Woodworker – Thomas Jefferson HOLDER

Waist up formal portrait of Thomas Jefferson HOLDER

Thomas Jefferson HOLDER 1839-1883

Here is a handsome man who worked with his hands. He had his own woodworking shop near Wynn’s (later LeGuin’s) mill on the Tussahaw creek in Henry County GA near Locust Grove.  The county was created in 1821 and “. . . began as the land of pioneering people who invested their labor and time in exchange for land” according to The New GA Encyclopedia. Much of the area is now being developed for home construction although woods and farms are still plentiful (see pictures of a current farm development – tempting purchase).

Thomas Jefferson HOLDER married Aletha ‘Letha’ DICKERSON in 1857 and had 9 children together according to current research.  Coming from a family of 11 children, his own abundant quiver of children probably felt like home for Thomas. The oldest son was James Solomon HOLDER (see previous post) the father of Eula Mae HOLDER LINN.

Thomas was born on the 2nd of March, 1839 in Forsyth, GA.  The move from Monroe, the county of his birth to nearby Henry county occurred before 1880.  Below is a page from the HOLDER family bible where births were recorded.  T. J. HOLDER is the 11th down on the left side.  His parents are listed first.

HOLDER family Bible of births

Thomas died at the age of 44.  By word of mouth it is known that he must have anticipated his death because he made his own casket, carving roses on the top.

A further description of living at Wynn’s Mill, Tussahaw Creek can be discovered by reading A Home-Concealed Woman. The diary of Magnolia Wynn LeGuin 1901-1913 published by the University of GA press.  Excerpts from the book will be published in a future post about Thomas’ wife Letha DICKERSON as she probably had similar experiences and feelings as Magnolia (don’t you love the name?).

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What Did They Do? Kindred Occupations of Early 1900’s

Farmer, Electrician, Railroad Inspector, Attendant at VA Hospital, Retail Sales, Barber, Dress Maker, Homemaker, are representative of occupations that were prevalent in the years around the great depression of 1929 in Georgia.  Our Kindred Ancestors made a living in all of the above professions.

woman washing with wringer washing machine

James Elmer HOPKINS b 1886 d 1950 lived in Atlanta GA area. He was reported to be a farm laborer when he was just 13 years old and he eventually settled into the occupation of a barber for at least 10 years.

Myrtle Faye DENTON HOPKINS b 1890 d 1985 was a homemaker and raised 5 children.  Originally from TN and settled in Atlanta with her husband James Elmer.

William Washington BARKER b 1898 d 1977 was an electrician after he came back from World War I.  At age 32 he worked for the railroad as a car inspector and  finally ended his career as an attendant at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital. Lived in Augusta GA.

Essie Lee INGLETT BARKER b 1893 d 1980 worked in the 5 & 10 (nickel & dime variety) store and as a sales woman at a florist before she married William Washington in Augusta.  She was a homemaker throughout her married life and raised their daughter.

Max Augustus LINN b 1896 d 1952 was also reported on the census records to be a farm laborer when he was a young lad of 13.  He like, James Elmer HOPKINS, also eventually became a barber in Atlanta. Keeping a trim look must have been quite popular in those days.

Eula Mae HOLDER LINN b 1900 d 1993 was a young wife to Max Augustus and homemaker raising her children in Atlanta.  By the 1940 census, she was working as a dressmaker.  She was quite an active seamstress on the side and did a lot of sewing for her sister.

John Wesley DEAN b 1885 d 1965 was a farmer throughout his entire life in rural south Georgia in a place called Waycross (the railroads converged in this town and “crossed”), near the Willacoochee River and the Withlacoochee River in Atkinson County.

Bessie BURKHALTER DEAN b 1896 d 1971 married John Wesley as a young woman like Eula Mae HOLDER, and was a homemaker raising 9 children on the farm.  Hard working gal.

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WWI Draft of Max Augustus LINN

WWI Draft Card of Max Augustus LINN

WWI Draft Card of Max Augustus LINN

Six weeks after the United States declared war on Germany  on 6 April 1917, all men in the U.S. were required by law to register according to the ‘Selective Service Act’ passed by Congress May 18th to build up it’s military.   There were three  separate registrations:

1st – 5 June 1917 for men age 21 to 31 who were born between 6 June 1886 and 5 June 1896

2nd – 5 June 1918 for men who turned 21 since the first registration or otherwise did not register

3rd – 12 Sept 1918 for men age 18 – 21 and 31 – 45

Max registered in the 2nd group since his birthday came after the cut off date for the 1st registration.  It is estimated that  24 million men in the U.S. completed a World War I registration card which accounted for about 98% of the men under the age of 46.

There are several bits of information that can be gleaned from this card:

B & W Portrait Photo of Max Augustus LINN

Max Augustus LINN 1896-1952

  • Proof of Max’s birth date and place
  • Residence where Max lived
  • His closest family member  which was his wife Eula Mae HOLDER
  • Where he worked (he was a barber)

Seeing his signature, ‘Max A. Linn” helps personalize this kindred man.

Crew Street in Atlanta GA

This is what Crew Street in Atlanta looks like today.

