The Greenlee Family were of the first settlers in the Toe River Valley. Records show that the Greenlees came to what is now Mitchell County in the late 1700’s. One of the descendants of the original Greenlee settlers was George Greenlee, (son of Samuel Mitchell and Minerva Sackett Greenlee). George married Jane Elizabeth McKinney in southern Mitchell County, near Gillespie Gap, on January 1, 1873. There they would build a home on a 640 acre tract of land which would become the area we now know as Grassy Creek. The Greenlees named the area “Grassy Creek” for the lush fields that surrounded the creek they flowed through their property. George and Jane had seven children. Thomas Samuel Greenlee was their only son and therefore inherited the home place when his parents died. Thomas Samuel married Amelia Mears in 1914. Mrs. Amelia Mears would become a beloved schoolteacher in Mitchell County (as would some of her children). Greenlee Primary School in Spruce Pine is named for the Greenlee Family. The land on which it was built was part of the original Greenlee tract of land that was obtained nearly two centuries ago. Many of the Greenlee descendants still live on the original land today.