House of Walter, Jr.
Walter Stewart, Jr. was the fifth and last child of Walter Stewart by his first wife, Mary Ross. He was born in 1799 in the Bethany community in lower Laurens County, SC.
Like his oldest brother 1 Samuel Stewart, young Walter lived and died in the Bethany community. In 1823, two years after his father left for Georgia, he married Sarah (Sallie) Templeton, the daughter of Massie Laird and Capt. David Templeton of the Bethany community. According to the Templeton Family History, Capt. Templeton was a prosperous man, leaving an estate valued at $17,000 when he died in 1860. He was the nephew of John Templeton, from whom Walter's father bought his land after coming to the Bethany community from northern Ireland.
In 1825, shortly after the birth of his first child, young Walter bought 163 acres of land at a public auction from the estate of a Samuel Leeke. (He was the highest bidder for one of the two parcels of land in the estate, offering $292.) This land lay on and around the present site of Bethany Presbyterian Church. At the time of the sale, it was bordered by the lands of "John F. Reams, Robert Hariston, Benjamin Byrd, and Robert Gilliland." 3.13.6 Emma Stewart Fulmer, the oldest living member of the Walter Stewart Clan, recalls going to a Stewart Reunion at Bethany Church many years ago. She walked back behind the church to see the ruins of a house, which she was told was "Walter's house." (Little was left but some stones and a shard of china, which someone picked up.) This was apparently the home of Walter Stewart, Jr., and his wife Sallie Templeton.
Walter and Sallie and their young family lived in a thriving and well-established community. Langston's Baptist Church - a split-off from old Duncan's Creek Presbyterian Church - had been founded near Bethany in 1777, over twenty years before Walter and Sallie were born. There were schools at both Bethany and nearby Sandy Springs - Walter's young half-brother 6 Clark taught at both during the 1830s. He listed fifteen Stewart nieces and nephews among his fifty-seven pupils at Bethany School in 1836, including Walter and Sallie's four oldest children. It is almost impossible to estimate the population of the Bethany community at this late date, but even in 1982 there were still crumbling ruins of homes along the logging trails in the deserted woods around Bethany Presbyterian Church.
Walter and Sallie were much involved in the founding of Bethany Presbyterian Church in 1833. This event is of some significance. In the decades after the Revolution, the children and grandchildren of the original settlers of lower Laurens County lost interest in the old bitterness between Whig and Tory and the doctrinal disputations over Psalmody that had engrossed their parents and grandparents - and splintered and multiplied their churches. The oldest churches - Presbyterian - had suffered from the loss of interest in the old disputes, while the newer ones - Baptist and Methodist - flourished and gained members. During this period, one church historian points out, Presbyterianism in Laurens County came to a standstill for many years, in spite of the rapidly rising population. For Walter and his Bethany brothers, it must have been a serious temptation to take their wives and children to nearby Langston's Baptist Church, instead of hitching up the wagon for the long haul to the nearest Presbyterian Church - old Duncan's Creek Church (founded 1764), nearly seven miles southwest of Bethany. Were it not for the founding of Bethany Presbyterian Church, one suspects, there would be a great many more Baptists in the Walter Stewart Clan than is now the case.
Dr. William P. Jacobs, founder of Thornwell Orphanage and Presbyterian College in the town of Clinton in lower Laurens County, gave this enthralling account of the founding of Bethany Presbyterian Church, writing about the time of its fiftieth anniversary in 1883. (The earliest records of the church were later lost.)
On May 11, 1833, three months after the Rev. Lewers conducted his first marathon week of services at Bethany, a fifth child was born to Sallie and Walter Stewart, a son whom they named James Lewers Stewart. Walter subsequently donated 8 1/4 acres of his land for the erection of the first church building. (The third building now stands on the site.) His neighbor, Joshua Saxon, donated one acre along the present road that leads down to the church building.
Three more children were born to Walter and Sallie over the next few years. Walter was elected elder at Bethany Presbyterian Church during this period, a signal honor for a man barely forty years old. Walter's affairs prospered; later legal documents show that he lent nearly $500 to various neighbors and relatives about this time.
Then tragedy struck. Young Clark Berry Stewart, preparing to leave for ministerial training at Columbia Theological Seminary, made the rounds among his Bethany friends and relatives to bid them farewell. His visit to his half-brother Walter's house was not a happy one.
Four months later, on February 1, 1842, Walter and Sallie's little son David died, three months before his seventh birthday. Three days later, Sallie herself died. On May 28, 1842 her husband Walter died. A brief notation by their names in the old family records says they died of "slow fever - tuberculosis." All three are buried at Bethany Presbyterian Church, but the stones marking their graves have not survived the years.
The deaths of Walter and Sallie undoubtedly provoked a crisis among Walter's brothers. By Scotch-Irish tradition, they should have come to the aid of his orphaned children - seven of them, ranging in age from eighteen down to baby Samuel Dixon Stewart, age two. But all three of the Bethany brothers (1 Samuel, 2 John, and 3 Robert) had overflowing households themselves, with nearly a dozen children apiece. Samuel, the oldest, was a widower himself. The only other South Carolina brother, 6 Clark, was an unmarried seminary student.
The Templeton in-laws appear to have assumed responsibility for Walter's orphans very soon. Sallie's brother, James Templeton of the Bethany community, was the administrator of Walter's estate and handled the routine sale of his household effects. Three highly reputable guardians were appointed for the children: W.D. Byrd, of the Byrd family who originally settled in the Bethany community; Joshua Saxon, who donated part of the land for Bethany Church, and W.L. Templeton, probably Sallie's younger brother William Livingston Templeton, who had just finished medical school and later settled in Columbia, SC. Sums for the childrens' support were paid to these three from Walter's modest estate ($1,133) over the next four years, after which the funds were exhausted and the matter was presumably no longer a concern of the Laurens County Probate Court. No further record is found.
Most of Walter and Sallie's children appear to have lived with their grandparents, Massie Laird and David Templeton, after their parents' death. The Laurens County Census of 1850 lists the five younger children, from 21-year-old Eunice Pauline down to ten-year-old Samuel Dixon, as living in the household with them and their unmarried daughter, Maude Templeton. The oldest child, Elizabeth Ann (age 24) is found listed in the nearby household of her mother's sister, Elizabeth Templeton, and her husband James Martindale. The oldest son, William Clark (age 22) is listed as an apprentice in the household of Spencer Smith, sadler. Apparently several of the children were still in the Bethany area in 1854, when their uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, mentions visiting Bethany and spending the night with David Templeton:
Only three of the seven surviving children of Sallie Templeton and Walter Stewart, Jr. had issue. 53 Eunice Pauline Stewart married Addison Boggs not long before the Civil War and settled in Liberty, SC (Pickens County) not far from the North Carolina line. This became "home base" for several of the brothers and sisters as they left the Bethany community after the death of their Templeton grandparents. 58 Samuel Dixon Stewart (the youngest) and his wife Esther Templeton settled in Liberty. 55 James Lewers Stewart married Mary Louise Chamblin of the Liberty area and removed to Pike County (later Howard County), Arkansas. All three had descendants living in widely scattered states in 1982.
The remaining four children - two boys and two girls - died without issue in their thirties. At least one of them is known to have died of tuberculosis; the compelling conclusion is that all four contracted the disease as children in their parents' household and died of its effects in early adulthood. Civil War records for 52 William Clark Stewart, the eldest son, show that he enlisted for service on August 1, 1863 in Company D, 20th Regiment, SC Infantry (Hampton's Legion), but was discharged in thirty days as unfit for duty due to "consumption." He died four months later at age 36, and is buried at Carmel Presbyterian Church near his sister's home in Liberty. 57 John Preston Stewart, his young brother, served as a private in Company B, 3rd Regiment, SC Infantry (Kershaw's Brigade). He returned safely from the war, but died a few years later at age 33; he too is buried at Carmel Presbyterian Church in Liberty. 54 Louisa Jane Stewart died at age 34 and is also buried there. The eldest daughter, 51 Elizabeth Ann Stewart, apparently lived out her short life with her Templeton relatives in the Bethany community. She died at age 32 and is buried at Bethany Presbyterian Church.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Eunice Pauline Stewart was the third child of Walter Stewart, Jr. and Sallie Templeton, founders of the House of Walter, Jr. She was born in 1828 in the Bethany community in Laurens County, SC in her parents' home just behind the present site of Bethany Presbyterian Church.
Pauline, as she was called, was a young girl of 13 when her parents died of tuberculosis within a few months of each other in 1842. Like most of her brothers and sisters, Pauline grew up in the home of her aging grandparents, David and Massie Laird Templeton of the Bethany community.
Pauline had many Templeton relatives in upcountry South Carolina, including the family of her Uncle John and Aunt Catherine Fairburne Templeton. This family had left the Bethany community and followed the old Cherokee Indian trail about 40 miles north to Pickens County, in the Blue Ridge foothills along the North Carolina line. Here they settled in the little farming community of Salubrity (later named "Liberty" when the railroad established a center there).
