Penland Historical Society
      April  -  June  2013               *       *      *      *       *
Nancy Watkins Penland ( 1935 - 2013)
Asheville - Nancy Ellen Watkins Penland, 77, of Asheville, passed away Sunday, April 7, 2013. She was a member of Starnes Cove Baptist Church.   Mrs. Penland was born April 22, 1935, in Buncombe County and was the daughter of the late Charles E. Watkins, Sr. and Nellie Laster Watkins.   She was also preceded in death by her husband, William 'Bill' Penland; sisters, Vivian Green and Joan Watkins; and brothers, Charles, James, Paul, John and Bobby Watkins.   Nancy is survived by her brother, Mark Watkins of Asheville; sister, Betty Daniels of Houston, TX; sister-in-law, Rebecca Watkins of Cleveland, TN; several nieces and nephews, Phyllis (Andy) Cox, Chuck (Becky) Watkins, Jimmy Watkins, Linda (Ron) Kirchhof, Debbie Daniels, Pam Watkins, Mike (Denise) Watkins, Sandra (Paul) Cretton, Beth (Tommy) Wheeler and Vickie (Steve) Simmons; and special friend and neighbor, Audrey Edmonds.   A graveside service will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2013 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Candler with the Reverend Charlie Sams officiating.   Flowers are acceptable and appreciated. Those desiring to make a memorial contribution are encouraged to consider Starnes Cove Baptist Church, 149 Starnes Cove Road, Asheville, NC 28806.   Moore Funeral Home at Forest Lawn, Candler is assisting the family. Visit to sign the online guest book. 
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on April 11, 2013

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Rachel Penland & her baby daughter,  Valerie Sophia
                                   { A Tale of Survival }

  It was Friday  the 4th of January 2013 and Rachel Penland was halfway through her first day at work on a new job.  She was 24 weeks pregnant and she, and David, had moved to Bradenton, Florida a few days earlier to temporarily live with her brother Sean. an Elementary  School Teacher.  Sean is engaged to be married to his fiance Edina in July.  Just after noon, Rachel began to experience a headache and her throat felt sore, maybe the beginning of the Flu she thought, and  then she suddenly realized she had not yet had a Flu shot.   Maybe it was just a lack of sleep with the moving, etc.   Maybe a nap would help, so she asked if she could leave early and  headed home.   Along the way, she called Edina, who insisted she go to the hospital emergency room immediately, and said that she would meet her there.  Rachel drove to the new Lakewood  Ranch Hospital and checked in, and after a short wait, the Nurse gave her an ultrasound that showed her baby girl was progressing well, she was just the right size and was in the correct position, but just to be sure, a few more tests were needed, including one that would reveal whether  there was any danger of her giving birth  within the next two weeks!   Edina arrived and they joked about the test for giving birth early.   Rachel said, "that's insane, I'm simply not ready, it would just be too soon!   But, she breathed a big sigh of relief, and smiled  when that result showed everything to be fine.   The Nurse  said,  "you won't be giving birth to this baby anytime soon!"    However, the Doctor decided that since she wasn't feeling good, it would be best  for Rachel to stay the night in the hospital, so she was assigned to a hospital room.

Earlier that evening Rachel's brother Sean, and David had gone to work at their part-time jobs at the local Longhorn Steakhouse.  When Sean received the cell call from Edina that Rachel was still not feeling well and was being tested to see if the birth was imminent, he decided that it was time for he and David to get to the hospital to find out what was happening.  Their supervisor said, "you leave now and you are fired!"  Sean gave David some money and said, "catch a cab and go, I'll finish up" -- it was a busy friday night!   Later, Sean only hesitated on the way to the hospital long enough to pick up some ''McDonalds," and arrived about 10:30 P.M. to find that everything appeared to be fine.   Sean commented about what a great room they had assigned his sister to, and suggested she try to 'reserve' it for the birth in April -- it looked like a hotel room to him!   The Doctor had prescribed some anti-flu medication for Rachel and she and the baby were to be  monitored throughout the night.  The light-hearted  conversation was suddenly interrupted when Rachel saw something on the monitor that looked like she was having some slight contractions!    That didn't seem possible as she wasn't feeling any pain!   After checking the monitor, the Nurse indicated she was having small contractions possibly because of  flu, strep throat, or pneumonia.   She administered  some medication that  she said would stop the  contractions.     About mid-night Edina decided to stay at the hospital with David & Rachel for the night and Sean went home to rest, get some sleep and be ready to go to work the next day.   An hour later, Edina was on the phone to him with panic in her voice as she said "Sean, get in the car and get here right now, something has happened to Rachel!   Sean said out loud, "Please God, don't let that baby come today!"  As he sped toward the hospital he thought, "should I call our parents in Alexandria, Virginia now, or wait till I know more?"   Edina met him at the front door of the hospital!

