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Stevens Is A Heritage Village Organizer

by Helen Morris

     

Updated on Wednesday*:

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Donald “Duck” Stevens is the son of Francis and Lulu Starcher Stevens. The family lived at Pine Creek, across the river from Cabot Station.

His father helped build the Stevens School, which is now located at Heritage Village. Duck cleaned the school, oiled the floors, and carried coal for the stove.

He remembers teachers Alpha Riddle and Lizzie Reynolds. Riddle’s picture is in the school.

Stevens walked a mile to school, and carried his lunch in a tin pail. His favorite treats were biscuits with butter and jelly, and fried potatoes.

The school was used for all community gatherings. At Christmas, the children would present a program. There were also community cake walks.

Church services were held at the school because the rural area did not have a separate church.

His favorite pastime was fishing and roller skating at the NYA building and at the Sav-A-Tool building.

His father, who died when Duck was about 12, owned two sternwheelers, and served as a pilot. Duck restored one of the wheels and presented it to the Historical Society in memory of his father.

Duck was a mechanic, and worked at Stalnaker Motors, Arnold Motors, and Floyd Motors. The owners changed, but the location remained near the present drive in bank in Grantsville.

                    "Duck" Stevens

Stevens was a radio operator in the Army. The war was almost over, but he was stationed in Korea for 18 months. After returning home, he was employed by Eureka Oil and Gas Co.

Duck married Gloria Basnett on Sept 6, 1959, at Brooksville. Rev. David Calvert performed the ceremony.

                              "Duck" & Gloria Stevens

The Stevens family includes Lydia, a nurse, who lives in Taylor County with husband Dale Freeman; Natasha, a teacher, who lives in Wirt County with husband Greg Tichnell; Mark, a welder for Cabot, who lives in Calhoun with wife Danielle; and Letisha a teacher, and lives in Gilmer County with husband Rick Kinder.

Even though Duck’s health is failing, he is an example to society’s younger members. He has been seen filling pot holes at Calhoun County Park and smoothing concrete in freezing weather.

Jim Bell & Duck Stevens at the Blacksmith Shop

His eyes still twinkle when he goes to the park to watch his friend, Jim Bell, carry out their dreams at Heritage Village.

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