Skip to main content

Full text of "Biographical memorial of the Holt family"

See other formats

I N o 

.^^^ ^^^^-I'. V..' o^;^-; %/ ;^k'- \.o^ •^^'^' 

'/ V-^'/ 'V* 

" .^"-^^^ 





^1 V*^ W^° ^vpV l^^ 




Biographical Memorial 

of the 


Comprising an account of Hezekiah Holt 
and his deceased descendants. 


t'" , 

AOG .0 1915 

"The birds are glad; the briar rose fills 
The air with sweetness; all the hills 
Stretch green to June's unclouded sky; 
But still I wait with ear and eye 
For something gone which should be nigh, 
A loss in all familiar things, 
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings. 
And yet, dear heart, remembering thee 
Am I not richer than of old? 
Safe in thy immortality 
What change can reach the wealth I hold?" 


The purpose of this little work is to give an account of the 
lives and characters of the deceased members of the family of 
Hezekiah Holt, for the benefit of their friends and descendants, 
and to present a few examples of their literary efforts which seem 
worthy of preservation. We have availed ourselves of the services 
of several friends who have been intimately acquainted with the 
various members of the family, and desire here to express our great 
indebtedness to these friends and cordial thanks for the contributions 
so cheerfully made. 

Chicago, June 9, 1902. 


Nicholas Holt, the progenitor of the Holts with whom this 
sketch is concerned, was born in Komsey, England, in 1602, and 
came from England to Massachusetts in the year 1635 and settled 
at Newbury. From this place he afterwards removed to Andover, 
where he died in 1685. In early life he was a tanner, but after 
settling in this country, he devoted himself to agriculture and ac- 
cumulated a fair amount of property. A few years before his 
death he divided his property among his children and, m the in- 
strument in which this division is recorded, he styles himself a 
dish-turner (orobably a manufacturer of wooden ware.) 

He was three times married and had ten children, eight of 
whom were married and had children. The name of his first wife, 
whom he married in England, is unknown. In 1864 the number 
of his descendants of the sixth, seventh and eighth generations 
was over 2,300. Nicholas Holt was a religious man and attained 
some prominence in the community in which he lived, as is shown 
by the record that he was several times appointed on important 
committees for laying out roads and defining the boundaries of 

The following table exhibits the descent of Hezekiah Holt in 
a direct line from Nicholas Holt: 















































•— * 
















^ ^ 


















p — — 

i-t Cfl N 

N- — "^ 

O C/3 P 
- r-h -1 

►M O 3 
VJ 3 C 

VJ "-" j^ 


^ ON 

• O 

• 00 



















I— ( 












p s 

-t p 




?s ?^ 


























*The name of the first wife of Nicholas Holt is not known 

Ihe above table is compiled from the Genealogy of the Holt 


Family, written by Mr. Durrie, formerly of Madison, Wis., which 
is to be found in the Chicago Public Library. The book is unfor- 
tunately out of print, 

*"George Holt came to Hampton in 1726 and bought the farm 
where Capt. Jacob lived of Ebenezer Abbe of Mansfield." 

*More correctly Hampton. "He is the first of the name who has 
a tombstone in Hampton, Connecticut." (From a letter by Erastus 


Hezekiah Holt was born at Hampton, Conn., June 6th, 1803. 
His father was a prosperous farmer and his early life was spent 
on the farm and in attending the district school. So far as kmown 
he had no other schooling, but his education was above the average 
for his place and time. He taught school for several terms and 
also followed the occupation of his father. In 1829 he married 
Harriet Gary. From this union were born six children. Charles, 
the second in age, died in infancy ; the others lived to adult life. 
Three of the children were born in Connecticut, the rest in Illinois. 

Late in the fall of 1836 Mr. Holt, with his wife and two children, 
Erastus and Hezekiah, removed to Illinois. The six weeks' journey 
was begun by carriage, but the approach of winter, with its snowy 
roads, necessitated changing the carriage box from wheels to a 
sleigh. It was a toilsome journey, full of adventure and novelty, 
not unmixed with pleasure. They managed always to find hospi- 
tality in wayside inns for the night. Unfortunately, the details of 
the journey have not been preserved. Upon arriving in Illinois he 
took up land in DuPage county, about three miles from the town 
of Warrenville, which was then one of the most important places 
in the county. He chose a picturesque location in the woods, upon 
which he built a log house with one room below and one above, 
the upper one reached by a ladder. To the main part was added 
a lean-to for a kitchen. In this house he lived until 1844, when his 
increasing family and added prosperity made him feel the need of 

a more commodious dwelling. The site for this was chosen on 
another part of the farm one and one-half miles from the new town 
of Wheaton. This frame dwelling contained eight rooms and was 
for those times almost a palace. Here, with generous hospitality, 
he entertained the stranger as well as his friends. He was always 
ready to help the needy and no one sought shelter under his roof 
in vain. 

In addition to the task of subduing the unbroken prairie and 
developing the material resources of the new country, he entered 
heartily into plans for the intellectual and moral culture of the 
community. He opened a school in his own house and afterwards 
became one of the first teachers in the Gary's mill schoolhouse. 
He took an active interest in the affairs of the church and was a 
strong anti-slavery man. Some years before his death, he left the 
Methodist Episcopal church, to which he belonged, and joined the 
Wesleyan Methodists, with whom he remained until his death. He 
died August 24th, 1850, after a few hours' illness, from cholera. 
He was buried on his farm, but his remains were afterwards re- 
moved to the Wheaton cemetery. 

Flis was a character dominated by religion. One who lived in 
his family says he cannot remember ever hearing him pass a joke 
or give utterance to one single vain or idle word, so great, so 
overwhelming was his sense of the seriousness of life and the vast- 
ness of the issues to be determined by death, which was always 
imminent. His soul was so full of the presence of God and the 
overflowing happiness resulting therefrom, that he often gave ut- 
terance to his joy in unusual places and at unusual times. A friend 
states that she remembers his coming to her house to borrow a 
plow, and while leaving with the plow on his back, he became so 
overcome with this spiritual joy that he laid down the plow and gave 
voice to his happiness in praise to God. Another friend said : "I 
remember him as the most holy man I ever knew." 

As a husband and father he was more than ordinarily kind, 
affectionate and indulgent. In a letter now in the possession of 
the family, written by his wife to his brother shortly after his 


death, she says : "He daily lived religion and that was his theme." 
Then she speaks of a terrific thunder storm a few days before 
his death, which impressed him greatly by its wonderful sublimity. 
She says further, "I think it may be said his house was set in 
order both spiritually and temporally." 

He showed literary taste early in life, carefully copying bits of 
poetry with which he came in contact. He exhibited an unusual 
gift for poetic expression. His taste was rather somber and de- 
cidedly religious. The uncertainty of life and the need of a right 
use of it impressed him very strongly and these ideas appear again 
and again in his writings. An old copy book is extant which con- 
tains a number of acrostics on the names of his friends. This 
seems, indeed, to have been his favorite form of composition, and 
the following is a good example of the outpourings of his muse : 

Feb. 20, 1828. 
Jasamine flowers, the glowing dama.'^k rose, 

Ornate ranunculus, that with bright crimson glows, 

Hyacinth of purest virgin white, 

Narcissus too, that so allures the sight, 
From the soft wing of vernal gales shed round, 
Refreshing odors scent the garden round — 

A semblance to the youth those roses bear. 

Nature hath graced vvith glowing beauty fair; 
Complete in outward charms and with a mind 
Inscribed with mental powers and grace combined, 

Since all external charms v;ill fade away, 

Primroses, pinks look fresh, and then decay — 
Adorned with Christian graces may you be, 
Replete with faith, and hope and charity. 

Know these will last and brighter still will grow 

High in the heavens when all things fail below, 
Unstained with guilt may you, when called to die. 
Rejoice in hope and have a Saviour nigh; 

Singing His praise may you reach heaven's shore. 

There sing redeeming love forever more. 

By Hezekiah Holt. 


We quote the following sentences from one of his letters to 
show some of his sentiments in his own words : 

"I consider prayer the life of a Christian as much as the breath 
is to the body, especially secret prayer." O, how important it is 
that we should watch and pray continually and that we should pray 
in faith. What great things have been accomplished through faith, 
which is "The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things 
not seen." .... 

"It appears that the abolition cause is advancing, which we be- 
lieve to be of God, and that colonization is on the wane, and we 
hope it will soon die because we believe it originated from beneath 
from the prince of darkness." 

"I expect that the time will soon come when either the oppressed 
shall be set free and every yoke shall be broken or some great 
calamity may befall this nation. We believe that slavery is a sin 
under all circumstances, and we might as well tell a sinner to 
hold on to any other sin as the sin of slavery, for fear of conse- 
quences. I believe it is always more safe to do right than to do 
wrong, let what may follow." 

The following is a reproduction of two pages of his copy book, 
showing his careful handwriting: 

<z^ -e^^^c-^y^ -^^^T'-iT'y^ I- ■-«^^iar-*fcv-'i?£-<^ ' 

e^^^c^^ ^ai^<?' G^-^z^ .5^z.£^.4^"^2^^ ^^^^'^^.ola7^/'^^rf^'*i^, 

(2<^^C2*<.<-- ^<<^^2^^' co^.-^/'c^-^^ ^^>^'-^^ui/^ ^^^^'^^^ 


C/^^^c^^^y<^ 2:C^ y^'^^^--^^^^ Z^S.^^^-''^ 

% ^ ^t^ c4^ <&i- -2^^ t:^^"^r^^^-^ c^^^ 



Harriet Gary was born August 13, 1808, at Pomfret, Conn. 
Notwithstanding her limited opportunities for education she ob- 
tained a good knowledge of the practical branches. She earned 
her living by doing housework for a wellTto-do neighbor, and her 
culinary and housekeeping skill might well be coveted by girls of 
the present day. She was married to Hezekiah Holt April 13, 
1829. Left a widow at the age of 42, with five children, only one 
of whom was grown to manhood, she brought them up with rare 
wisdom and earned a gratitude and affection which was abundantly 
shown during her declining years. 

Her character was marked by unselfish thoughtfulness and prac- 
tical wisdom. Though painfully diffident and sensitive by nature, 
she bravely fought life's battle. Her cares still continued until past 
middle life, as the illness of Erastus and the death of his wife neces- 
sitated her assuming the care of his children, who became a part 
of her family. How lovingly and faithfully she filled a mother's 
place to them words cannot express, and that her care was appre- 
ciated was clearly demonstrated by their affection for her. Her 
family always remained united m purpose and what concerned one 
concerned all. She was greatly interested in the education of her 
children and she showed by her corrections of their errors in speech 
how observing and careful she was in her use of language. Her 
intuitions were keen and she seldom failed in her judgment of 

Although there was need for economy in rearing her children, 
the stern necessities of life did not crowd out the finer qualities 
of her nature. There was always good reading in her home, mostly 
in the shape of magazines and papers of the day. She was fond 
of general literature, but the Bible was her favorite book. She 
loved music and flowers and believed in their cultivation as a source 
of happiness to the home. 

She was converted and joined the M. E. church about the time 
of her marriage, and always remained a consistent member. She 


.■ -^i^d^^f^ ^7^iA.C^^ drL£.<h'y^(^r c:rU''^^ 

was timid anrl slow to express religious belief or emotion, but her 
faith showed itself in acts of kindness, especially to the poor and 
unfortunate, which endeared her to all classes. I remember a poor 
old German woman who used to make Mrs. Holt's house a stopping 
place for rest on her way from town, and Mrs. Holt, no matter 
how busy with other duties, would stop to get the woman a cup 
of tea and lunch. The poor woman could not express her gratitude 
in I<:nglish, but her face spoke volumes. She was constantly show- 
ing by such acts the underlying kindness of her heart. "Inasmuch 
as yc have done it unto one of these, my brethren, ye have done it 

unto me." 

With advancing years she never seemed old, for her heart was 
young. She ])assed peacefully away after a short illness of j^neu- 
inonia, November lO, 1885. 

We extract the following from the funeral address made by the 

Ucv. S. Stover. 

"She was a quiet, unassuming woman, but as firm as the granite 
bills of her native New England. Without murmuring .she took 
up the task assigned her by the I^'ather, and with bis help finished 
it. She was born a helper and a guide; the cares of others .she 
lightened and made their ])aths smooth. Home was her kingdom; 
here she was queen, and her scepter was love. 

"In those days our church for preaching, in this vicinity, was 
the house of Charles Gary, that man of princely mind and Christ- 
like heart. Our chapels for i)raycr meeting were the homes of any 
of the members of the church. One of these snug, sweet places 
for prayer was the house of I:Irother and Sister Holt. I recall a 
prayer meeting there in the winter of 1841, at which at least four 
of her brothers and sisters were present." 



Erastus Holt was born May 6, 1830, at Pomfret, Conn. He 
came with his father to the West in 1836 and grew up in the new 
country, experiencing the rigors of pioneer hfe and molded by the 
influences that formed the character of the early settlers of the 
West. His love for nature was fed by the associations of his 
childhood and became one of the dominant traits of his mature 
character. His earliest education was received at his father's school 
and at a select school taught by his aunt, Mrs. Rickard, and others 
at Warrenville. Upon the removal of the family to the new house 
he was sent to the district school. This school was situated mid- 
way between his home and his uncle, Jesse Wheaton's. When 
Wheaton College was built he became a member of the first class 
and attended there for several terms. He was a student of more 
than ordinary ability, an especially brilliant mathematician and a 
fluent writer. He was one of the early teachers at the Gary mill 
schoolhouse, but he loved best an out of door life and chose to 
continue farming, to which he added the nursery business, being 
especially fond of trees and plants, and unusually well informed in 
regard to their varieties and culture. In 1858 he was married to 
Miss Hannah Sophia Ballou, and about this time undertook an 
agency for the sale of reapers in partnership with his brother Heze- 
kiah. This business venture proved very successful. While his 
temperament was decidedly artistic and poetic, he was by no means 
lacking in practical qualities, being a shrewd and successful busi- 
ness man. He was never physically strong, but this lack of strength 
was, in a measure, compensated for by careful and intelligent man- 
agement. He was inventive and turned his attention, at times of 
leisure, to the working out of schemes for the improvement of 
farm macbinery. He invented a hayloader, for which he made a 
model, showing very careful workmanship. The invention was 
patented, but was never actively pushed before the public. He took 
great interest in the advance of science and was a regular sub- 
scriber to the Scientific American. 




Obedient to the political principles of his father, he identified 
himself with the anti-slavery cause, which was represented by the 
Republican party. Some of his poetic writings show the feelings 
evoked by the campaign in which Fremont was the candidate of 
the Republicans. He was, however, never very active in politics, 
and never a seeker of public office, although he was assessor for 
several terms, a popular tribute to his honesty and business sagacity. 

His domestic relations were especially happy, his wife being in 
every sense a true helpmeet and a most lovely character. She 
died after a short illness May 2, 1864, leaving him with three chil- 
dren, Edward, Grace and Herbert, ranging in age from five years 
to six months. He, with his children, went to his mother's home 
to live. His wife's death was followed by a severe illness, and, a 
little later, bv a slight pulmonary hemorrhage. Upon his recovery 
he determined to try the climate of California, but owing to some 
misunderstanding he failed to secure a suitable berth in the ship 
in which he was to sail, and so gave up the trip. Instead he spent 
some time in Connecticut among his relatives, and re- 
turned with health very much improved by the change. In 1869 
new evidences of failing health led him to seek the highlands of 
Tennessee. He was accompanied by his son Edward. For a time 
he seemed to have completely recovered, but a severe cold brought 
the disease into renewed activity. After a few months' illness he 
died of consumption. May 21, 1872. When his relapse occurred 
his mother and his daughter went to Tennessee and remained until 
after his death, which occurred at the home of his sister, Mrs. 
Brown, with whom he and Edward lived. Thus, away from the 
dearly loved home of his childhood, but surrounded by home folks, 
he passed peacefully to his reward. His body was buried in Ten- 
nessee, but was removed a few years later to the Wheaton cemetery. 

Erastus was one of the trustees of the first church built in 
Wheaton and was a consistent member. Although extremely dif- 
fident and undemonstrative in his religious life, he was, in the 
words of one of the pioneer ministers concerning him, "of the salt 
of the earth." He was always identified closely with the musical 


part of the church and Sunday-school, being possessed of a re- 
markably sweet voice and a more than ordinary love for music. He 
was active in Sunday-school work as teacher, superintendent and 
chorister. His later life, so full of trouble, developed and inten- 
sified a most beautiful Christian character. He was a cheerful, 
loving, indulgent father. His daughter Grace says: "I do not 
remember much about his life, being so young when he went to 
Tgnnessee, but I remember how I used to pity the other children 
because he was not their father, too." Space will not permit me 
to dwell longer upon the many admirable traits of this loved brother, 
who was to me from my earliest recollection the ideal of a perfect 

While religious zeal and solemnity of the subject matter marked 
the poetic eflfusions of Hezekiah Holt, those of Erastus showed a 
different character. The various aspects of nature appealed to 
him, and her beauty was the inspiration of his muse. The senti- 
ment for human freedom which thrilled the North before the civil 
war found a ready response in him and called forth from him several 
pieces, which showed that he was on the side of right principles 
at an early date. 

The following was written in 1854: 

Scenes of my childhood 
I'll bring them to view 
And picture on fancy 
A few scenes to you. 
Such scenes as delighted 
My innocent mind 
When youth was surrounded 
With friends true and kind. 

My home was 'mid nature, 

I lived in the grove 

Where sweet feathered warblers 

Were heard in my rove; 

My rambles were mingled 


With solitude's charms, 

When I strolled through the woods 

To the neighboring farms; 

My mind wanders back 

To those earlier days. 

When 'mid nature I walked 

'Neath the suns beaming rays. 

What scenes could have taught me 

Such lessons of truth 

As those that surrounded 

My earlier youth? 

There's nothing so pleases 

My oft roaming mind 

As the wild scenes of nature 

Around me entwined. 

The cot of my father, 

How lovely the spot 

Though surrounded by woods 

Can ne'er be forgot. 



There is a lone and gloomy land 

As blue as are its shadows grand 
Down by a deep and dismal stream 
Where sunlight never casts a beam — 

Where none but doleful dreamers sleep 

And overall their sorrows weep; 

Where, hovering o'er the gloomy swamp, 
Are flying vapors chill and damp 

And froes and vultures bark and howl 

And serpents hiss and hoots the owl, 
Where trees and hills and mossy rocks 
Are weeping o'er their dingy locks 

And every living thing that moves 

Is always groaning with the " blues " — 


Where flying cloudcaps ever cast 

Their lengthening shadows o'er the past. 

Thus, in the midst of gloomy shades 

Where every fairy picture fades, 
And all the sparkling orbs of light 
Have set in dark and gloomy night, 

We sit in sullen toneless mood 

And over all our sorrows brood. 


In hazy shades of golden days 

I've often found my way, 

'Mid fallen leaves and faded grass 
Which round me withered lay. 

Each withered herb that caught my eye 
Spoke with a saddened song, 

And told me many a fairy tale 

Of solitude's wild throng. 

A murmur from the autumn leaves 
Came whispering slowly by, 

And, as it passed me silently, 

I heard it breathe a sigh. 

It breathed a song on zephyrous chords 

Of lovely faded bowers, 

And told a saddened legend long 
Of withered stricken flowers. 

Hark! hear those fairy, fairy notes 
Of mellow accent soft. 

They fill my soul with harmony 

And bear my soul aloft. 

O harmony! O nature's gift 
Thy charms are more than all. 

In tints of spring, in summer days, 

Or in the golden fall. 



I sigh for a cot 

In some humble spot 

Where nature is constantly waking, 

Where midst the green fields 

And shrub covered hills 

Fair verdure is constantly breaking. 

Where, far from the jars 

Of wagons and cars 

And the noise of a multitude hailing, 
I may the pure air 
That breathes so fresh there 
With freedom and joy be inhaling. 

I love the tall grove 

Where the cattle may rove 

And 'neath its cool shades be reclining, 

Where wild plums may grow 

And their red faces show 

'Midst leaves of woodbine entwining. 

I'd rather away 

In the wilderness stay 

By the side of the murmuring ocean, 
Than to spend all my days 
Mid contention and blaze 
In the war of a city's commotion. 

There is more joy to me 

Where I can feel free 

As the whirlwind that by me is sweeping, 

Than enjoyed with the grand 

And the rich of our land 

With their honor and wealth on me 



There's many a time 

When with the sublime 

I had rather my moments be spending, 

Than to gaze on the walls 

Of our beautiful halls 

Though decked with the richest of gilding. 
June 1856. 


A song for Col. Fremont, 

Then swell the noble strain 
And let our voices thunder 

The echoes of his fame; 
In paths beyond the mountain 

Or in the desert plain, 
Or in the golden valley 

Success to his campaign. 
We'll hail him to the capitol 

And wave our music there — 
And hoist our nation's banner 

Above him high in air. 
Then gather round the standard — 

Ye men of freedom's van 
And with Fremont and Dayton 

The victory is won. 
Come then, from grove and prairie, 

From western rivers long, 
From eastern vale and mountain, 

Come join our freedom song; 
A song for Col. Fremont 

The man we know will please; 
His name shall wave above us 

On banners in the breeze. 
We'll wake a song of triumph 

To Freedom and Fremont, 


And victory shall echo 
Her glorious response 

A cheer for Col. Fremont 
We'll hail him to the chair 

And hoist our nation's banner 
Above him high in air. 

NIGHT 1867. 

Above this rolling orb on fancy's flight 

I poised and looked adown on solemn night; 

I saw the world asleeping calm and still, 
So like a church yard neath a grassy hill. 

Some dens of mischief kept their lights aglow 
That they might revel in their haunts of woe, 

The dance, the fatal glass, the cards at play, 
For so they stole the hours of night away. 

But those forgiven, their spirits free from guile, 
Slept sweetly on, their faces lit with smiles; 

To them the holy hours of night are best; 

They breathed their evening prayer and went to rest 

The fairy moon hung neath the milky train, 

Reflects a shimmer on the misty plain 

And, silent in his mansion and his cot, 
Man sleeps awhile, his busy cares forgot. 

'Tis night, her sable curtains now unfurled, 
Are dropped to hide me from the busy world; 

A thousand stars like lanterns shine to keep 
A faithful watching o'er the world asleep. 

At midnight, Lo! on nearly half the globe 

Lie prostrate millions in their nightly robe, 

Their waning fires gone out, extinct their lamps, 
A nodding, sleeping, dreaming in their camps. 


The little cricket chants his weary song 

While darkness lingers through the night so long, 

Sleep on, sleep on, while stars are twinkling high. 
For yet no morning glimmer paints the sky. 


Hannah Sophia Ballou was the daughter of Levi Ballou and was 
born at Lombard, 111., November 4, 1839. At about the age of 
sixteen she removed with her family to a farm adjoining the Holt 
farm. Here she formed the acquaintance of her future husband, 
whom she married December 27, 1858. The remark which was 
made at the time, that Erastus had carried off the flower of the 
family, seems to have been just, for she was a girl of lovely dis- 
position and became a woman of exemplary Christian character. 
She was charming in her manner, but her mother-love was the 
crowning quality of her beautiful character. Her children were 
never a burden and home life was a delight to her. During her 
last sickness in her lucid moments she expressed the conviction that 
she would not recover and desired her friends to meet her in heaven. 
She died of inflammatory rheumatism May 2, 1864. 




Hezekiah Holt was born January 25, 1835. at Pomfret, Conn., 
and came with his parents, while an infant, to his home in Illinois. 
His early life was spent in the same manner as his brother's, on 
the farm and at school. At about the age of 18 he entered Wheat- 
on College, becoming a member of the first college class. He at- 
tended several terms in the winter, spending his summers on the 
farm. At the age of 19 he taught his first term of school at Gary's 
mill, and from that time continued to teach at intervals in the 
winter for about ten years. He became a partner of his brother 
in the reaper agency during this time. With the failure of health, 
which compelled Erastus to seek for another location, Hezekiah 
accompanied him in several journeys, to Michigan, to the West, 
through Kansas, and finally to Tennessee. He remained in Ten- 
nessee one winter, after which he returned to Wheaton to the 
care of the home farm. After the death of his brother he removed 
to Turner (now West Chicago) and entered into a partnership 
v/ith Wesley Gary to engage in the hardware business. The farm 
was rented and his mother and the entire family accompanied him. 
Here he remained for about three years, after which he moved 
to Wheaton. A year or two after this he resumed the hardware 
business at Wheaton in company with his nephew Edward. This 
firm had for several years a very successful career. Finally, tiring 
of business, he sold out, and from that time devoted himself to 
the interests of his nephews and nieces. He engaged in various 
real estate transactions in Wheaton and when Edward was obliged 
to migrate to Tennessee in search of health, he also made his home at 
Harriman, in that state, during the winter, while he returned to 
Illinois in the summer, to gladden the hearts of his relatives and 
friends. In Harriman he joined again with Edward in the hard- 
ware business and retained his interest until Edward was obliged 
to sell on account of his failing health. Edward removed to Albu- 
querque, New Mexico, and thither Hezekiah accompanied him and 
continued to spend the winters there until the time of his death. 
The last winter (of 1900 and 1901) was one of especial anxiety for 


him, for he perceived that his beloved nephew was faiHng- and that 
no care could long retain him with those who loved him. In addi- 
tion to anxiety he suffered, in the early winter, from an attack of 
influenza, from which he recovered, although with a weakened 
heart. After the death of Edward he remained for some weeks 
to assist in the business arrangements and then came to Illinois. 
Upon his arrival it soon became apparent that his health was far 
from satisfactory. Chronic Bright's disease was discovered, with 
the resulting complication of an enlargement of the heart. He died 
after an acute exacerbation of his disease, lasting two days, on 
June 9, 1901. 

Hezekiah was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, al- 
ways consistent, but never demonstrative. His convictions on 
moral subjects were firm and unalterable. He was always a strong 
advocate of temperance, and his strong and advanced views on this 
subject led him to throw in his political fortunes with the Prohi- 
bition party, which he joined in its first campaign in 1884. Those 
who remember that campaign, with the subsequent feeling, amount- 
ing almost to social ostracism on the part of many Republicans, will 
understand that it required moral courage for a member of the 
Republican party to espouse the cause of the new movement. Pre- 
vious to this campaign Hezekiah had been an ardent Republican. So 
great, however, was public confidence in his integrity, that, notwith- 
standing his political affiliations, he was several times honored with 
election to the office of assessor. 

What is said of his character in the following tributes from some 
of his friends is not in any sense exaggerated, and we who knew 
his daily life feel helpless in trying to express a just estimate of 
his mental and moral qualities. As we look back we see him always 
the same, ever to be relied on, a patient, loving son, brother, uncle, 
friend. Flis life is a beautiful picture in our memory. Although 
a man especially domestic and fond of home life, he felt that mar- 
riage and the rearing of a family of his own was not for him. 
Other duties claimed him, and how faithfully and uncomplain- 
ingly he performed his life-work, we know who were with him 
most. His nature, though quiet, was permeated with a sense of 


humor which often found expression in droll witticisms. He had a 
ready faculty for rhyming, but was very loth to show his produc- 
tions to any but his most intimate friends. He was very fond of 
music and with unusual ability as a singer, the home, the church 
and social gatherings were made richer by his melody. 

He was very slow to believe ill of any person, and had a habit of 
adroitly changing the subject when some bit of derogatory gossip 
was related to him. The mother's death in 1885 broke up the dear 
old home life. The other members made homes for themselves 
and he was left alone, but ever found a welcome where'er he 
went. There was not a home among his people that did not rejoice 
at his coming and sorrow at his departure. 

Remarks at the funeral services of Hezekiah Holt by the Rev. 
G. K. Flack. 

A few weeks ago the sad intelligence came to Wheaton that 
Edward Holt had passed away and in a few days the remains 
were brought for interment in the beautiful cemetery which con- 
tains the silent dust of so many of the loved ones. No funeral serv- 
ices were conducted at that time, as it was expected to conduct 
memorial services as soon as the friends, Hezekiah and the wife and 
children, could come from the far distant city where Edward had 
spent the last years of his life. 

"Man proposes, but God disposes." Instead of carrying out that 
plan, we come today to conduct the funeral services of Hezekiah. 

So this service will partake of the nature of a memorial service 
for Edward and a funeral service for Hezekiah. We are here, then, 
in the first place, to pay our tribute of respect to the dead. 

Hezekiah and Edward Holt, uncle and nephew, were noble in 
their lives and beautiful in their death. It has never been my 
privilege to meet Edward, so I cannot say anything from personal 
knowledge, but from what I have heard he was an honorable 
citizen, a noble father, a faithful husband and a devoted Christian. 
.Hezekiah has been here part of the time during my pastorate, and 
I have been charmed with his spirit. He was gentle, quiet and un- 


assuming in his deportment, and seemed like a large-hearted, faith- 
ful brother. I regret it was not our privilege to know him more 
intimately. He was a man of the strictest integrity. All who 
had business dealings with him will testify to his unswerving hon- 
esty. A man who had been for twelve years in close business rela- 
tions, said as we were talking together : "He was a man of high 
honor and of most generous disposition. He lived largely for 
others and for the good he could do. He will be greatly missed 
by those who have known him best." We know from conversations 
with him concerning the interests of the church and his own re- 
ligious life that it was well with him, that he was ready to go. He 
seemed to have a longing to go to meet the loved ones who had 
gone on before, for he had the consciousness that for him "to live was 
Christ and to die was gain." 

There is nothing that will be so highly prized by our loved 
ones as a legacy as the memory of a righteous, godly life. A [ore 
valuable than money, more to be desired than position, Hezekiah 
bequeathed to his friends this rich heritage. 

May the precious memory of his life and the influence of his 
Christian character be an inspiration to each one who has known 
him in the past, and to all. for a more consistent earnest life, de- 
voted to the cause of God and for the benefit of man. "For by his 
faith, he being dead, yet speaketh." 


It is hard to turn the corners of this life so suddenly as the 
law under which we live and die often requires. It seems to me 
that I am here almost more to resume a conversation which was 
suddenly suspended a week ago yesterday with my friend. Hezekiah 
Holt, rather than to utter words over his dead form. I look upon 
those closed eyes, sealed lips and pale face and ask, can it be that 
these are the eyes and lips which answered back so hopefully to 
the inquiry which I called to make concerning his health but a few 
days ago? 

He was sitting at his writing table, with paper about him, and 


pen in hand. After a brief conversation, I arose to leave and said 
to him: "As life is always uncertain, we need to have our work 
done." "Yes," he replied, "we want to be prepared." 

It is nearly forty years since I became the pastor of our brother 
and proved him a faithful friend and ally in the service of the church. 
In the name of all these years I am here to ask: Whose life has 
been burdened by the weight of his fingers; whose fair fame has 
suffered by a w^ord of detraction from his lips ? He was a listener, 
not a talker, a man of spotless integrity and uprightness in dealing; 
we have heard of no one who had aught against him. He Uved 
the life of many and many will suffer a partial loss of life by his 
decease. * * * 

In the midst of this bright day, you are looking through a glass 
darkly, I know. Your sun is eclipsed by a great and dreadful 
shadow. But the sun and the planets are in motion and the shadow 
must soon pass off. Our lives are in motion and as God lives, 
though his sunshine may for a time be obscured, it cannot have 
gone^out. He has made no mistake, but has opened up possibilities 
of grace that could have cnie to you in no other way. * * * 
David, who passed through ai.out all the sad experiences to which 
flesh is heir, exclaims, "In time of trouble He shall hide me in 
his pavilion. In the secret plzce of His tabernacle shall He hide 


Nor is this attitude of the soul toward God quite beyond the 
relations of this life. There is a love so deep that it makes one 
glad to suffer for another. I know not how it is, but, in this mys- 
tery of life, suffering begets love and love intensified begets a 
desire to suffer for love's sake. Love is happiness, and, as suf- 
fering begets love, it comes to pass that our supreme joy is oft- 
times in the very crucible of suffering. God grant that this lamented 
death may be a star in your crown of life on your dying day. 

An eloquent tribute to the deceased was made by the Rev. Chas. 
Blanchard, but we regret that we have been unable to obtain notes 

of it. 

We have space for a part only of the beautiful tribute by Mrs. 


L. Ballou contributed to the Wheaton Illinoian of June, 1901 : 
"Although marked by gentleness and simplicity, our friend's char- 
acter was not lacking in force, clearness, individuality and complete- 
ness. Religious sentiment permeated his whole life and he ever 
acted under its high impulses and principles. * * * 

A man of refined habits and cultured tastes, nature was to him 
an open book. He loved the woods and fields and flowers. As 
the face is the mirror of the soul, so the enduring qualities of Mr. 
Holt's character were reflected in a face that through adult life 
changed only to evidence and emphasize the deeper and better 
experience of added years. * * * But it was to those peculiarly his 
own that the quiet unobtrusive life of Mr. Holt revealed itself in the 
tenderest and most beautiful aspects of self-sacrificing, unselfish and 
devoted service. Upon his strong protecting arm a widowed mother 
and bereft sister loved to lean. Orphaned nieces and nephews, to 
whom for years, so far as possible, he substituted a father's care, 
continued in maturer years to look to him for sympathetic interest 
and practical, helpful advice in whatever affected their lives. The 
attachment between Hezekiah and his nephew Edward who pre- 
ceded him by so short a time to the heavenly country was passing 
beautiful. Most appropriately did Doctor Bianchard' refer to it in 
his memorial address by associating with it the scripture verse: 

" 'Saul and Jonathan were lovely in their lives and in their death 
they were not divided.' " * * * 

The influence of his beautiful life remains. Sympathy, gentle- 
ness, loving service, Christian character, the qualities we' loved in 
him, these abide with helpful presence even in the strange silence. 


"Think of him as the same I say, 

He is not dead, he is just away. 

Silent! O deem it not, the air is throbbing 

With voices heavenly sweet; 

They sing us the hymn of the resurrection 

The Easter morn to greet; 

Only our ears are too dull to catch the anthems 


Their raptured lips repeat. 

Not far away, since Christ is near us 

And they with Him abide; 

Some morn, O heart! thou shalt from dreams awaken 

To find them by thy side; 

Darkness all fled and griefs forever ended, 

Thou shalt be satisfied." 

Resolutions of the Gary's Mill Teachers Association. 

Whereas, God in his infinite mercy and wisdom has seen fit to 
take to himself our dear friend and one of the pioneer teachers of 
Gary's Mill, Hezekiah Holt ; 

Resohfed, That we, as an association, do greatly deplore the 
loss of our friend, whose help and sympathy have been so freely 
extended for the promotion of this association, and while we 
shall miss his kindly influence in the future, still we bow in sub- 
mission to the will of an all-wise Father ; 

Resolved, That these resolutions be placed on the records of this 
association and a copy sent to the bereaved family. 

The Gary^s Mill Association. 

West Chicago, July i, 1901. 

For an example of his literary style and for its historical interest, 
we insert the following letter and a reproduction of a page of a 
letter in his own handwriting. 

Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 10, 1900. 
Mrs. Emma Daniels Moore, Sec. Gary's Mill Teachers' and Pupils' 
Picnic Association, West Chicago, 111. 
Dear Madam: Your favor asking me to give some of my 
experiences as pupil and teacher at Gary's Mill to be read at the 
first meeting of your association on June 14 at Jackson's Park 
received. This you urge with so much earnestness that I can 


hardly refuse and will endeavor to comply with your request in a 
brief and hasty way if you will allow me to do so without much re- 
gard to rhetoric. I have no memorandum, to refresh my memory 
and may make some errors in my statements. 

The first day in school that I remember was at Gary's Mill, the 
teacher being Miss Vallette, afterward the wife of my uncle, 
Erastus Gary, and mother of Judge E. H. Gary, whom many of 
you know and honor. I don't remember much of this school and 
may not have been a regular pupil. As I remember it the only 
requirement of me was to be a good little boy, which was doubtless 
fulfilled to the letter. I remember the room quite distinctly, which 
was the front room of the old Gary house, burned a few years ago, 
I also remember the bench I sat on with my feet dangling, which 
was on the east side of the room. 

The next of my school days, as I remember them, were at the 
school taught by my father, also at Gary's Mill in a building 
about where now stands the home of Mr. Fortman. Father with 
his team brought my brother and myself from his log cabin and 
farm three miles away as pupils. 

It was here that I received my first punishment at school, which 
was with a switch. It was not severe, but so impressive that it 
has ever clung to my memory. 

It was also here that I took my first prize at school. My com- 
petitor was Paulina Ross, who lived with her parents near the big 
spring on the road to West Chicago. Both my competitor and 
myself were such hard workers for the prize and came out ahead 
so nearly even that my father thought it was a draw and that both 
deserved a prize, and, of course, got one, though my own judgment 
was that I was the only one deserving it. 

A little later on, probably the next winter or two (we had only 
winter schools those days), I attended school in the same building. 

Among the big boys was a rough, bullying fellow, whose name 
I will not mention because he long ago went with "the silent major- 
ity," who used to bully and annoy me so that I was actually afraid 
of him. One day while he was in one of his bullying moods towards 
me a big boy by the name of Rood came to my protection, and 


although a smaller boy than the bully, was bold and brave enough 
to give the rough boy a good sound word lashing in my 
behalf, and I believe would have followed it up with a fistic en- 
counter if it had been necessary. 

This intervention by the boy Rood in my behalf ended my trou- 
bles from that source. I almost worshiped him from that time 
on and when in after years he became a medical student at St. 
Charles and while conscientiously pursuing his studies, was there 
shot and killed by a mob who supposed the medical students were 
grave robbers and raided them, I mourned him as an old friend 
and protector, and to this day have a warm place for his memor>' 
in my heart and can but believe in his innocence and goodness. 

I mention this incident to show how indelibly such a little act of 
kindness is liable to be impressed upon the small boy's memory, and 
that it may often be a first-class investment. 

My first experience as teacher was at Gary's Mill when a lad 
of nineteen, in the same building which is now used for the same 
purpose. At that time it was almost new and one of the finest 
school houses in the county. The district was large and my roll 
of pupils numbered over sixty. The term taught was four months. 

It was customary in those days for the teacher to board around 
the district, dividing the time among the patrons according to the 
number of pupils each sent. For a bashful boy this was quite a 
hard experience, but the people were hospitable and had good "bed 
and board," and generally appeared to be more afraid of getting too 
little of the teacher than too much. This of course made it 
pleasant for him, and although he had to sleep in a cold "spare 
room," he had no reason to grow thin in flesh so far as board was 

In those times the pupils expected and almost demanded the 
"spelling school" about once every two weeks. That these old- 
fashioned institutions promoted good spelling to a considerable 
degree one can hardly doubt, though as I remember them while a 
teacher, they were rather more conducive to the young people's 
amusement and jollity than to good spelling. At these spelling 
schools the house was usually crowded to its utmost capacity and 


the teacher had his hands full. I was generally fortunate in having 
Uncle Charles Gary on hand to help me to keep the big boys and 
rough outsiders from making disturbances. 

The singing school and the writing school also seemed to be 
adjuncts of the day-school and of course were held in the school 
house. The litter they made gave the teacher a little additional 
pastime at cleaning up the next morning. 

If I were to once more call my Gary's Mill school roll, and each 
name was to respond with its owner's residence, business, etc., a 
great variety of answers would be given. Many states would be 
represented, as would also the teacher, preacher, farmer, miner, 
judge and millionaire; but alas! a larger portion would give but 
one and the same response, namely, "City of the dead." 

Hoping that the Gary's Mill Teachers' and Pupils' Picnic Asso- 
ciation may live long and prosper, and that I may have the pleasure 
of being present at its annual gathering some time in the near 
future I am, Very truly, 

H. Holt. 



J^ y ■ / r 

f^?^ /t^j^-ccy^ y'l-^-^^ ii^^L^in^u^dt 0'--<^ ■^4^1' 

The following gives a good idea of his characteristic humor. 


Ven Billy was von leedle lad 
Ein lamb was gif him by his dad. 
Und ebry time dot lamb goes bleat, 
Young Billy shumps right on his feet. 
He feed him milk, he gif him whey, 
Und schtil dot lamb goes bleat allday. 
Dot bleat, it worries Billy so. 
Dot Billy don't schleep good you know. 
He schtudies hard all days and nights 
To gif dot leedle lamb his rights. 

Dot lamb he grows and gets von scheep 
Und schtill dot lamb does Billy keep. 
Den Billy grows and gets von man 
So now dat lamb he ounterschtan 

"My vool don't grow goot, dis he say; 
Gif me some dooty right away, 
Or else dem foreign lambs you know, 
Come eat up all mine grass vich grow." 
So Billy talks nice by dot scheep 
Who wags his tail ven Billy schpeek 
Und dot's de reason, don't you know, 
Dere don't no flies on Billy go. 

The following verses were written by Hezekiah Holt for the 
children's Fourth of July celebration at Harriman, Tenn., July 4, 
1897, to be spoken by his grandniece Etelka. 

Uncle says he's been so busy, 
Gets so tired, almost dizzy, 

Tying up and loading lumber. 

Sorting out and keeping number. 
That to write a composition, 


He has really no ambition. 

Yes, we asked him for a scribble, 
Of his pen for us to nibble, 
So contribute in a measure. 
To the coming day of pleasure, 
On this glorious 4th of July, 
Which we all think very truly, 
Is the day of all the proudest, 
Certainly, of all, the loudest. 

This you*d know with nothing lacking, 
When you hear the crackers cracking. 
But this enervating weather, 
With the work and heat together, 

Makes him feel as though he'd rather, 
Be excused from extra bother, 
So, perhaps, as we cant use him. 
We would better just excuse him. 



Laura Jane Holt was bom Oct., 12, 1842. Her education was 
received at the district school and Wheaton College. She was a 
diligent, painstaking student and was systematic and orderly in 
her habits. She made a very acceptable teacher, which occupation 
she followed for several terms. At an early age she showed a 
decided religious tendency and was somewhat more demonstrative 
than other members of the family, yet very modest and unobtrusive 
in manner. A marked trait of her character was loyalty to her fam- 
ily, her friends and her church, and nothing would hurt her more 
than to hear them slightingly spoken of. She was always an inter- 
ested and sympathetic listener as I poured into her ears my childish 
ambitions, and her unselfishness in favoring me and her pride in 
any little attainment of mine, I shall ever remember with gratitude. 
She had a fine appreciation of art and literature. She was very 
firm in principle, but gentle in her firmness. She was married to 
Mr. Alexander Thomson in the fall of 1868. Three children were 
bom to them, all of whom are now living in Everett, Wash. She 
was unselfishly devoted to her husband and children and when in 
the fall of 1875 her husband's health required a change of climate, 
she cheerfully accompanied him, leaving her loved home friends. 
They naturally sought the highlands of Tennessee, near Crossville, 
where her sister Mrs. Brown was living. February 28, 1876, she 
died of puerperal fever, leaving an infant five weeks old, 
and was buried in Tennessee. At the time of her marriage, she 
left the M. E. church, of which she was a member, to unite with 
the Congregational church, to which her husband belonged, in 
which she remained a faithful member until her death. Her Chris- 
tian character, always in evidence, expanded and ripened in her 
later years. She was not physically strong, and life was full of 
burdens, but she patiently and uncomplainingly filled her place 
below until the Master called. 

We insert the following beautiful poem written by her husband : 



The evening sends its ruddy glow, 

Adown the golden slopes, 

Of cloudy hills that fade and grow, 

Like youth's elastic hopes. 

The new moon, moving like a queen, 

Smiles on departing day 

And night draws back the sunny screen, 

That hides the starry way. 

I am not in the busy mart, 
Nor in the forest fair. 
There is no terror in my heart, 
Though chastened thoughts are there; 
The mound that rises at my feet 
Has neither grass nor flower, 
And yet I love this lone retreat. 
At evening's thoughtful hour. 

