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Third Generation

10. Dr. ROBERT CHARLES HOLDERNESS37,66,67,68,69,70,71 was born on 11 October 1827 in Caswell County, North Carolina.1,6,71 He served in the military in 1863 at Company K, 9th Texas Cavalry (Ross Brigade) in Civil War.72 He died on 2 June 1905 at the age of 77 in Cumby, Hopkins County, Texas.6,73

He was the 5th child of eight in the family and was only about six years old when his father died

Robert "read" medicine under Dr. Allen Gunn in Yanceyville. He then attended and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1850. In the Census of that year, he was living in the household with his mother in Caswell County, North Carolina.

There was a lawsuit that reached the Supreme Court of North Carolina. Robert Holderness and wife and others v. Lavinia J. Palmer, Executrix. June Term, 1858. [Reporter: 57 N.C. 107] Cause removed from the Court of Equity of Caswell Co. The estate of Nathaniel P. Thomas had proved to be greatly more in debt than anticipated by him. Palmer had to sell property disposed of by the will - he chose to sell lands rather than slaves. He sold the home tract, as well as the land devised to Virginia and Rebecca. The slaves were then rented out, several of whom died before they were delivered up to the legatees. Some of the children died from scarlet fever or teething and some of the slaves died in Virginia in possession of William Thomas where they had been taken by force. Palmer was by now himself deceased. The judge ruled that Palmer had acted in good faith by making the decision to sell the land instead of the slaves - if he had sold the slaves they would have been removed from the home tract which would also have been against the wishes of the testator. Palmer would have received no personal benefit from any sale. The slaves were still in North Carolina, many under the direction of the overseer, William Bryant. They had not been mistreated and the illnesses that caused their deaths could just as easily happened regardless of where they were. Palmer also could not be responsible for those slaves forcibly removed by William Thomas. Therefore it was decided Palmer's estate could not be held responsible for the value of the deceased slaves.
By the time this case reached the Supreme Court, I believe the Holderness family had already moved to Arkansas. The case explains somewhat about what happened to Virginia's inheritance.

Calhoun Co, AR Probate Records, Minutes. Vol. A, p.119
Tuesday, May the 1st, 1855
#16. R. C. Holderness vs. Estate of Wm H. Russell Deceased
Came Robert C. Holderenss & files herein his account against the estate of Wm H. Russell Deceased and the Court upon Examination finds that the affidavit of the said Holderness had not be subscribed.
Therefore it is Ordered that the Said Holderness have leave to withdraw Said Accont for amendment.
Probate Court held in the town of Hampton, county of Calhoun on Monday the 30th day of July 1855.
#16 R. E. Holderness vs Estate of Wm H. Russell decd.
Came R. C. Holdiness and files herein a claim against the estate of William H. Russell Deceased for the sum of fourteen Dollars. And Said Account being Examined in Open Court and Said Account having been properly authenticated and allowed by the administrator.
It is therefore ordered that Said Account be and is hereby Confirmed & Classed (No. 4)

A Federal Land Patent dated 1 Sep 1856 shows he bought 240 acres in Dallas County, AR It sometimes took a few years before the Patents were issued; likely he had been in Arkansas awhile; two of his brothers were there before 1850. The land was located as following:
S1/2 NE 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W
NW 1/4 NE 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W
E 1/2 NW 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W
SW 1/4 NW 1/4, S34, T10S, R14W

On the same day 1 Sep 1856, Robert C. Holderness was issued patent for another 80 acres, Dallas Co.
NW 1/4 of SE 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W
NE 1/4 of SW 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W

On 1 Jun 1859, Robert received two more patents in Dallas Co. One for 40 acres - the SW 14 SE 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W, and another for the same - the SE 1/4 SE 1/4, S33, T10S, R14W.