Pauline appears to have visited this family from time to time. One of the children, Jane Sabema Templeton, was about Pauline's age. As a young woman, Pauline's cousin Jane married a Salubrity neighbor's son named Joseph Addison Boggs. Jane and Addison had three children (John Thomas, Ella Catherine, and George Leland Boggs). Jane died not long after the birth of the third child. Two years later, Pauline married Addison Boggs, the widowed husband of her first cousin. They were married December 22, 1857, the day after Pauline's 29th birthday.
Addison was the son of Eleanor Hamilton and Thomas Gilliland Boggs of Salubrity (or Liberty, as the little town should be called now). Addison grew up with his eight brothers and sisters in a large two-story wooden farmhouse bought by his father in 1818 (now the site of the present Baptist Church). He eventually left the house to Addison, who in turn left it to his son Walter, with the provision that he would take care of his mother Pauline the rest of her life. The record shows that Addison's father died in the home of his son, the Plantation Home, in 1889. Since Addison's mother had died four years prior to this, it may be that Pauline and Addison were already living in the old house with the elderly father. Addison and Pauline reared a family of one son and five daughters (one of whom died in infancy) in their home, in addition to Addison's three young children by his first wife.
In 1862, not long before the birth of Addison and Pauline's third child, Addison left to serve in the Civil War. He joined Pauline's young brother 58 Samuel Dixon Stewart as a private in Company D, 20th Regiment, S. Infantry (Hampton's Legion). The unit saw action with the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia under Gen. Robert E. Lee. Both men returned safely from the war.
Pauline and Addison Boggs' home in Liberty appears to have become "home base" for Pauline's brothers and sisters after the death of their Templeton grandparents in Laurens County. Pauline's brother 52 William Clark Stewart, who died of consumption during the Civil War, is buried at Carmel Presbyterian Church near Liberty, where Addison and Pauline were members. Her sister 54 Louisa Jane Stewart, who died in 1864 at age 34, is also buried there. Her younger brother 57 John Preston Stewart "went West" to Arkansas for a time as a young man, but returned to Liberty and enlisted for Civil War duty from Pickens County. He too died young, and is buried at Carmel Church. Pauline's youngest brother, 58 Samuel Dixon Stewart, married a Liberty cousin, Esther Catherine Templeton, and settled there. According to the diary of Samuel's young son 585 "Connie" Stewart, his family and his Aunt Pauline and Uncle Addison's family were very close, exchanging frequent visits. By the time young Connie was born, Pauline and Samuel were the only two of the original eight brothers and sisters still living in South Carolina. Their only living brother, 55 James Lewers Stewart, married Addison Boggs' niece Mary Louise Chamblin and settled in Arkansas.
Pauline and Addison Boggs were members of Carmel Presbyterian Church near Liberty until the founding of Liberty Presbyterian Church in 1883. On September 29th of that year they were dismissed to membership in the new church, where they were charter members, and where Addison became one of the first two elders. Addison died in 1894 at age 69 and is buried at Carmel Presbyterian Church. Pauline, who died in 1900 at age 71, is buried at Liberty Presbyterian Church.
The Liberty Monitor, Sept. 30, 1968, has this comment on the origin of the old name of the town, "Salubrity," which in 1900 had a population of 300:
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Mary Josephine Boggs was the second child of Eunice Pauline Stewart and Joseph Addison Boggs. Josie, as she was called, was born in 1861, not long before her father left to serve in the Civil War. She grew up at the old Liberty, SC (Pickens County) homeplace owned by her grandfather, Thomas Gilliland Boggs, and passed on to Josie's father.
As a young woman, Josie married Dudley Jefferson Greer of Liberty. He was the son of David Greer, who came from County Antrim, Ireland with two brothers and settled in South Carolina in 1793. Dudley was several years older than Josie. He had been previously married, but lost his wife in childbirth. His little daughter and only child, Zula, died in infancy.
Dudley and Josie Greer lived in Liberty for a number of years, where Dudley was a carpenter. They had a family of two sons and two daughters. Eight-year-old 585 Connie Stewart, the diarist of the House of Walter, Jr., mentions his Greer cousins in 1889. Josie Greer was his first cousin (her mother and Connie's father were brother and sister), but Josie's children and Connie were about the same age and enjoyed playing together. An entry in Connie's diary on his eighth birthday in 1889 reads: "Mar. 21st...we had a big dinner, Palmer, Alliene, cousin Josie and Corrie came and ate with us, played all evening, ate supper... Palmer and Alliene were "Cousin Josie's" children, and Corrie was her younger sister, 536 Cornelia Boggs.
Josie died in 1902 at age 40, when her youngest child was five years old. She is buried at Westview Cemetery in Liberty, not far from where she was born.
Dudley's subsequent movements are interesting, as they indicate old ties among the Stewart families long forgotten by most living descendants. About 1906 he married a third wife, Sarah Holder of nearby Pickens, by whom he had a son (Dupree Holder Greer of Birmingham, Alabama). About 1907 Dudley moved his family to Birmingham. Here he worked for several years for 311 Robert Francis Stewart of the House of Robert, who was a building contractor in Birmingham. In 1912 Dudley moved his family back to Williamston in South Carolina (Anderson County), where he went into the construction business. He died there in 1920 at the age of 70, and is buried at Westview Cemetery in Liberty.
After Dudley's death, his widow Sarah Holder Greer returned with her young son Dupree to Birmingham. In 1924 she married widower Robert Francis Stewart, her husband's former employer. They lived in Birmingham until they died a number of years later.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Walter Lewers Boggs was the third child and only son of Eunice Pauline Stewart and Joseph Addison Boggs. He was probably named after his maternal grandfather, Walter Stewart, Jr., and his mother's brother, 55 James Lewers Stewart, who settled in Arkansas.
Walter was born in 1862, during the Civil War. He was born and reared at the old Liberty, SC (Pickens County) homeplace originally owned by his paternal grandfather, Thomas Gilliland Boggs.
According to later descendants, Walter Boggs grew up to be unusually tall and spare - three inches over six feet. In later life he was invited to portray Abraham Lincoln in a pageant at nearby Clemson College, but he modestly refused. (He was a man of few words.) Like his father before him, Walter remained on the old Boggs homeplace and farmed the land.
As a young man, Walter married 19-year-old Maggie Eloise Neely, the daughter of Civil War veteran Thomas John Neely and his wife Nancy McQueen of Brevard, NC (Transylvania County) and Liberty, SC. Maggie was five feet tall, stocky, strong, and very energetic. She started teaching school at age 16 in Brevard, with many of her students older than she was. When she moved the 40-odd miles to Liberty down the Blue Ridge foothills and across the South Carolina line as Walter's bride, it was a two-day trip by horse and buggy. She lived to see the space program and orbital flight in the late 1960s. She died at age 92.
After their marriage Walter and Maggie settled on the old Boggs homeplace in Liberty, where they reared a son, Lewers Addison Boggs (Louie). They also helped rear Walter's niece, 5323 Ethel Greer, who was six years old when her mother died (532 Josie Boggs Greer, Walter's older sister). Maggie was a teacher in Liberty Elementary School for 40 years, and a faithful member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She and Walter were members for many years of the Liberty Presbyterian Church. They are buried at Westview Cemetery in Liberty.
In its Centennial edition (Sept. 30, 1968) The Monitor of Liberty noted that Maggie Boggs, "probably the most beloved of all schoolteachers ever to teach in Liberty," taught most of Liberty's adult citizens, beginning in one-room Liberty School located where Westview Cemetery is now.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Sarah Ada Boggs (Ada) and Cornelia Adiliene Boggs (Corrie) were the two youngest surviving children of Eunice Pauline Stewart and Joseph Addison Boggs of Liberty, SC (Pickens County). Ada and Corrie were born and reared at the old Boggs homeplace in Liberty.
Not a great deal is known of these two daughters. Ada Boggs was born in 1866, and at about age 22 married Rufus H. Wertz, by whom she had two sons. She died at age 28 and is buried at Westview Cemetery in Liberty. Her youngest son, Joseph Julian Wertz, was permanently disabled while serving in World War I. In later years he spent time in Kingsport, Tennessee with the family of his cousin, 5331 Lewers A. Boggs, and also with his aunt, 533 Maggie Boggs, in Liberty.
Corrie Boggs was born in 1872. We know from young Connie Stewart's diary that she was living in Liberty in 1889, when she was 17 years old (see 532 Mary Josephine Boggs). At age 34, Corrie married Thomas Harrison Galloway, and is said to have lived in Brevard, NC (Transylvania County). We have a record of one daughter, Pauline Galloway, born in 1910. Corrie died in 1911 at age 39 and is also buried at Westview Cemetery in Liberty. Nothing more is known of her husband and daughter.
