James Solomon HOLDER

James Solomon was the 2nd child of Thomas Jefferson HOLDER and Alethia ‘Letha’ DICKERSON, born on March 6th, 1871 probably in Henry County, GA.  Sometime in his 14th year, his father died at the age of 44, leaving him the oldest male in the family.

Yes, he’s the one who eloped with his bride Alma Josephine JACKSON in 1897.  The 1900 census reveals that he was farming next door to his brother John where his mother and two younger siblings lived.

He had been married three years by 1900, had 2 children and a house boarder by the name of Madison P. HOLDER age 53.  There is probably a familial relationship with the boarder but it has yet to be determined. Any educated guesses?

Like his father, J.S. found a career working with his hands.  He was a Blacksmith with his own shop by 1910, a career path he would follow the rest of his life.  He had suffered the death of Alma just 4 years earlier.  His daughter Eula recalled that he employed a black ‘Mammie’ to help care for and raise his 3 little daughters until he remarried in 1909.

Delia or ‘Della’ Odessa HARKNESS would be his 2nd wife.  They lived in McDonough, Henry county, GA.  Della began her married life by becoming an instant mother to James’ girls.  That first year of marriage she also shared her home with with a niece, Sallie McDaniel, age 71 (old niece, huh?) and 4 lodgers.

At age 48, James and Della were living in a rented home in Griffin, Spalding county, still working as a blacksmith.  They resided in Griffin until James’ death in 1939. He is buried at New Hope Methodist Church Cemetery in Locust Grove, Henry county GA.

Alma Josephine JACKSON HOLDER

 

She was only 15 when she married.  Without her father’s knowledge or approval, she climbed out the window to elope with James, age 26.  He was waiting outside her window.  That was September 30th, 1897. . .

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It appears that Alma Josephine’s mother died when she was 9 years old leaving her father Elsberry JACKSON a widow at age 46.

About 9 months after Alma and James married, their first child Bertha Lane was born on July 1st 1898.

The following year in 1899, a son, Lindon C. was born. She was 17 years old and Bertha was 14 months old.

Another 14 months later, in Dec of 1900, Alma Josephine JACKSON delivered her 3rd baby, Eula Mae when she was 18 years old.  Eula was 8 days old when little Lindon died.

Three years later Mamie Lee was born in 1903.

It’s not hard to imagine how Alma filled her days with 3 little children to care for.

Alma’s father, Elsberry JACKSON never forgave James Solomon HOLDER for taking and marrying his young daughter.  He threatened to kill him if he ever saw him and would sit on his porch with a shotgun in his lap.  Apparently James wasn’t fond of his father-in-law either because it was remembered that Alma would sneak out with her girls to visit their dad and grandfather.

Alma died in 1906 at the age of 24.  The cause of death has not been discovered.

It all happened in Henry County, Georgia.  Mostly in Locust Grove, a town named after a grove of locust trees seen from the town.  The railroad was key to the town and its economy, carrying cotton, peaches and other produce  from the farming area.  In 1900, the town itself had a population of 254.  Alma, James and the children all lived there.  Alma and James were eventually buried there.

Sisters, Sisters . . .

Sisters.  There were three of them.  Eula Mae HOLDER was the middle sister of three little girls who lived in Locust Grove, Henry County, GA with their parents Alma Josephine JACKSON and James Solomon HOLDER.

Bertha Lane HOLDER

Bertha Lane HOLDER

Bertha Lane HOLDER born 1 July 1898 was the firstborn .  She married John H SPEIR and they had one child.  It’s believed that Bertha had some higher education beyond elementary school.  It may seem a funny thing to note, but higher education was not an expected privilege for most girls in the early 1900’s.  Bertha could also play the piano.  This beautiful young woman’s life was shorter than her sisters.  She died a few weeks after her 21st birthday on the 20th of Aug 1919.  It would be of interest to find out the cause of death.

Cemetary Marker with Little LambAlthough not a sister,  Lindon C. HOLDER, the only son of James and Alma was born on the 24th of Sept in 1899. He died at 15 months of age on 18 Dec 1900.

Eula Mae HOLDER

Eula Mae HOLDER

Eula Mae HOLDER was the 2nd sister born on the grand date of December 10th, 1900.  She would have been 8 days old when her brother died.  It can only be imagined what a difficult time Alma, the mother would have suffered. Eula married Max Augustus LINN. They had 4 children, 2 of whom reached adulthood. Eula had an elementary school education up to the 8th grade. She worked as a dressmaker until her retirement.  She loved to read, sew, crochet and tat. She died at her son’s house in Covington, GA at the age of 92.

Mamie Lee HOLDER as a Young Woman

Mamie Lee HOLDER

Mamie Lee HOLDER was the last sister born 4 March 1903 in Locust Grove like the other girls.  She would have been 3 years old when her mother Alma died in 1906 and was 6 years old when her father married Della HARKNESS.  Mamie married William Albert EVANS on Dec 2, 1919 and lived most of her life in Griffin, Spalding County, GA.  She and her husband owned and worked a general store that serviced the local community which included both blacks and whites.  Mamie and Bill never had children but hosted their niece many summers.  She was known to like cake.  Through the years, especially during hard economic times she employed her sister Eula to sew dresses for her which was mutually beneficial to each.  She lived to be 100 years old.