Robert Stewart
Ripley Clark Stewart was the fifth child of Samuel Turner Stewart and Louisa Anne Holcombe of the Harmony community near Fountain Inn, SC. He was born in 1877 at the old Sam Stewart homeplace about a mile behind New Harmony Presbyterian Church. Rip, as he was called, grew up in a large family of eleven children.
In 1901, young Rip married 16-year-old Lula Pearl Cannon. Rip and Pearl moved twenty miles south of Fountain Inn to Laurens, the county seat of Laurens County. At the turn of the century Laurens was a thriving little agricultural town that just a few years before had gained its first industry, the Laurens Cotton Mill. Watts Mill, which also manufactured cotton textiles, was founded in 1905.
Rip was employed for many years in the textile industry in Laurens. He and Pearl reared a family of two sons, James Manning and Walter Lawrence Stewart. Rip died in 1939 at age 62 and is buried at New Harmony Presbyterian Church near Fountain Inn.
After Rip's death, Pearl married Dick Hamrick (2nd husband) and later Lewis D. Minyard (3rd husband). She and her second and third husbands are buried at Graceland Cemetery in west Greenville, SC.
3 Robert Stewart
Emma Bell Stewart was the sixth child of Samuel Turner Stewart and Louisa Anne Holcombe of the Harmony community near Fountain Inn, SC. "Miss Emmie," as she is called by her many friends and relatives, is a the oldest living member of the Walter Stewart Clan. She has attended Stewart Reunions at New Harmony and Fairview Presbyterian Churches near Fountain Inn regularly since the first one in 1907.
Miss Emmie was born November 21, 1878 and reached her 103rd birthday, hale and hearty, in 1981. She still takes great interest in gardening, music, and in attending the several community organizations of which she has been an active member for many years, including the Fountain Inn Presbyterian Church. In honor of her 100th birthday in 1978, the City of Fountain Inn presented her with a plaque commemorating her years of community service. For her 102nd birthday in 1981, the Fountain Inn Garden Club placed a mounted plaque on the grounds of Fountain Inn City Hall honoring her as the oldest active garden club member in the nation. Until 1980, she had not missed a meeting of the Fountain Inn Garden Club since its organization in 1954.
As a girl, Miss Emmie attended Ebenezer School in the Durbin community near her home and the one-room school beside New Harmony Presbyterian Church. In the early 1900s she moved to Fountain Inn to keep house for her bachelor brother, 3.13.1 Brooks Stewart. (She was also his substitute mail carrier, but since he never missed work she never got to deliver the mail.) Later she moved seventeen miles to Greenville and worked as a milliner at J.W. Williams Department Store, making and selling women's hats.
In 1912 Miss Emmie married Dr. James Ambrose Fulmer, the son of Felder Benson Fulmer and Mary Emma Bowers of the Chapin (Piney Woods) community near Columbia, SC. In a feature article on Miss Emmie on her 99th birthday in 1977, the local Tribune-Times described their courtship as follows:
"Doc" Fulmer graduated in 1905 from the Dental Department of Baltimore Medical College. He practiced dentistry in Fountain Inn for 40 years except for a year and a half in nearby Newberry, SC (1927-29). He died in 1945 at age 63 and is buried at the old Fountain Inn Cemetery in Fountain Inn. Miss Emmie now lives with her son and daughter-in-law, James and Louise G. Fulmer, at 303 North Main Street in Fountain Inn.
Miss Emmie contributed many memories to the Walter Stewart Family History, especially on the details of the first Walter Stewart Clan reunion in 1907, which she attended at the age of 28 and remembers very well. She heard her great-uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, preach one of his final sermons at New Harmony Presbyterian Church. (He died in 1890.) At about age 90, she began a one-woman campaign to restore the family plot of her grandparents 3 Robert and Rachel Gilliland Stewart at the cemetery of New Harmony Presbyterian Church. Since she and her sister Willie Mae Stewart were the only living grandchildren, she wrote dozens of letters to great-grand and great-great-grandchildren. With their contributions, she headed up a two-year project that resulted in the complete renovation of the plot, including a marble slab inscribed with the names and dates for Robert and Rachel Stewart and for their thirteen sons and daughters.
3 Robert Stewart
Thomas Glenn Stewart was the seventh of the eleven children of Samuel Turner Stewart and Louisa Anne Holcombe. Glenn, as he was called, was born in 1881 at the old Sam Stewart homeplace in the Harmony community in upper Laurens County near Fountain Inn, SC.
In 1913, Glenn married Florrie Mae Gay, daughter of Laura Elizabeth Richardson and John H. Gay, Sr., of Savannah, Georgia. Glenn and Florrie lived in Pooler, Georgia (Chatham County, near Savannah) where Glenn was station master and telegrapher for the Central of Georgia Railway. Florrie died of tuberculosis some years after the birth of their first child, Ruth. She is buried at Laurel Grove Cemetery in Savannah.
In 1919, Glenn married a second time to Pauline Boetcker Harms, daughter of Wilhemena and Harless B. Boetcker of Germany. (A Mr. Harms was her stepfather.) Glenn and Pauline lived in Pooler, where Glenn was depot agent for many years. Pauline was a nurse. In addition to Glenn's daughter Ruth, they reared a family of three sons. They were members of the Methodist church in Pooler. Glenn is buried at Gravel Hill Cemetery in Pooler.
Glenn and Florrie Stewart's daughter, Ruth S. Cliatt of Pooler, Georgia, says: