Category: Archive

Texas Irish American Leaders: Ellis Gray Buchanan

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Ellis Gray Buchanan was born July 6, 1938, the only child of Ida Mary Gray and Frank Marion Buchanan. His place of birth was Bulan Kentucky, a small village outside of Hazard, Kentucky. His parents were of Scot-Irish heritage, as are most of the people who settled in the Eastern section of Kentucky.
In 1706, his great-great-great-grandfather, Samuel Buchanan came to America, settling in what is now Eastern Tennessee, next to the Crockett Farm. His great-grandfather, Isaac Stewart Buchanan, died while serving the CSA during the Civil War. Isaac’s oldest, brother, James Buchanan, died at the Alamo.
Growing up in the predominantly Celtic community instilled in Buchanan a positive attitude and curiosity about his heritage. He served his country as an officer in the USAF for 23 years. During this time, he and his family were stationed in Great Britain, with the RAF.
Upon retiring from the Air Force, Buchanan served as a faculty member of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s College of Business for 16 years. Then he and his family returned to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, where he operated medical clinics in the poor and under served counties in Kentucky. He finally retired in 1998, and since then has served as an elder for the Forest Hills Presbyterian Church.
In August, Buchanan will celebrate his 48th wedding anniversary with his wife, Terry Lea Buchanan. They are the proud parents of three beautiful daughters: Wende Lee Buchanan, Larry and Tracee Buchanan-Evans, and Maurya Buchanan and her husband Matthew Morris. He has four granddaughters: Rhiannon Buchanan-Evans, 15, and Raven Buchanan-Evans, 12, Tabitha Duran, 9, and Emma Morris, 2.
Currently, Buchanan serves as president of the Scottish Society of San Antonio (SSSA), as a member of the Harp and Shamrock Society, and as a member of the San Antonio Highland Games Association (SAHGA). He also serves as the Commissioner of Region 9-Texas, for the Clan Buchanan Society International (CBSI). Buchanan and his wife are the conveners of the Clan tent for CBSI at Highland Games in the southern part of Texas.
Buchanan’s vision is to unite the local Celtic organizations into a force to be recognized, so that they all can serve their heritage and support each other’s activities. They have formed a Celtic Council with representatives from each Celtic group. Their first project is to develop a Celtic Calendar, which will list each group’s activities, and eliminate schedule conflicts. Buchanan’s Creed: Spread the Heritage Word – Teach Others to Teach Others.” He is very proud of his Scottish and Irish roots and of his family’s contributions to their country, community, and heritage.

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