Born on 26 April 1913, Stewart Dellinger was the son of Mary Round McLurd and John
Wesley Dellinger. He was the grandson of Adeline Summerow and Robeson L. McLurd,
who were among the first settlers in Brevard Station.
Stewart's grandmother Adeline McLurd passed on to him stories about the early days in
the new town and perhaps this is what instilled in him a great interest in preserving Stanley's
history. Because of his interest he was dubbed the town's unofficial historian. Stewart would
pass on to anyone willing to listen, the stories that had been told to him about the early days.
Jim Ahern, a reporter with the Gastonia Gazette quoted Stewart Dellinger in the paper on
12 January 1975. "The town isn't what it used to be. For one thing, it didn't used to be Stanley.
Back in the first half of the 19th century, when it was still a part of Lincoln County, the name of
the place was Brevard Station, named after a large landowner. Brevard Station became known
as Stanley Creek, which was named after a gold prospector and the nearby creek where he found
a "little" gold. Mr. Stanley, don't know his first name, came down here looking for gold. He
never found much and kept right on going. Nobody knows where he came from and where he
went, and none of the Stanley family settled in this area."
Stewart Dellinger said, "There was another town nearby which was called Brevard. To avoid
confusion (in the postal system), the townspeople changed the name to Stanley Creek."
"It stayed that way until 1911 and the named was officially changed to Stanley. However, the railroad
objected to that. There was and still is a town up in Randolph County called Staley and the railroad thought
that would confuse people. So the sign which hung over the town's depot continued to read Stanley Creek. "
"Finally in 1933 the railroad caved in and took the sign down." It has been called Stanley ever since.
Stewart Dellinger also told the Gazette, "booze used to be big in Stanley in the old days." "He had
evidence of demon rum in Stanley. His grandfather, R. L. McLurd ran a store in town in the middle of the
19th century and Stewart had in his possession an account ledger his grandfather used. In the ledger credit
was itemized for purchases made by customers."
"For instance there was Peter Smith, a man of few wants. One week he bought a quart of whiskey -
price 25 cents. The next week he bought a plug of tobacco for 20 cents. The third week he bought a
quart of whiskey again. And the fourth he bought another plug of tobacco."
"Now," Stewart told the reporter, "you cannot buy a pint of whiskey anywhere in Stanley." He
thought that was all to the good. The other towns have so much they sell it to each other, but
Stanley is clean."
Stewart also told the reporter of Adeline McLurd's run in with the Yankee soldiers during the Civil
War. "She lived in a farmhouse about a mile or so east of Stanley. (This house is still standing on
Hwy. 27) One day the Yankees showed up and Adaline became concerned for some jewelry she had in a
chest of drawers. She quickly took it out and locked up the drawer. Then she threw
the jewelry out the window and it landed under a rose bush. They never found it, Dellinger says,
but they stole some horses."
He also told that the Yankees shot the chest in an attempt to open it, and that the bullet hole is
still evident today.
"There were two famous storms in the early part of this century," according to Stewart. "The
hailstorm of 1914 was bad. It destroyed everything - all the crops. Down where I live
there is a barn that still has dents in it from that (storm.)"
"Two years later there was the flood which washed Mount Holly away - but didn't hurt
Stanley much because we weren't close to a stream."
Stewart Dellinger attended the local school and then Clemson College. He met and later
married Ruth McLean of Marshall, North Carolina. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs.
Charles L. McLean. Stewart and Ruth Dellinger made their home on Derr Street in Stanley. He
farmed and ran the McLurd Insurance Agency. Edgar Stewart Dellinger died on 4 August
1979 and is buried in Christ Lutheran Church Cemetery. His wife, Ruth, is still living in 1998.
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