He also received a patent on 1 Jul 1859 for 39.9 acres in Calhoun Co., N 1/2 NW 1/4 S4,
T11S, R14W.
On 2 Apr 1860, received another patent in Calhoun for 80.02 acres, S 1/2 NW 1/4, S4, T11S, R14W.
And on 1 Oct 1860, another patent in Calhoun for 80 acres, N 12 SW 1/4 S4, T11S, R14W.

1860 US Census; Dallas County AR; p.1057-8; Household 700. Robt. C. Holderness, age 33, Physician, born NC. Virginia E., age 24, b. NC. Rebecca, age 4, b. AR and Robt age 2, b. AR. Jonathan I. , age 26, a farmer, also born in NC - no doubt Robert's younger brother.

A newspaper article about daughter Elizabeth and her husband J. B. Haden reveals that she was born in Arkansas, but moved to Cumby at 6 weeks of age. This would place the family's move to Texas about October 1863.

8 Dec 1864 Exchange Certificate #588, C. S. Depository’s Office
Marshall, Tex. (Harrison County)
This Certifies that R. C. Holderness has deposited in this office, two thousand & forty Dollars of “Old Issue” Treasury Notes, to be exchanged, on his order, for Two-Thirds of that sum in “New Issue” Notes, under the Act of Congress of 17th Feb’y, 1864, when this office shall be supplied with funds for the purpose and on surrender of this Certificate.
$1360.00 “New Issue”

Internal Revenue Act of 1 Jul 1862 taxed certain manufacturers receipts and products; also personal items such as pianos, carriages, watches. The tax list for Hopkins Co Dec 1865 - 1866 lists R. C. Holderness of Sulphur Springs, physician, taxed at the rate of $10.00. Printed in the HOPKINS CO HERITAGE, Vol. 5, #3, Sept 1988.

Hopkins Co, TX Tax Rolls.
1864 seems to be the first year that included any Holderness males
T. B. Holderness, $500 in Confederate bank notes, $830 worth of personal property
R. C. Holderness - 15 slaves worth $12,000, $1500 in bank notes, $2775 personal property
Holderness, ____ 1 slave worth $1500, $1000 in bank notes, $800 personal property
1865 - only
R. C. Holderness (still lists no real property) 7 horses, 30 head of cattle
R. C. Holdiness - 8 horses, 28 head of cattle, one poll
J. I. Holdiness - 2 horses and a poll
R. C. & J. I. Holderness - 215 acres from Birdwell, worth $600. 10 horses, 25 head of cattle, 2 polls. Also 15 acres from Dan Halbrook worth $15.
R. C. & J. "R" Holderness now have 4 pieces of property: 28 acres from G. Birdwell, 23 1,2 acres from T. J. Birdwell, 15 1/2 acres from Halbrook, and 233 acres from J. W. Prime. They have 20 horses, and 50 head of cattle. 2 polls. J. I. Holderness is listed with an additional 50 head of cattle and 1 poll.
1869 - the brothers had added 40 acres from Richard Crook. They now count 28 horses, 60 head of cattle. J. I. is again listed by himself with 70 head of horses. Each claimed a poll.
1870 - the brothers are still partners - but the 40 acres is said to have first been granted to Margaret Stewart in of Crook. Together they have 32 head of horses, 50 head of cattle. J. I. again has an additional 70 head of horses.
R. C. Holderness himself has 3 horses and a mule. "J. J." Holderness has 1 horse and 2 mules. Together they still have the 5 tracts of land totaling about 335 acres, 25 horses and 50 head of cattle, 5 mules

Holderness was bring taxed in two states:
19 Apr 1866 United States of America, Receipt for Direct Taxes
R. C. Holderness has this day paid the sum of $11.10 that being the amount in full for taxes, penalty, interest and costs charged under the Act of Congress, entitled, “An act for the collection of direct taxes in insurrectionary districts within the United States and for other purposes,” approved June 7, 1862 upon the following tract or lots of Land, situate in the County of Dallas and State of Arkansas, and described as follows: 480 acres. Signed at Camden by the Commissioner of Direct Taxes for Arkansas.

