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By Marshall McClung
When you see Nina Breedlove it is hard to imagine that she is 91 years old. Her appearance and manner are that of someone much younger.
Nina was born on lower Stecoah and was a Jenkins. She married Spurgeon Breedlove who was from Swain County in 1942. They were married in Blairsville, Georgia. Nina was 39 years old at the time of their marriage. Most women married at a much younger age in those days, usually in their early teens. Nina joked and said "I chased him for ten years until he finally caught me!" The couple had no children. Spurgeon farmed and worked on some construction jobs, including Fontana Dam.
The Breedlove's sold their property in Tuskegee and moved to Greenback, Tennessee for a time. A brother lived in nearby Maryville. The couple operated a small farm there. Spurgeon did his plowing with a mule. When Spurgeon's health began to fail, the couple -moved back to Graham County. Nina said she liked Tennessee okay and that the people were friendly mountain folks, but she liked Graham County better.
Nina said they always made do with what they grew on the farm when she was growing up. She can remember seeing all the hillsides around Stecoah being planted in corn. These same hillsides are now covered in trees. She remembers when people only grew tobacco for their own use, "a little for chewing purposes." Like most women of her day, Nina used snuff.
Nina said she attended a one room school that sat near Tootie's Cafe close to the Monroe Edwards residence in Stecoah. She was out of school for several years, then went back and finished and graduated in 1932. Nina said she professed religion when she was about 11 years old, but wasn't baptized until about age 15. She has been a member of a church since that time, and taught Sunday School and sang in the choir for many years. She joined Stecoah Baptist Church at age 15, moved her letter to Tuskegee Baptist Church when she was married, then back to Stecoah.
When her husband died, Nina lived by herself until age 89 when her health got bad. She now live-s with a niece, Gladys Lequire in Stecoah. Living a long life seems to run in Nina's family. She has a cousin, Martin Jenkins who is 102 years old.
Nina has twenty nieces and nephews. A daughter of one of her nieces, Delilah "Dee" Cable takes Nina out for a drive on a regular basis. They take trips to Nantahala, Santeetlah, Tuskegee, Sawyer's Creek and all around.
Agriculture Arts and Crafts Cherohala Skyway Cherokee Nation Churches
Education Election Information Emergency Services Family Resources Fontana Dam
Forestry Facts Genealogy General Information Government Health Care
Hiking/Camping History Local Color Library Map of Graham Co. Media
N.C. Forest Service Real Estate Swan Cabin Sheriff's Department Travel & Tourism
U.S.F.S. District HQ U.S. Forest Service Utility Services Weather Forecast Wildflowers
These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
For additional information on Graham County Adventures
the Travel and Tourism Authority or
go to the Visitors Information Center of the Travel and Tourism Authority Webpage
or call 1-800-470-3790 or 828-479-3790 Fax 1-828-479-4733
This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina