When Alma Jackson Holder Died – A Letter and an Obituary

 

Painting by Eugene CarriereAlma Josephine JACKSON HOLDER was born in 1882, married very young and had four children before she died in 1906.  Her obituary is the basis for the letter below.

Dear Alma, 

You were so young when you left your babies. . .  married with four children when you were barely 24 years old. What did you look like?  I’ve never seen a picture of you.  I wonder what your life would have been like had you lived longer?  You had already done so much.  Maturity and responsibility were upon you but illness stepped in your path and changed your direction. Beloved by those who knew you both in and out of your family, I wish I had known more about you.  Thank you for living and birthing my grandmother even though she only had 6 short years with you . . . I think you would have been proud of her.

Sincerely, Your Great Grand Daughter

READ ON:

Alma’s obituary gives the details for the letter written above.  From the Henry County, GA Obituaries 1900-1907 we read:

“Mrs. Jim Holder died at her home near this place on the 30th ult* after a painful illness of several weeks’ duration.  She was the wife of our clever blacksmith Jim Holder who is left with several small children to mourn her loss.  The broken-hearted husband has the heartfelt sympathy of the entire community in his sad bereavement.”

*’ult’ is a typing error for ‘July’

1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA

1900 U.S. Census of Henry County GA

 

 

 

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Eula or Flora? Why We Need Help This Spring

According to the Editors of the Britannica Encyclopaedia, the Romans believed in a goddess named Flora who was in charge of flowering plants.  She ushered in spring and was one of the many deities helpful with reproduction.  People revered the coming of spring so much they started a festival for Flora and even built her a temple.  So silly!

Today, we are smart and Continue reading

Before the Curtain Opens – Program Notes

So, here are our Newly Discovered kindred.  A glimpse of them was caught in the post about Alethia DICKERSON HOLDER highlighted Feb 26 on ‘My Kindred Tree’.

James DICKERSONSarah HOBBS, and Clara McCOY are Alethia DICKERSON’s parents.  Two wives for one man without bigamy or polygamy?  Well, yes.  James married Sarah in 1845 when they were 21 and 19 respectively.  About a year later they had their first and only child, Alethia.  Just six years later Sarah would die at age 25 in young adulthood like many of her siblings (a story for another day).

Six more years pass and James marries Clara McCoy in 1857 during a time of great economic turmoil for the United States.  They both are about 32 years old on their wedding day in January.   Sometime in 1859 they have a son,  little George Monroe. The 1860 census reveals that James was working as a day laborer.  No extra people were listed in the household indicating that he did not have servants or own slaves. Continue reading

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.

Image

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.