About an hour after taking the medication which was not stopping the contractions, Rachel still didn't  feel any real pain but she was becoming nauseous and  began vomiting!  The Nurse gave her some more medication to try again to stop the contractions.    Rachel noticed the baby's heart beat  was  strong but her's now seemed to be  fluctuating.   Suddenly, she realized that something strange was happening!  She felt like she was having some kind of reaction  --  she felt her throat closing  --  it was getting harder to breathe  --  she felt a sense of panic gripping her!   Edina quickly pressed the button to call the Nurse and within a minute or so, several Doctors and nurses were in the room and soon trying to place a breathing mask over her face,  which she was resisting -- and as she began to fade into unconsciousness Rachel faintly heard the word 'c-section',  and for the first time she knew that something was terribly wrong! She frantically looked around trying to find someone she knew so she could  tell them she loved them!   As her eyes slowly closed she just knew she might not ever open them again!

Through a small rectangular window in the hallway door, Sean, Edina, and David saw Doctors and Nurses rapidly entering and leaving Rachel's hospital room!    Sean knew he had to call his parents and let them know Rachel was having trouble.  His Dad did not answer after several rings, so he called his mother and she answered on the first ring!   She could tell from his voice that something was seriously wrong, and as he tried to explain it all to his Dad, Edina said to him, "Sean, they are taking Rachel for an emergency c-section now!"   Kim, their mother,  left immediately for the airport to come to Bradenton!   Sean called his other sister, Ashley in Louisiana  and she said, "I'm on the first plane coming that way!"  Back in the hospital room, Rachel's heartbeat had dropped to a dangerous level and she was experiencing repertory arrest!   The Doctor was concerned that she might be bordering on a heart attack -- she immediately decided that the baby had to be delivered quickly in order to save Rachel's life {it is important to note that this particular hospital does not normally deliver babies under 25 weeks} .   The baby, at 24 weeks might not survive, but if the c-section wasn't done now, the doctor knew neither would likely survive!    She and her staff quickly performed the operation and the baby was rushed to emergency care, kicking and screaming!  She was exceptionally strong for a 17 week early birth!  She measured 11" long, but she only weighed 21 ounces!!   Soon a Nurse came rushing by and told Sean they could see the baby now!  All she could say about Rachel  was that "she is still in surgery!

As they looked at the baby, they both were fighting for their lives!were awestruck by how tiny she was, but she was  moving and kicking just like any other newborn baby would.   Of course she looked translucent, very small, and sure she looked frail, but she was alive and fighting for her life!   Sean thought, " a couple hours ago I was stuffing my face with McDonalds and  here is my newborn niece and her mother may still be in danger of dying!  The Neonatologist told them that the baby's vital signs were strong and it would be a long road ahead, but she might just make it!   She was quickly prepared and flown by helicopter to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, about 40 miles away.  Sean called his Dad to tell him what was happening  --  his mother's plane was already half-way to Atlanta and his Dad said he would be in Bradenton by 6:00 P.M. that evening.

