Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

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Horace Kephart

  • wcu_picturing-5416.jpg
  • This image of a photograph of Horace Kephart hung above the Carolina Wood Turning Company desk of I.K. Stearns is part of the Stearns-Grueninger Collection. Stearns was the executor of Kephart’s estate after the death of Jack Coburn, the original executor. In this photograph originally taken by George Masa (1881-1933), Kephart is sitting by a tree on what was Mount Kephart, but renamed Mount Collins. The elevation 6187.7 is written on the tree. Irving Kip Stearns (1895-1942) was president of Carolina Wood Turning Company from 1928 until his death in 1942. Stearns’ grandfather, Jeremiah Shank, started the company in 1903 as Bryson City Pump Works and it grew to be a thriving industry for the community. In 1911, Stearns was in the first graduating class of Bryson City High School. He had one son, Joseph Pease Stearns (1917-1948). In 1935, I. K. married Betty Grueninger (1896-1971).