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.

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.

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.