The interesting letter below was found in papers from the Fountain Inn, SC household of 31 William Stewart (Squire Bill) and his wife Rebecca Stoddard, of the House of Robert. The letter was written by 20-year-old Ada Boggs to her young second cousin, 316 Martha Ann Rebecca Stewart (Mattie), who later married Ed Hellams and settled in Texas. The letter suggests that there were strong family ties between the "Pickens County Stewarts" and "the Fountain Inn Stewarts" for many years after the tragic deaths of 5 Walter Stewart, Jr. and his wife Sallie Templeton in 1842 in the old Bethany community. Young Ada was obviously familiar with her cousin Mattie's brothers and sisters, probably from having visited in the home.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
James Lewers Stewart was the fifth child and second son of Walter Stewart, Jr. and Sallie Templeton, founders of the House of Walter, Jr. He was born in 1833 in the Bethany community in Laurens County, SC and was nine years old when his parents died of tuberculosis. Like most of his brothers and sisters, he was reared in the home of his elderly Templeton grandparents in the Bethany community.
James and his younger brother 57 John Preston Stewart, who never married, joined the westward migration that claimed many families in the Bethany community in the 1850s. The two brothers "went West" to Arkansas in the years before the Civil War, probably with a group of related Hutchinson, Toland and Martindale families. James' and John's aunt, Elizabeth Templeton Martindale, was the mother of George Martindale, one of this group. Their uncle, 6 Rev. Clark Berry Stewart, was married to Katharine Hitch, the sister of Alexander Simpson Hutchinson's wife Isabella Hitch, an experienced midwife who practiced her skills both in South Carolina and in frontier Arkansas.
According to the Hutchinson family history, this contingent of families set out on the seven-week overland journey to Arkansas in the fall of 1858. They settled in adjoining Pike and Hempstead counties in southwest Arkansas, not far from Oklahoma.
In the fall of 1860, young 58 Samuel Dixon Stewart in South Carolina had a letter from his homesick brother John, age 23. Written from the little town of Washington in Hempstead County, Arkansas, the letter is dated November 4th, 1860:
John's fears proved correct. Abraham Lincoln was elected president. The opening shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12, 1861. Opinion on secession, which had been divided in Arkansas until then, quickly coalesced. Arkansas joined the Confederacy in May, and companies of local militia were promptly organized.
Back in South Carolina, Rev. Clark Stewart and his wife Katharine read this account of happenings in Hempstead County by Katharine's niece, Nancy Hutchinson Toland of Washington, Arkansas:
NOTE: "James" in this letter appears to be 55 James Lewers Stewart, but the identity of "John Stewart" is not certain. Nancy Toland's letter is dated June 11, 1861. 57 John Preston Stewart's military record shows that he enlisted February 10, 1861 in Pickens County, South Carolina and served throughout the war in Company B, 3rd Regiment, SC Infantry. The early group of volunteers described in the letter was probably the Hempstead County "Davis Blues," Company F of the later disbanded Fifth Regiment, Arkansas Infantry. The military records on this unit are incomplete.
The raw recruits soon got a taste of action. They were mustered into the Fifth Regiment of the Arkansas Infantry and entered the first skirmish of importance in which Arkansas troops were engaged, at Oak Hill, Missouri in August of 1861. The Hutchinsons' son, Augustus, was in this battle. Isabella Hutchinson wrote her South Carolina sister Katharine this account in a letter dated December 8, 1861:
All the survivors listed in the letter appear to have reenlisted after their unit of volunteers was disbanded. James Lewers Stewart's military record shows that he enlisted on March 4, 1862 in Mitchell County (south Georgia) in Company C of the 51st Georgia Infantry. He was promoted to sergeant, and then to lieutenant on May 20, 1863. On May 3, 1863 he was wounded in the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. His left arm was later amputated above the elbow, and on August 25, 1863 he was discharged.
James returned to South Carolina after he was discharged, probably to the home of his older sister Pauline and her husband Addison Boggs in Pickens County. On November 29, 1866 he married Mary Louise Chamblin of Pickens County, the daughter of Samuel James Chamblin and Jane Eleanor Boggs, Addison's older sister. The ceremony was performed by Addison's younger brother, the Rev. David Chalmers Boggs (who later settled in Arkansas).
James and his bride Lou, as she was called, lived in South Carolina for a time. The old family records say that their first child, an infant son who did not survive, is buried there (place unknown). But on March 21, 1868, James' Aunt Katharine in South Carolina had a newsy letter from her sister Isabella Hutchinson in the Corinth community in Pike County (later Howard County), Arkansas:
A favorite story about James and his wife Lou Chamblin has been handed down among their Arkansas descendants for many years. After the war James returned to South Carolina and made plans with two Hutchinson cousins to homestead together in Arkansas. When the cousins learned that James planned to marry a slightly built girl of French descent, they made plans to leave the two of them behind - Lou didn't look at all like pioneer stock to them. In the end, James persuaded them to let her go along, and the one they thought would be a liability proved to be the "Rock of Gibraltar." She packed fabric instead of clothing and used the extra space for some good china and nice table linens. When the hardships and problems of pioneer life became almost unbearable and they were nearly to the point of giving up, Lou would cook a good dinner and serve it on her pretty china set on one of her nice table cloths. Soon their spirits were lifted and problems became challenges, and the day was saved again.
James and Lou reared a large family of nine surviving children in their home in the Corinth community in Arkansas. Lou's widowed mother, Jane Boggs Chamblin, came from South Carolina to live with them in later years. The entire family was active in the Presbyterian Church. A final letter from the Hutchinsons to their South Carolina relatives dated January 22, 1873 states that "James and wife have been talking of attending the General Assembly." They appear to have belonged to old Iona Presbyterian Church (no longer existing) in the Corinth community, and both are thought to be buried there.
Four of James' and Lou's nine adult children never married - Charlie, Samuel, Pattie, and Jay Stewart. They lived at the old homeplace in the Corinth community until Jay (the youngest) was a young man, and about 1913 they bought an 80-acre farm two miles west of the nearby town of Nashville, the county seat of Howard County. Fond memories of the three bachelor brothers and their sister Pattie abound in the family. Pattie, it is said, accepted a ring from a suitor when she was young, but her brothers so strongly disapproved of the match that she finally broke off her engagement. She kept house for her brothers until her death in 1975 at age 88. Pattie's niece, 5521 Mary Leslie Cummings, remembers such delights as homemade molasses, watermelon, peaches, and teacakes in the "safe," and handsome Uncle Charlie who played the piano and violin by ear, and Aunt Pattie with smiling eyes who liked to sing. In later years the bachelor brothers and their sister were joined by their widowed sister Bess. They were all members of the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, where Charlie was a deacon and Samuel was an elder. All are buried in the Nashville Community Cemetery, except Bessie, who is thought to be buried at Ft. Smith, Arkansas.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Eleanor Hamilton Stewart was the second child of James Stewart and Mary Louise Chamblin. She was born the day before Christmas, 1868 in Corinth, Arkansas (Pike County, later Howard County) about a year after her parents arrived there from South Carolina. She was probably named after her mother's grandmother, Eleanor Hamilton Boggs (see 53 Joseph Addison Boggs and 55 Mary Louise Chamblin).
Nellie, as she was called, married Dr. W.A. Reese of Mena, Arkansas (Polk County), a physician who died in 1901, three years after their marriage. They had no children. Some years later Nellie married Samuel Frank Leslie, a widower with four young daughters (Nancy, Mattie, Margaret, and Ruby). Frank Leslie was a merchant in Belton, Arkansas (Hempstead County) and also sharecropped his land.
Frank and Nellie Stewart Leslie had a family of two sons and a daughter, in addition to Frank's four daughters by his first wife. Although married to a Baptist, Nellie remained a lifelong staunch Presbyterian who knew her Bible so well that she was asked to teach an adult class in the Baptist church. She was a member of Iona Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Arkansas. Frank and Nellie are buried at Merrel Cemetery in Belton, Arkansas.
Nellie's daughter, 5521 Mary Leslie Cummings, remembers that she "was so kind and understanding of my half-sister....My mother reared us in such a way that I would never have known they were not my own sisters."
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Jane Elizabeth Stewart (Bess) was the third child of James Lewers Stewart and Mary Louise Chamblin. She was born in 1870 in the Corinth community in Pike County, Arkansas (now Howard County).
Bessie, as she was called as a young woman, married Lewis P. Holmes. Bessie and Lewis settled in the Muddy Fork community near Nathan, Arkansas (Pike County), a few miles north of Corinth. Here they had two infant daughters, both of whom died shortly after they were born. On March 13, 1907, a month after Bessie lost her second baby, her husband died.