Scrap Quilt by Eula Mae HOLDER LINN

This quilt is estimated to be made in the 1940’s by Eula.  There are clues that help identify the time period:

  • the fabrics used, their colors and patterns
  • the wear, tear, and aging of the quilt
  • the type of batting or filling in between the top and bottom (some now exposed, see detail photo)

Eula Mae HOLDER LINN sewed strips of fabrics onto 7 x 8 newspaper rectangles for each square in the quilt top.  This method is called ‘paper piecing’ or ‘foundation piecing’.  After sewing the fabric onto the paper pattern, the edges would be trimmed and the newspaper torn away.  The backing fabric of the quilt appears to be off white muslin.  Batting is the middle layer between the top and back and then ‘quilted’ or stitched to hold it all together.

Many of the fabrics have the tell – tale signs of having been manufactured in the 1930’s;  the smallish patterns with a ‘halo’ of white background surrounding it.  It was around this time that the fugitive (fading) properties of colors were being overcome.

Scraps are often collected by sewers over a number of years to use in quilts. Since Eula made dresses and other clothing, she had many left overs fabrics from those projects.  Some of those scraps, if not all, made their way into this quilt.

The growing charm of this quilt includes it’s imperfections.  It’s filled with cotton batting that is spilling out in areas of extreme wear.  It’s the type of cotton that behaves as though it just came from the gin, lumping and bunching together, hence the closeness of the quilt stitches in the ‘shell’ pattern.

The odd size of the blocks, the unevenness of the quilting stitches and now, the stains and gaps seem to give hope for our own lives in the face of imperfections.

As can be seen, this was a utilitarian quilt and it got plenty of use.

1940's Scrap Quilt made by Eula Mae HOLDER LINN

Scrap Quilt probably made in the 1940’s by Eula. Size is 58″ x 78″ .

Close up of 1940's scrap quilt made by Eula Mae.
Close up of Eula’s Mae’s quilt. Notice the exposed cotton batting.

The Bedspreads Crocheted by Eula Mae HOLDER LINN

Eula Mae HOLDER LINN was gifted in many ways.  One of those was with a crochet hook and thread in her hands.  It seemed like she was always crocheting something.  When she visited family away from home, one of the first things she requested was a trip to the store to buy some thread.

The pictures below show the basic design of the bedspreads she made.  Each square measures approximately 6″ x 6″ and is made of a fine cotton thread commonly known as “knit cro-sheen”  She would make one square at a time and then sew them together for the finished bedspread.  The bedspread covers a double/queen bed and require 12 squares across and 14 squares down for a grand total of 168 squares.  There are 3 known bedspreads of this exact same pattern and size.  That’s 504 squares.  She really was always crocheting something.

Crochet Bedspread made by Eula Mae HOLDER LINN

Bedspread made by Eula Mae with cotton thread called knit-crosheen.

Crochet Bedspread by Eula Mae HOLDER LINN close up of pattern

A close up of the crochet pattern Eula used.

Eula Mae HOLDER LINN

Portrait of Eula Mae HOLDER

Eula Mae HOLDER was the 3rd child of Alma Josephine JACKSON and James Solomon HOLDER the 10th of December 1900.  Locust Grove, Henry County, GA was where her family resided and she was born.

On the 2nd of Sept 1917 she married Max Augustus LINN in Griffin, Spalding County, GA.

She and Max had 4 children together; 2 that grew to adulthood and 2 that died as babies.

Eula Mae worked at a dress making factory in the finishing department.  She would add belts and sashes to finished dresses among other things.

She was an avid seamstress at home making her own clothes as well as dresses for her sister Mamie, quilts, and doll clothes for her grandchildren.  If she wasn’t sewing she was crocheting.  She could crochet anything.  She had the ability to look at a finished crocheted article and duplicate it.  Some items she crocheted were bedspreads, turtle bags to cover Ivory soap bars, and lots of laced edges on women’s dime store handkerchiefs.

Reading was a great hobby of hers with romance novels being the genre of choice.  She had a jewelry box of costume jewelry brooches (as seen in the picture) and on a shallow, little shelf were displayed her collection of miniature ceramic pitchers.

She and her son bought a victorian house in the Little Five Points area of Atlanta in the 40″s – 50’s and lived in the upper apartment until the last few years of her full life.

She died at home in Covington GA, 1993.

Max Augustus LINN

B & W Portrait Photo of Max Augustus LINN

Max Augustus LINN 1896-1952

Max Augustus LINN was born on the 30th of August 1896 in White, Bartow County, GA.   His father was Western Hardy LINN (yes, Western) and Martha A. GILREATH.

Besides Max’s birth, here are a few other things that occured in 1896:

  • George Burns and F. Scott Fitzgerald were born too.
  • Utah was admitted as the 45th state.
  • John Philip Sousa composed “Stars & Stripes”.
  • The 1st known women’s basketball game was played between Stanford and California.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe and Anton Bruckner died.
  • The 3rd deadliest tornado in the U.S. hit St. Louis killing 255 people and injuring 1000.
  • An earthquake and tsunami hit Japan killing 27,000.
  • H.L. Smith took the 1st X-ray photograph.
  • The first modern Olympics were held in Athens.
  • Gold was discovered in Klondike, Yukon.

He married Eula Mae HOLDER on the 2nd of September 1917 in Griffin, Spaulding County, GA.

He was a barber by trade.

Max and Eula had 4 children together.  Two died in infancy

His death occurred  on the 30th of June 1952 at the age of 55 in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, GA.

Nice bow tie!  He’s looking rather dapper.