Birthplace gone but not forgotten

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Special to The Trimble Banner

The house shown above was exactly 100 years old when it was torn down and replaced with a U.S. Steel house in 1960. The date of construction was burned into the center gable. Duper Craig of Carrollton saved much of the poplar lumber for his use later on. The leftover debris was then burned.

On the same day of the burning, a Stewart relative was buried in the Stewart cemetery, which was located near the house. Folks driving along the highway at the time stopped to inquire how many had died in the fire! This house was located at mile marker 1 on U.S. highway 421 south of Bedford in Trimble County. The yard was shaded by about eight very tall cedar trees, which were cut down at the time the house was dismantled. Because of the beautiful cedar trees some of the Stewart relatives who lived out of state often referred to it in letters as “Cedar Heights.”

The house was built by John Williamson Stewart who was born in Hiawick, Scotland in 1809. He was a shoemaker and justice of the peace who moved from Bedford in 1860 because so many of his children had died from   contaminated well water. He was my great-grandfather who married Jane Duncan of Henry County. My grandfather, Henry Penn Stewart, was born here as well as his brothers and sisters. My father, Robert Bruce Stewart Sr., was also born here, and so was I.