The following story was written by the late Jack L. English in February 2009. It is used with permission from his family.

Mrs. Nellie Stewart Buchanan on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 1977. She died in 1980 at the age of 103.

My great grandmother was Nellie Stewart born May 11, 1877. She married Doss Buchanan. They had the first telephone in the county and the rising young ladies sought Nellie’s counsel on a variety of topics. I loved Nellie and miss her, even though she died June 2, 1980 at the age of 103! I once asked her why she thought she had lived so long and she replied “Well, I always ate a lot of pork.” She could recite the 88th Psalm from memory and had an excellent mind, right to the end.

Nellie’s father was Isaac Stewart b.1845 here, though it was Yancey County til 1861. Isaac married Martha Burleson. Isaac was the first Postmaster at Penland. He was a storekeeper with his store at the “Flatrock” between Spruce Pine and Bakersville on the old road. In those days (1880’s) when someone bought store-bought goods, their name was written in the ledger as to what they owed. When Ike died of “Consumption” people decided they no longer owed their debts and failed to pay their balances. Martha had 11 children and no money without Ike. So, two of her children, one being Nellie, were sent to live in the orphanage at Oxford, N.C. (The orphanage was run by the Masons). Isaac was a Mason. Nellie lived there for two years before coming home. Nellie would marry Doss Buchanan, son of Arthur and Betsy Duncan Buchanan. They had three children Mrs. Glennie Buchanan Hollifield (Misher), Mrs. Zula Buchanan English (Milton), and Mr. Fate Buchanan (Emma Lee Sparks).

Mrs. Emma Lee Sparks Buchanan (Fate), Mrs. Nellie Stewart Buchanan, Mr. Doss Buchanan. Stewart Homeplace on Stewart Hollow, Penland. Date unknown.

Isaac’s father was Jackson R. Stewart, b.1807 in Anson County, N.C. “Jack” was sheriff of Yancey County and one tough character. He married a Howell. Jack resigned his commission as a Captain in the Confederate army at age 59 as “I’m getting too old for soldiering” as he wrote in his letter of resignation. After coming back to the county, he got involved with the militia and took several horses from the Gouges “for the Southern Cause” as he put it. He left with the horses just a short while before the Gouge boys got home. Their mother told them what happened and they lit out after Jack, catching him and shooting him dead at the head of Cub Creek. There is a huge rock there where he was killed and it’s still known by the old-timers as “Jack’s Rock.”

Jack’s father was Isaiah Stewart b.1776 in Anson County, N.C. He married Barbara “Barbry” Howell. Isaiah died from a falling chestnut limb while cutting timber, Barbry died from a massive rattlesnake bite, Frances Frankie” Stewart Silver was hanged in 1833 for killing her husband Charlie with an axe in December, 1831 at Kona, N.C. and finally, Isaiah’s son Blackstone was hanged for horse stealing! My Stewarts had a rough go of it.


Isaiah Stewart’s father was born in 1739 in Rowan County, N. C. later to be called Anson County. He married a Priscilla LNU. And his father was Isaac Stewart born 1709 in Appoquiminey, Pa. which is now Delaware. He married Nancy Cook and they migrated down to North Carolina.

Isaac’s father was John Stewart b. December 22, 1675 in Stirling, Scotland. In 1698, he sailed from Scotland to New Amsterdam and got married in 1700 to Jacomina Des Marets in the Dutch Reformed Church in Hoboken, New Jersey. John’s father was Alexander Stewart who married Beatrix Mushet.