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