To digress for a moment: Bessie's South Carolina relatives had their first Walter Stewart Clan Reunion on October 17, 1907. Her uncle, 58 Samuel Dixon Stewart of Pickens, SC, attended and was elected as one of the seven Subchiefs. His cousin 62 Wistar Stewart, who compiled the first genealogical records of the family, appears to have put Sam to work on this task in the months before the first reunion. In collecting names and dates for his family, Bessie's Uncle Sam enlisted the aid of his wife's brother, David Humphries Templeton. Dave was delegated to contact the Arkansas Stewarts.
In due time, David Templeton's letter came into Bessie's hands. The list of names and dates that she sent him in the fall of 1907 led to the rediscovery of the "lost" James Lewers Stewart family in Arkansas in 1981, when Bessie's list was finally unearthed in North Carolina by the present House of Walter, Jr., Historian, 5851 Laurie S. Radford.
Bessie responded to Uncle Dave's request for information with the patience of a true saint. Below is the note she enclosed with the data on her family.
Bessie later married a second time to a Mr. D.C. Howell. On October 16, 1921 an entry in the records of the First Presbyterian Church at Nashville, Arkansas states that "Mrs. Bessie Howell" was given a letter of dismissal to the First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Smith, Arkansas (Sebastian County). D.C. Howell died in 1927, after which "Aunt Bess" moved in with her brothers Sam and Jay and her sister Pattie on their farm near Nashville, Arkansas. The four lived together very happily until death began to claim them, one by one. Sam died first. Sometime later Bessie died, and is thought to be buried with her second husband in Ft. Smith, which is where she wanted to be buried.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Emma Catherine Stewart was the daughter of James Lewers Stewart and his wife Mary Louise Chamblin. She was born in 1874 in the Corinth community in Pike County (now Howard County), Arkansas.
Emma Catherine is said to have been named for some Stewart relative, very likely for her aunt, 58 Esther Catherine Templeton Stewart. Emma was the only blond in the family. Like her sisters, she was brought up to be a good cook and housekeeper and seamstress. In fact she was a designer; when she married in 1907, she designed and made her own "going away" clothes.
Emma married Walter Sossamon, the son of James Sossamon, an Arkansas (Howard County) Presbyterian minister who worked among the Indians in the Oklahoma Territory for many years. Emma and Walter lost their first child (buried at Center Point, AR, Howard County), but later had two daughters and a son. Their happy home was disrupted by Emma's untimely death during the dread 1918 Flu Epidemic, leaving Walter with three young children. Fortunately his parents lived nearby, and with some hired help, Walter was able to care for his family in their home in Mena, Arkansas. Some nine years later, their house burned down and while their father was getting it rebuilt, the children went to Nashville to live and go to school, spending several months in the fall and spring with their Aunt Pattie and the uncles on their farm near Nashville. The next year their father remarried and moved his family to Ada, Oklahoma (Pontotoc County), where he was an independent oil producer.
Tragedy seemed to shadow much of Emma's life. The family tells the story that before she met Walter Sossamon, she was engaged to a Dr. Payne, a friend of sister Nellie's first husband. The guests and family were all assembled at the church, waiting for the bride and her brother Sam who was to give her away. As Emma and Sam started to drive to the church, word came that Dr. Payne had been killed on his way to the wedding; a snake had "spooked" his horse. The same inner strength and courage that sustained Emma during times of trial were evident in the way her daughter Jennie faced the diagnosis of her own illness and impending death in 1971.
Walter and Emma are buried at Mena, Arkansas in Howard County.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Thomas Gaston Stewart was the seventh child of James Lewers Stewart and Mary Louise Chamblin. He was born in 1877 in the Corinth community in Pike County, Arkansas (now Howard County).
Tom was the only one of James Lewers Stewart's six sons to marry. (Two died at birth, and the other three "just weren't the marrying kind," according to later descendants.) At age 39, Tom married 24-year-old Cora Lee Frier, who was born in Ray County, Missouri. Cora was the daughter of Robert Milton Frier and Sallie G. Massey of Kentucky, who later lived in Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona.
After their marriage, Tom and Cora lived on a farm in Belton, Arkansas (Hempstead County), where their two sons were born. In 1929 they moved to Odessa, Missouri (Lafayette County), where their daughter was born and they farmed for several years. In 1939 they returned to Arkansas, where Tom died in 1944. He is buried at the Nashville Community Cemetery in Nashville, Arkansas (Howard County) near several of his brothers and sisters. Cora later joined her three children in California, where she died in 1967 and is buried at the Chapel of the Chimes Memorial Park in Hayward (Alameda County).