Finally, Rachel was out of surgery and in the ICU where she could be seen!   As Sean & Edina walked in, the seriousness of the situation hit them!   Rachel was still under the anesthesia, she had a breathing tube coming out of her mouth, her eyes were partially rolled back and, she seemed to be attached to every machine in the room.   The Nurse explained that although Rachel looked  asleep, she could hear them talking.  David was holding her hand with tears flowing telling her how much he loved her!   Both Sean & Edina took her hand and, fighting back tears told her how much they loved her and tried to assure her that everything was going to be OK!    Soon the Doctor came in and explained that Rachel's condition had worsened rapidly and it became a matter of 'life and death' so she had no choice but to do the emergency c-section!   The Doctor said that at one point she thought she was losing both of them!  It was clear that this Lady Doctor was an Angel performing the miracle that so many people in Florida, Virginia, Louisiana and Texas had been praying for God to allow!   Clearly, the prayers had been granted and this beloved daughter, sister and grandchild, along with her precious baby were alive and, at this point, fighting for their very lives.

Later that day, Sean made three quick trips to the airport to get his mom, then his dad and finally Ashley.  Throughout the next week, Sean & Ashley were impressed with the strength both of their parents displayed in dealing with this near tragedy!   The family was back together and standing strong in their support of Rachel and baby Valerie!

As Rachel slowly became aware that she was still alive, her eyes seemed to be glued together and she couldn't move any part of her body.    A Nurse leaned down and said her name but Rachel couldn't respond - she started shaking but no sound would come from her lips!   What a relief to look up and see her family there with her!  She spent the next 7 days in the ICU while her baby, which she named Valerie Sophia continued fighting for her life 40 miles  away.   Rachel would have to relearn how to breathe properly , to get her voice back and to get strong enough to leave the hospital.   Sean showed her a video he had made of baby Valerie, and the tears flowed as she, for the first time, looked at the baby she had been carrying - it all seemed so surreal - she had no memory of the birth, yet here was a baby on a cell phone video she was being told was hers!  During the next few days, Rachel's immediate family, Dad, Mom, Ashley, David, Sean and Edina stayed by her side, supporting her in every way all the while thinking what a blessing they were experiencing, that prayers had been answered, hopes had been realized and how much stronger their love had become for each other!   Finally, Rachel walked out of the hospital and immediately went to see her baby in St. Petersburg.   As she looked into the incubator at her daughter, she thought what a little miracle she was  -  17 weeks early - weighing only 21 ounces - yet, alive and fighting to live!   And then it suddenly crossed her thoughts that she, herself, was a miracle - she could very easily have missed all this, and the future with her daughter too!

NOTE:  Although there have been some problems common to most premature babies, Valerie Sophia has continued to fight for her life, and miraculously weighed 6 pounds, 7 ounces at 3 and a half months, { her original due-date}.   She weighed 7 pounds & 7 ounces at four months  and will be coming home soon!   Her Mother, Uncle, Aunt, Grandparents and GGrandparents believe she is truly a miracle, and can't wait to hold her and love her!   And they are all grateful to God for allowing Rachel and Valerie to continue to bless their lives!    { Michael & Kimberly Penland of Alexandria, Virginia are the proud grandparents of Valerie Sophia, and  Charles & Phyllis Penland of Selma, Texas;  and Juanita Patterson of Tampa, Florida, all count it a real 'blessing from God' to be her Great Grandparents }

NOTE:   Today, there are many abortions of babies up to 24 weeks,  The old argument is that a 'fetus' is not a baby until it is outside the womb and breathing air!   Valerie, at two months on the sonogram looked like a baby & at 17 weeks early we found out she was a real baby  --  Has anyone ever seen a fetus born as anything other than a human child?
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The following was excerpted from an on-line article by the same title!

Alex Pendlum & The Underwood--Holbrook War                                         of
                              1877 - 1879
Carter County, Kentucky..... The majority of violence which occurred in this sectional feud, occurred between the years 1877 and 1879.   The participants were primarily the progenitors of the George Underwood, Squire Holbrook and Stamper families and their offspring.  Like most of the feuds of the latter half of the nineteenth century which broke out after the Civil War, the common threads wee fierce independence and continuing animosity resulting from the political differences which caused the Civil War.  The resultant continuation of the differences, which brought about the War, altered the behavior of many of the soldiers until passage of time soothed the wounds, or the participants died.   Many of these people didn't believe that what they did was wrong.   Similar actions, which had taken place in time of war, were after the War, deemed to be illegal.   Morally, protecting a relative who had been accused of horse theft, was acceptable to their conscience.  During the War it was common behavior for troops to raid the farms of known opposition sympathizers, and steal their horses.   The goal was to procure mounts for the cavalry of one's own army.   Some less than savory characters took horses and turned them into profit, regardless of the purchaser.   Following the close of the Civil War, a favorite cash crop for some Eastern Kentucky men, was stolen horses.   Two such individuals were John Richards Tabor, who was commonly known as Jake, and his comrade John P. Martin. ........................................

Tabor reportedly "sank lower and lower in social level until in the early part of 1877, he shot at James Carey and then fled Morehead to avoid retribution and prosecution.   Not long afterward Tabor was found aboard an Ohio River steamboat in the possession of several horses that had been stolen in Rowan County.   With him, as his partner, was John Martin, a thorough going scroundel who had just been acquitted of the murder of his brother in law (Preston Blair).   The pair were arrested and given bail and evidently had a change of heart, for soon afterward they appeared at the home of old George Underwood.   They requested his help in settling down......................George told them he had no land for them...................but he helped them arrange to live on a nearby farm, so the two horse theives and their families settled in Carter County at the head of Upper Tygart's Creek.   Living nearby, was what one person described as, "vengeful spirits who never bend," in the form of the Squire Holbrook family and the Stamper clan.   These two families had supported the Democratic Party and the Confederacy in the Civil War, and reportedly they were ungracious losers. ............The feud which became known as the Underwood War or the Underwood - Holbrook Feud, broke out in full fury in 1877, just after a prized young horse, which belonged to the Stamper family, was discovered missing.   Blame for its disappearance was placed on Alex
Pendlum, a friend of both Martin & Tabor.   Pendlum was reportedly a well connected man in Rowan County.  ...........  The outcome of the indictment of these men in the horse theft was that Martin, Tabor and Pendlum all received an anonymous notice to leave the county or die. ...........   Within a few days, the Holbrooks and Stampers dispatched Pendlum to his reward, by shooting him from ambush.   Notice was given to all concerned that anyone who assisted Pendlum from his demise, by calling a Doctor, or later attending his burial, would meet a similar fate.   George Underwood refused to be intimadated by the threats.   He attempted to obtain a Doctor for Pendlum and was shot eight times from ambush, while riding through the woods enroute to pay a call, "on a dead neighbor".   George's horse carried him home! ....  end of excerpt.
We know that Alexander Penland migrated to Kentucky in 1777 and later died in Fleming
County in 1813.   One source says his son George & grandson Alexander were BOTH assasinated in 1877 during the above feud.   The fact that Alexander, the grandson was  referred to as 'Pendlum'  in the above story is interesting in that the name was spelled that way first by Alexander's youngest son, John Steele Penland who was one year old when his father and grandfather were killed.   His descendants have continued to use the name "Pendlum" down through the years.   {see a following article about a recent DNA test for a member of the Pendlum branch compared to the other branches}

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     * Cash in the bank as o89**f 31 Dec 2012.....................      $ 6,243.54
         Expenses for the year 2012 
                     Postage, Envelopes.....................      $ 116.99
                     Copying.........................................           79.20
                     Cost of PHS Web-Site.................       287.88
                            Total Cost for 2012...............                       $ 484.07
      *  Cash in the bank as of 31 Dec 2012 (revised)........  $ 5,794.47

As previously reported, our faithful Treasurer, Judy Penland passed  away during the latter part of the past year.   The funds in the bank were transferred to me and I have established a new bank account.   New member & renewal dues should be forwarded to:  Charles Penland, 15612 Echo Lane, Selma, Texas  78154    Any questions?  Contact me at 210-501-4343 (leave message if I am unable to answer! )  my e-mail:   .................
...........Charles Penland, President, PHS
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David looks at his daughter @  2 days old
         Grandpa  Michael                 Rachel begins feeding  Valerie        Grandma  Kimberly
{Valerie  Sophia  -  Now 7 & one half pounds @ 4 mos.}
Valerie Sophia  -  " A  Miracle  Little  Girl!!! 
Valerie Sophia  was born 5 January (17 wks early)
    She weighed  21 ounces & was 11 inches long

    Uncle  Sean  &  soon-to-be  Aunt  Edina