Donald Deronda Stewart (1897-1979), son of William Salem Stewart, Jr. , grandson of William Salem Stewart, Sr., great grandson of Isaac Stewart, great, great grandson of Alexander Stewart

Public transportation in Lexington dates back to the late 19th Century. Beginning with city omnibuses in 1874, the mule car days of 1882, the electric streetcar in 1890, the motor bus in 1938, and the trolley bus introduced in 1982, Lexington has experienced a continuing evolution in its public transportation system.

The evolution in public transportation has been marked by several name changes as privately-owned companies sold or traded the systems. The public transit system first established in Lexington in 1874 consisted of city omnibuses, actually oversize horse-drawn stagecoaches, and was called the Lexington Railway Company. The name was later changed to the Lexington Street railway Company to avoid confusion with the steam railroads. During the streetcar days (1890-1938) the system was known as the Kentucky Traction and Terminal Company and was owned by Kentucky Utilities. However, Kentucky Utilities traded the system to Mr. Donald Deronda Stewart for some coal to run one of their power plants just this side of Pineville on Route 25E. Early in 1938 when motor buses replaced the streetcars Mr. Stewart renamed the system the Lexington Railway System. The Lexington Railway System then became the Lexington Transit Corporation. This name held during two changes in ownership and management until 1972.

D.D. Stewart was also the president of the Kentucky River Mills which had begun making hemp yarns for backs of Brussels carpets in 1878, and started producing binder twine in 1879. Finest quality imported machinery used. Employed 125 persons year round. In 1941, received contract from Navy for $148,500 worth of marine oakum. This was the last hemp factory to operate in Ky., closing down in 1952

For a Brief History of Hemp Production in Kentucky, click here.