Tom was a longtime member of old Iona Presbyterian Church near Corinth, Arkansas where he was born. In 1913 he moved his membership to the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Arkansas. Cora belonged to the Baptist Church, which the family attended most of the time as it was closer to their home.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Ella Stewart, born in 1879, was the eighth child of James Lewers Stewart and Mary Louise Chamblin. She was an orphaned niece of Mary Louise Chamblin, reared in the family from an infant as Ella Stewart.
Ella lost her adoptive father, James Lewers Stewart, when she was nine years old. She grew up in a large household in the old Corinth community in Pike County (later Howard County), Arkansas. When her father James died in 1888 at age 55, there were nine youngsters under the age of 20. The youngest, Jay, was two years old.
As a young girl Ella married Tilden Joseph Harris. They settled on a farm in the Corinth community, where their four children were born. According to church records, Ella was admitted by letter to the First Presbyterian Church at nearby Nashville, Arkansas by letter from Iona Presbyterian Church in the Corinth community on June 4, 1922.
Ella and Tilden Joseph Harris' oldest son, Roy, now 81 years old, acted as legal guardian for his uncle, Jay Stewart, the twelfth and last living child of James Lewers Stewart and Mary Louise Chamblin. Roy's Uncle Jay sold the old Stewart homeplace near Nashville and spent his last years in a nearby nursing home, where he died in 1980 at age 93. The family recalls Roy's many kinds acts for Jay, and for the entire household of elderly aunts and bachelor uncles when they all lived together on their farm near Nashville.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Samuel Dixon Stewart was the eighth and last child of Walter Stewart, Jr. and Sallie Templeton, founders of the House of Walter, Jr. He was born in the Bethany community in Laurens County, SC in 1840, and was two years old when his parents died of tuberculosis. Like his older brothers and sisters, Sam grew up in the home of his Templeton grandparents in the Bethany community.
Some of Sam's school books still survive in the family. They indicate that the Templetons gave their orphaned grandchildren a good education for the times. At age eleven, according to the inscription in a Common Reader, Sam was attending Oak Hill Academy on May 29, 1851. Judging by his name in a grammar book, he was still there in February, 1856. "Huntington, S.C." appears under his name on a back flyleaf. (On an 1880 map of Laurens County, Huntington Post Office is shown about a quarter of a mile west of Bethany Presbyterian Church.) At age 18, Sam was studying Greek, no place given. According to letters he received in 1860-61, when he was 20 years old, Sam was living in Columbia, SC, with or near his maternal uncle, Dr. William Livingston Templeton, who practiced medicine in Columbia for many years.
A few weeks after the Civil War began, 21-year-old Sam enlisted in Company D of Hampton's Legion, which mustered in Columbia. He was later promoted to 4th sergeant. He served until the end of the war in 1865 with no more than a slight wound in his right hand during the Battle of Sharpesburg, Maryland (September 17, 1862).
Sam returned to South Carolina after the Civil War and settled in Liberty, SC (Pickens County) near his sister Pauline and her husband Addison Boggs. In 1865 he joined Carmel Presbyterian Church near Liberty. Two years later he married his cousin, Esther Catherine Templeton (Kate), the daughter of John and Catherine Fairburne Templeton of Liberty.
Sam and Kate lived for many years in Liberty, where Sam was the first postmaster, with the post office in his home for a time. His young son Connie, the eight-year-old diariest, remembers him as a hard working farmer and responsible citizen of the community.
Sam and Kate had five sons, the first three of whom died before age three. After his son Connie married and eventually moved to the Brushy Mountains in Wilkes County, North Carolina, "Uncle Sam" and "Aunt Kate," as they were locally known, visited him and his family a number of times. On one such visit in the summer of 1919, Kate died at age 82. After that, Sam went back to Liberty for a time. Then he moved in with his son and family, and shortly after his 83rd birthday in 1923, he too died in the home of his son.
Sam was ordained as a deacon in the Carmel Presbyterian Church near Liberty in 1877, and as elder in 1887. In 1888 he was appointed Clerk of Session, an office which he held for many years. He was elected as a Subchief at the first Walter Stewart Family reunion in 1907, and served in this capacity until his death. He and Kate are buried at Carmel Presbyterian Church.
The diary of Sam and Kate's young son Connie provides a fascinating glimpse into a southern farm household in the late 19th century, as seen through the eyes of an eight-year-old boy--with the added attraction of a train station nearby. Not surprisingly, Connie's older brother Willie grew up to be a telegraph operator.
5 Walter Stewart, Jr.
Memories of her parents by 5851 Laurie S. Radford, Historian for the House of Walter, Jr.: