Odella, or Della HARKNESS married James S. HOLDER in 1909 when she was about 35 years old. It was a first marriage for her but a second one for Jim, as he was known. Her new husband’s daughters, Bertha, Eula, and Mamie made her an instant mother. The three little girls lost their birth mother, Alma JACKSON 3 years earlier.
There are several childhood remembrances of a living relative that add a bit of texture to knowing Della better. It seems that childhood memory is a lot like taking a snapshot with a camera, it captures details of a moment in time that often become the only thing recalled for an entire event, vacation, or year.
Here are a few memories: Continue reading
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.