There is no other grave beside, 

No white sepulchral stone. 

For she who was my bonnie bride 

Lies silent and alone. 

The wild persimmon spreads the boug' 

And bends its fruited head, 

As here I stand with thoughtful brow 

Beside my buried dead. 

No more I'll see that smile again 

That had such power to cheer, 

I call "my Laura" but in vain, 

She does not, cannot hear. 

The mound in which her form decays 

Contams no soul beside, 

Not down, but upward I must gaze, 

If I behold my bride. 

Alexander Thomson. 



Herbert Erastus Holt was born November i, 1863. Left with- 
out a mother in infancy, he required especial care, which was fully 
repaid by the love instilled into the hearts of those who cared for 
him. Though the pet of the household, he never seemed spoiled, 
but showed a marked thoughtfulness for others. When about five 
years old he had an attack of inflammatory rheumatism, from which 
he recovered, but several subsequent attacks occurred so that his 
short life was clouded by sickness. He was a patient little sufferer 
when ill, and overflowing with happiness when well. He was full 
of music; "Hold the Fort" was among his favorites, and I seem to 
see his eager little face before me now and hear his sweet childish 
voice ring out its melody. So filled was he with the spirit of the 
song, it seemed at times that he needed but the wings to take him 
"over the river." At the time of his father's last illness, he was 
also stricken with rheumatism affecting the heart, so that it was 
thought that he could not recover. News of his father's death was 
daily expected, and we felt that Herbert's death might come at any 
moment. Finally the news of his father's death came, which he 
took very quietly. He was asked if he preferred to live and suffer 
or go to his father. He replied, "I would rather die than suffer so 
much again, but I wish I could see Eddie and Grace first." He 
recovered almost miraculously and lived one more happy year with 
his brother and sister, who returned from Tennessee. At the close 
of that year another attack resulted in his death, August 22, 1873. 
His body lies in the Wheaton cemetery. 




c^o^^^y-isu'^c-^ /^ y 


Edward Brewster Holt, the eldest of three children born to 
Erastus and Sophia Holt, was born November 12, 1859, O" what is 
still known as the Holt farm, in Milton Township, Du Page Co., 
near Wheaton, 111. His mother died when he was five years old, and 
he was cared for by his grandmother until 1869, when he went with 
his father to Tennessee, where he lived with an aunt, Mrs. Miranda 
Brown, until 1873, when his father died, and he came back to his 
grandmother Holt's home on the farm. He continued a member 
of his grandmother's family until his marriage. 

Edward was a good boy, of gentle, quiet, refined and courteous 
nature. The attachment between himself and his sister Grace (the 
little brother Herbert having died leaving the two, all in all to each 
other), was very great; and the intimacy begun in early youth 
between himself and his uncle Hezekiah waxed stronger and stronger 
with passing years and grew into a mutual dependence beautiful to 
vitness. Observers often likened them to David and Jonathan. 

After graduating from high school at West Chicago, Edward 
spent the summer on a farm, the home of the writer of this sketch. 
While one of our family, I formed the following estimate of his 
character : He was a young man of exceptionally neat and orderly 
habits. Upon his arrival at our house he immediately put on his 
working garb, which, though well suited to his work, was then 
and always scrupulously neat, and started out in search of some- 
thing to do. On his way to the barn he unostentatiously picked up 
and put in place tools that other workmen had left carelessly lying 
about, and removed whatever untidy rubbish lay in or beside the 
path. He was industrious, modest, unassuming and of strictest 
moral integrity. His employer's interests were pre-eminently his 
own. I also discovered that he was a young man of superior mental 
attainments and marked intelligence in regard to current topics. 
When asked for his opinion on any subject, he expressed it modestly 
without bombast or braggadocio, but clearly, concisely, convincingly. 
In society he was gallant, courteous, helpful, always willing to 
do his part, ingenious and witty in planning and carrying out 


programs for evening entertainments, etc. In fact, he was one of 
Wheaton's "choice young men." 

Summer vacation ended, Edward for a time attended law 
school in Chicago, but finally abandoned the idea of becoming a 
lawyer, and entered into partnership with his uncle Hezekiah in 
the hardware business in Wheaton, in the year 1882. 

Sept. 5, 1888, the subject of our sketch was happily married to 
Miss Bertha Schuler, a successful teacher in Wheaton public 
schools, who proved a true and loving helpmeet throughout his 
remaining years. Right here let me insert a sweet little bit of poesy 
which well displays Edward's poetical genius: 

"Modest little violet 
Hiding in the grass. 

Should you meet my lady-love 

Do not let her pass, 
Until you whisper to her 
With your eyes so blue, 

That I love her dearly — 

Then we'll both love you." 

At the suggestion of Uncle Hezekiah the "valentine" was sent 
to Harper's Magazine, which promptly accepted it and paid for it 
liberally. Afterwards Edward had it engraved on a silver cup which 
he gave to his bride on their wedding day. 

In 1892 Edward sold his interest in the hardware business, took 
stock in the Hotel Epworth and was manager of its restaurant 
during the World's Fair. Financially this venture was a success, 
but the damp, trying climate, nervous strain and responsibility told 
upon his health ; and to these causes his friends attribute his physi- 
cal breakdown which came in the spring of 1894. (The immediate 
source of the contagion of tuberculosis from which he suffered was 
probably the ten-cent lodging house which he superintended during 
the winter of 1893-4.) 

Hoping to derive benefit from a southern clime, in the fall of 
1894, Edward with his wife and two bright little girls moved to 


Harriman, Tenn. Here he engaged in the mill business for a time, 
but as his health continued poor and thinking that the dust of the 
mill was detrimental, he sold out in 1896 and went into the hardware 
business ; but the climate proved enervating and depressing instead 
of helpful, and steadily increasing ill health caused his physician to 
advise him to go to New Mexico, which he at once prepared to do. 

While in Harriman, he made many warm friends and was held 
in high esteem, as was evidenced bv the number of those who assem- 
bled at Harriman station to say good-bye and wish the family well 
in their western home. 

Before going to Albuquerque, the family visited their Wheaton 
home and friends ; their coming and their presence with us for a 
little time made us glad, but the good-bye was a sad one. for we 
instinctively felt that, so far as Edward was concerned, it was a 
last farewell, until the meeting time hereafter. 

The climate of Albuquerque seemed immediately beneficial. 
Except for the daily morning cough and an attack of neuralgia, 
from his going there in the fall of 1897 until the fall of 1900, Ed- 
ward felt comfortably well, though never very strong; worked inces- 
santly and accomplished a great deal. In this ability to rise superior 
to circumstances and make the most of his life as he found it, Ed- 
ward's manlv courage was chiefly shown. Life's heroes are not 
they alone who face powder, shell and bayonet in defense of some 
espoused cause. To live with ambition hampered by unconquerable 
disease ; to have every effort crippled by physical weakness ; to 
know that, at best, death must come soon, and to live manfully as 
though in ignorance of these facts, requires of man supremest cour- 
age, bravery and heroism. And in this manly fighting of life's daily 
battles Edward Holt proved himself every inch a man. He never 
allowed ill health to make him despondent, but in helpfulness and 
cheer made life better and brighter for those about him. Home life 
was very dear to him and he was ever considerate of the welfare 
and happiness of his wife and children. 

His gifted pen wrote many productions for the children suitable 
for celebrations, holiday occasions, etc. It was his wont to amuse 


himself in this way when shut in by inclement weather or when 
convalescing from an attack of illness. 

In politics he was always a stanch Prohibitionist, not, however, 
in the least fanatical, but ever courteously tolerant of other men's 
political views. 

A man of strong religious convictions, his Christianity was 
that of an unfaltering trust expressed by pure, honorable, manly, 
Christ-like living, rather than in demonstrative testimony and dis- 

After living a year in Albuquerque, Edward selected a ranch 
about three miles north of town, near the government Indian school, 
which he afterward bought. In the purchase of this ranch a love 
for beautiful home surroundings, deliberateness, caution, prudence 
and economy were manifested. The ranch, which contained six 
acres of alfalfa and four acres of fruit and garden, was an ideal one. 
The house was large and admirably arranged for the comfort and 
convenience of its occupants. The grounds were beautifully laid 
out, with pleasant walks in the orchard, and a long, rose-bordered 
path to the gate. In every way it was a home after his own heart, 
one that he enjoyed to the utmost for the brief time that he was 
privileged to occupy it. 

Shortly before Christmas in the year 1900 came the fatal grippe, 
and there not being sufficient constitutional fiber left with which to 
resist it, day by day, little by little, he wasted away. One day 
while sitting by the kitchen window he asked his wife for a pencil 
and paper and prompted, no doubt, by the first suggestion of on- 
coming spring, he wrote : 

"The bull frog rubs his eyes 
And scans the old town pond; 
The cat-tail stalks are dry 
Their fuzzy fur is gone; 
The ice is melted clear 
Except among the stubs; 


The time is drawing near, 
His stiffened tiiroat he rubs; 
He gives a warning croak, 
To let the cat-fish know. 
And then goes back to soak 
His head a day or so." 

When he handed it to his wife to read, she was much pleased 
and said to him: "Now I know, Edward, you're going to get well 
real soon;" but he shook his head and looked away out of the 
window. His love for and sympathy with nature was expressed 
in many poetical effusions similar in tone to the one given. The 
writer well remembers the craving provoked one early spring-time 
for a taste of "Dandelion Greens" by the reading of his poem thus 
entitled and published in the Illinoian. 

The day before he died he asked Etelka, his eldest child, for her 
album; in it he wrote: 

Do good in the world, dear Etelka, 

And the world will do good to you; 

It may not look bright, but 'twill come out allright. 

Do good in the world and be true. 

The struggle for life was bravely kept up until the release 
came, March 24th, 1901. He was in bed only one day, the day 
that he died. He always dressed and sat with the family lying 
down whenever he felt weary. 

'•Forever with the Lord, 

So Jesus, let it be; 

Life from the dead is in that word 

'Tis immortality". 


Jesus thou Prince of life 

Thy chosen cannot die; 

Like thee they conquer in the strife, 

To reign with thee on high," 

"Thy day has come, not gone, 
Thy sun has risen, not set, 
Thy life is now beyond, 
The reach of death or chano-e: 

Not ended, but besrun. 
Such shall our life be soon, 
And then the meeting day, 
How full of light and joy 

All fear of change cast out, 
"All shadows passed away, 
The union sealed forever 
Between us and our Lord." 

Brief, beautiful and impressive funeral services were conducted 
by Rev. Bunker, an intimate friend of the family. 

The superintendent of the Indian school said : "Mr. Holt was 
one of the finest men I ever knew." He closed school on the day 
of the funeral and gave leave of absence to all of the employes so 
that they might themselves attend and also that they might conduct 
carriages to and from the town to carry all who wished to come. 

A prominent man in Harriman with whom he had business 
dealmgs, in a letter of sympathy written to the bereft wife after 
Edward's death, said: "He was one of the few men whom I would 
trust uncounted gold with." The lifeless body was brought back 
to Wheaton and laid to rest beside the dear Holt relatives who had 
gone before to the Heavenly Rest. 


The following tribute we owe to an old school friend of Edward, 
Mr. Chas. Clark: 

"Some twenty or more years ago a new student came to our 
village (Turner, Illinois) school. He was not one of us and had 
not grown up with us. His coming was therefore a fact which 
quite impressed itself upon us in those days when new-comers were 
rare. Our curiosity was even greater when we learned that he 
would be in our class, and we were eager to know what the new 
scholar was like. We had learned his name — Edward B. Holt. 
We found him to be a shy. diffident young man to whom coming 
into our midst must have been a very trying ordeal. 

"He quickly proved himself a bright and capable student : and 
as the days wore on we came to know each other. He soon became 
a general favorite with all. He was a good student in the full 
sense of the word. Many were able to memorize, but he did more. 
That which he studied became a part of himself — it was mastered 
and was ever afterward at his control. He did not find it neces- 
sary to refer to the text book again a few days later. He had 
mastered the foundation principles of the subject and would have 
been capable, if necessary, of writing a text book himself. 

"It was perhaps, however, his ability as a poet which most sur- 
prised us ; and he was ever ready to throw into verse the many happy 
incidents of school life, much to our entertainment. Our school- 
mate was not a mere composer of doggerel rhyme. Shelley said, 
'Poetry is the record of the best and happiest moments of the hap- 
piest and best minds ;' Lowell said, Toetr>' is something to make 
us wiser and better, by continually revealing those types of beauty 
and truth which God has set in all men's souls ;' and Ruskin said, 
'The poem is only poetry talking, and the statue and the picture and 
the musical composition are poetry acting.' Judged by these stand- 
ards we can truly say that our school-time friend was a true poet. 
He saw the good in his companions, the beautiful in nature, and 
through all the manifestations of the great principles of his God. 

"Those who in after years knew our schoolmate often remarked 


concerning his splendid character and integrity. We who knew him 
in school had an opportunity to reap the benefits of that beautiful 
character. He was gentle in manner, and his quiet cleverness took 
a strong hold upon our affections which long years of separation did 
not loosen. We always heard of and from him with glad interest, 
to him our hearts were ever open ; and the news of his death cast 
over us a shadow of gloom which has not yet been lifted. He was a 
just and generous young man, lovable and loving, a true friend 
without guile, deceit or hypocrisy. He measured the faults of others 
with charity, and condemned, if condemn he must, with regret. 

"Though cut off in the prime of his life, we are not prepared to 
say that he had not accomplished his life's work. Certain it is that 
we who knew him best are the better for his having lived. His mem- 
ory will continue with us inspiring new courage in the hours that are 

"When at the close of the day the sun goes below the western 
horizon, the heavens yet glow for hours with its reflected glory ; 
it grows darker, but a little while and another day has come. Our 
friend and schoolmate has gone, but the light from his life still 
shines with a soft and balmy transparency, as though the beams, 
while yet reflected back to us, were but issuing in the mom of his 


Home of Liiwani i;. llult 
in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Selected Poems 

Edward Holt. 


Turner Junction High School 1880. 

We've met to-night to shed our shoes, 
Shed our shoes, shed our shoes, 

We've met to-night to shed our shoes, 
For younger ones to tread in, 
Quite naturally we have the "blues", 
Have the blues, have the blues, 

Of course it makes us have the blues, 
To leave the stall we've fed in. 

We don't pretend that we are filled, 

We are filled, we are filled, 

We don't pretend that we are filled 
And overflow with knowledge. 

Nor that we can a great name build. 

Great name build, great name build. 
Nor that we can a great name build, 
Like those of Harvard college. 

We've simply got a good fair start, 
Good fair start, good fair start. 

And since we've got a good fair start. 

We wont rest in a grotto. 
But keep the horse before the cart, 
•Fore the cart, 'fore the cart, 

But keep the horse before the cart, 

With "forward" for our motto, 



Spring in love abounds, 
Glad, harmonious sounds 
Fill the air, 
Labor turns to gold, 
Blessings manifold, 
Nature's gay attire 
Fills the heart with fire; 
God above 
Permeates the earth, 
Gives it a new birth, 
God is love. 


Slowly sinks the great red sun, 
From our sight, his day's work done; 

Lingering a crimson band, 

Like a halo o'er the land, 
Bids the shades of night descend; 
Bids the light in twilight blend. 

Fragrant with the new mown hay, 

With the lilies as they lay, 

Breathing their short life away 
Gentle zephyrs everywhere, 

Softly tell their evening prayer. 

Now, the stars unfold their eyes 

To illuminate the skies; 

Gladsome fireflies lend their aid 
To dispel the gathering shade. 

Through the moon-beams' silvery light, 

Smiling on us through the night, 

God, from heaven looks down to bless 
What we mortals here possess. 

Published in Western Rural, Aug. 23, '84, 



The earth is tired, 
The summer sun, 
Her strength required; 
With burnished sheaves 
Of autumn leaves 
Upon her breast, 
She now will rest. 


The green and pleasant verdure, 

That chilling winter kills, 

Has died and made a blanket 
For the valleys and the hills. 

The water that once sparkled 
And danced adown the glens, 
Is silent now with sorrow, 
Will it ever laugh again? 

The chilling snow has fallen. 
The world looks weird and white, 

The angry wind is armed with stings. 

And glories in his might. 



Spring has come, the snow has melted, 
Now the sun with tender beams, 

Scatters smiles to give new courage 

To the dandelion greens. 

How our hearts expand with gladness. 

Swelling as the bursting bud; 
Full of glad anticipations 
Which are only dulled by mud. 

Not a tear shed we for winter. 

With its fields of snow and ice, 
But our mouths begin to water, 
For the greens, oh! aren't they nice? 

Then what sport it is to gather, 
From the hedges by the road. 

Anywhere you chance to find them, 

'Till you get sufficient load. 

Now you douse the water on them, 
Sort them over, rinse them clean. 

Cook them, season well and eat them, 

Fitting dish for king or queen. 

Published in Wheaton lilinoian, March 30th, '84. 



Woven by a cunning weaver, 

Builded by a gay deceiver, 
Right to left, or left to right, 
In the daytime or the night, 

Fragile dwellings, light and airy, 

Fitted only for a fairy, 

Floating on the morning breeze, 
Streamers from surrounding trees. 

Garret windows partly clouded, 
With a gauzy curtain shrouded. 
Make the golden sunlight mellow, 
Turn the rays that enter yellow, 

Silver cords that thread the grasses, 
Sparkling as a person passes, 
Prison pens for drops of dew, 
Rainbow colors every hue. 

Traps to catch unwary flies in, 
Found in places quite surprising, 
To the housewife's sore disgust, 
Lodging place for straying dust, 

At the corners of the ceiling. 
Over window caps, revealing, 
Happy homes, until the broom, 
Sounds, alas their day of doom, 

E. B. H., March 12tb, 1885. 



We're a prohibition army, 
Marching onward day by day; 
License meets, but cannot thwart us, 
In our glorious right of way. 

We have God for our commander, 
Men and women hand in hand, 
Marching, fighting, voting, praying 
For our homes and native land. 

Whiskey and its kindred evils, 
We have branded as a foe; 
As a foe that must be throttled, 
Or our government will go. 

Whiskey we would make an outcast, 
Not protected as to-day, 
By a grand enlightened people, 
For the bonus it will pay. 

Men? can men be blinded, 

By a paltry sum of gold. 

Will they make a den where demons, 

Their high carnival may hold. 

Make a den of our whole nation, 
Make a legal den by votes? 
Fill the world with rum and ruin. 
Walk through life on poor men's coats? 

Published in the Chicago Lever, October 30th, 1884. 



Dear Will o' the wisp 

Pray listen to me, 

My heart is more sad 

Than a true heart should be; 

My love has grown cold, 

He has wandered away, 

My heart beats would bring him. 

But he's lost the way. 

Dear Will o' the wisp 

Do let your light shine. 

And help me to search 

For my lost valentine. 

I'm sailing on life's boundless sea. 
My rudder is my love for thee. 
There is none other heart beside 
That guides me o'er the rising tide, 
Your love will aye a beacon shine 
To guide safe home your valentine. 

The ground is white, 
The air is chill, 
The snow and leaves, 
The valleys fill; 
My heart is warm. 
With love it burns, 
A living fire, 
For love it yearns, 
For love like thine, 
My valentine. 



There are singers near the river, 

Music on the evening air; 

Hear the voices from the sand-hills, 

Solo singers everywhere. 

First a low and plaintive murmur, 

Then the voices blend in one; 

'Tis a grand mosquito chorus, 

At the setting of the sun. 


If you have a secret, 

Keep it to yourself, 

Do not share it with 

Some other merry elf. 

If you do it, 

You will rue it. 

For although you long pursue it, 

'Twill evade you like a shadow, 

On an empty pantry shelf. 


Dandelion blossoms. 
Children of the sun. 
Soon will dot the road-side, 
Cheer us as we run, 
Gift to common people, 
Fit to grace a crown, 
Blessings from the Savior 
Of the world sent down. 


Written for the Alumni of Turner High School 1889. 

Readily, steadily, turn on the steam, 
Merrily, cheerily, let your life gleam, 
Straight ahead, up the grade, 
Keep on your way, 
Turn not back, down the track. 
Onward, I say. 

Life is sweet, time is fleet, 

Live to do good, 

Elevate, consecrate man's brotherhood; 

Kill the weeds, sow the seeds. 

Till well the ground. 

Harmony, melody, 

Christ's love abounds. 



Written for the W. C. T. U. Celebration, July 4th, 1887, by E. B. Holt. 

Subjects of the British Crown, the yoke grew hard to bear; 
"Freedom from her mountain heights,'' in spirit filled the air; 
Brought us recognition, by the people everywhere — 

As an independent nation. 
Away, Away, the soldiers had to flee, 
Three thousand miles across the briny sea; 
And tell the King of England, that America was free. 

Free! An independent nation. 
Slavery, cursed and ruled the land; the north and south were foes. 
Brother warred with brother and a mighty clamour rose; 
But the Nation's Heroes brought rebellion to its close. 

Re-united, was our nation. 
Hurrah! Hurrah! for Lincoln and his men, 
A free, united people once again; 
The shout arose in Freedom's name, from every hill and glen — 

Re-united, is our nation. 
Revenue and greed for gold, have builded up a shield; 
Guarding now a cursed trade, that soon will have to yield; 
Licensed rum has had it's day, its doom is surely sealed. 

Men will not be longer blinded. 
Arouse ye freemen, banish every doubt. 
Array yourselves to vote the traffic out; 
Or else with whiskey, rum and gin, we'll put you all to rout. 

Men will not be longer blinded. 
Raise your voice in freedom's name and roll the cause along; 
Strike the blows right where they'll count and heal the wounds 

with song; 
Free the land from Whiskey's curse, nor license any wrong; 

Prohibition, for your watchword. 
Hurrah! Hurrah! our nation shall be free, 
The serpent's trail no longer we shall see; 
We'll drive the liquor traffic out, America to free. 
Prohibition, for our watchword. 

Wheaton. 111. All rights reserved. 




State of Kansas, 1886. 

I am monarch of what I survey, 

No woman my right can dispute, 

The shanty, which covereth me, 

Forms a house for my food and my brute. 

Oh! Woman where are the charms, 
That some people see in thy face? 
I am proud when I walk o'er my farms, 
That I think not of ribbons and lace. 

True I am out of humanity's reach. 
But it's happy I am here alone. 
And I hear the sweet music of speech, 
In every passing cyclone. 

The beasts that roam over the plain, 
My gun with indifference see. 
When at them I take deadly aim, 
They but stand a-winking at me. 

Society, friendship and love, 
More fitting for woman than man, 
E'en had I the wings of a dove, 
I care not to taste you again. 

I am free and all care I assuage. 
With the breast of a chicken forsooth, 
A chicken that died under age. 
That yielded up life in its youth. 

But the sand crane has gone to her rest, 
The coyote lain down in his lair, 
The sun has gone down in the west. 
And I to my dug-out repair. 

My bed was made up in the spring, 
The dishes were washed when I came. 
And I'm happy as bird on the wing, 
When I dream of the old house at home. 


Written for the children's 4th of July celebration 1897. 

Johnny Jones' papa gave Johnny a dime, 

And said: "Johnny go spend it and have a good time." 

So John called his sister and told her and kissed her, 

And she said: "Now mister, pray what will you buy", 

John said: "You're funny, I'll spend all my money 

For fireworks, of course, for it's 4th of July." 

John whistled for Tray and they started away; 

John ran so like smoke, Tray thought 'twas a joke, 

And he barked and jumped round, till John tripped on the 

John's dime, sad to saj-, from his hand flew away, 
And he looked till he cried for the dime that played hide. 
Poor Johnny went home and he cried and he cried. 
For he just couldn't quit, tho' he tried and he tried. 
His sister ran out to see what 'twas about. 
And Johnny grew bolder and finally told her. 
Of course she felt bad, for Johnny was sad, 
But it might have been worse for she had a purse, 
And gave Johnny a penny because he had'nt any. 
Then papa found out what the fuss was about 
And went off, on the sly, some fireworks to buy, 
And Johnny was happy the 4th of July. 



* * * * 

Ghosts perhaps may be a race, 
Passed away and hard to trace; 

Ancestors of Salem witches, 

Had their homes in swamps and ditches; 
For their food, partook of air, 
'Bandoned every thought of care, 

In their wanderings and their hobblin's. 

Somehow got the name of goblins. 

* * * * 

Those that dwell among us now, 
Are but stragglers, I allow, 

Have no fixed habitation. 

No existence as a nation. 
Never seen unless it 's dark. 
Then they're off to have a lark, 

Visit graveyards, dance in garrets. 

Walk the cellar 'mongst the carrots. 

* * * * 

Many claim that ghosts exist. 
Only in our minds, a mist; 

That they come or disappear 

With a fancy or a fear. 
Others say they have real cause, 
Are controlled by certain laws, 

Have a genuine existence. 

To inquiries make resistance. 

* ♦ * * Stanzas omitted. 


Our opinion we'll reserve, 

Till we get sufficient nerve, 

Chase a ghost and when we've caught him. 
When we've to our sanctum brought him, 

We'll dissect him, piece by piece, 

Save his scalp and save his fleece. 
Pay him all the honors due him. 
Come before you and review him. 


The earth, that was slumbering under the snow, 
Awakes and rejoices with all things below. 

Now tuning her harp strings, an anthem she'll raise, 
With chorus sublime to her great maker's praise. 
The roll of the thunder will open the song. 
The patter of rain drops the prelude prolong, 

The wood and the meadow will each sing her part, 
Mankind will in unison join from the heart. 
The brooks with their babblings will sing the refrain. 
The birds will unite in harmonious strain, 
A song of rejoicing that winter is o'er, 
A song of thanksgiving for good things in store. 


"Look where we may, the wide earth o'er, 
Those lighted faces smile no more. 

« « « « 

We turn the pages that they read, 
Their written words we linger o'er. 
But in the sun they cast no shade, 
No voice is heard, no sign is made, 
No step is on the conscious floor, 
Yet, love will dream, and faith will trust, 
(Since he who knows our need is just,) 
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must." 


^ :Wtbb^' '^ 

Ri) Si 

L^- ^0-0 

.<J>^ .'• 




' * 


<4.'' <.<>"» 

* A 


r. C 

• <ii/'" 





I. » * 

'-. "b. 

■.^^- -e 




32084 ''''^^^^^'*'" '^ A^ 

^ . . « 

O M O 

% V