Dr. Holderness joined the Confederate Army in Black Jack Grove (Cumby), TX and was attached to Company K of the 9th Texas Cavalry (Ross Brigade). Because of the great need for medical service, he was assigned to civilian practice at Primm Hill (Cumby).

From CIVIL WAR SHADOWS in HOPKINS CO TX, by June E. Tuck, 1993:
p.38 "The 4th of March 1864, the County exempted the following doctors from military duty: Robert Holderness of Tarrant .... The Commissioners thought they were needed at home more than the military needed them.
p.90 "On June 24, 1893, Col. Dillahuntz of Mt. Pleasant, TX, met with ex-Confederates at Black Jack Grove (Cumby) Hopkins Co, TX to organize a new chapter to be known as "Dud Jones Camp, U.C.V. Dr. R. C. Holderness [was elected] Surgeon."

U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918; From NARA microfilm.
Division 5, Collection District 4, Texas, October, 1866
R. C. Holderness of Sulphur Springs, Physician, was taxed $10.

Voter Registration List, found on
Hopkins Co, TX, July 29th 1867.
Robert C. Holderness, Black Jack Grove, Precinct 4. He had lived in the state and county for three years; in the precinct for one year.

In 1868 R. C. and J. I. Holderness bought 40 acres from Josiah & Elizabeth Stockton, parents and heirs of Thomas Haden Stockton. Thomas H. Stockton had bought this 40 acres from Thomas Young, part of a survey of 640 acres of Richard Crooks [probably patented to M. Stewart] Thomas H. Stockton was born 2 Apr 1831 and died between the 1860 census and the 1868 date of the deed to R. C. & J. I. Holderness. His parents had 13 children; they were Josiah Smith Stockton, born 15 Apr 1804 in Georgia and Elizabeth Welch born 7 Nov 1812 in TN - they had married 6 Jul 1830 in Laurence Co TN.
PIONEERS OF HOPKINS CO TX, Vol. II; Sylvia M. Kibart & rita M. Adams, co-editors for the Hopkins Co Genealogical Society, 1989.

1870 US Census; Hopkins Co TX , Precinct No. 4, Black Jack Grove P. O. Page 18, household 122. "Holiness" Robert, age 40, Physician born NC. Virginia age 30 keeping house, b. NC Rebecca, 13, attending school, b. AR; Robert age 11, b. AR; Junius age 9 b.AR; Betty age 6, b. AR; George age 4, b. TX; Thomas age 1, b. TX, Jonathan, age 35 b. NC, farmer. Watson, Joseph age 21 b. TN, a farm laborer, and Tinkley, Robert age 16 b. SC also live with the family.

The 1878 Medical Register & Directory of the United States listed as being from Hopkins Co, TX: Holderness, Robert C. - Sulphur Springs. HOPKINS CO HERITAGE, Vol. 7 #4, Dec 1990.

1880 US Census: Hopkins Co TX, Prec 4, p.178D Robert "Holness", Physician. Virginia and 9 of the children. Rebecca was married but living nearby.

From THE WEEKLY GAZETTE, published in Sulpur Springs TX, 11 Oct 1889.
McElee's Wine of Cardul and Thedford's Black-Draught are for sale by the following merchants in Hopkins County: [among these] R. C. Holderness, Black Jack Grove.
Printed in HOPKINS CO HERITAGE, Vol 10, #3, Sep 1993.
1900 US Census; Hopkins Co TX, Precinct No. 4, ED 54, p.185, Household #275
Robert C. Holderness, Physician, age 62. Robert N., son b. Apr 1859, druggist. Thomas B. b. Jun 1870, Day laborer [Thomas was also counted on p.167 with Edward Greaves & Family as Boarder and day laborer.]. Charles S. b. Jul 1875, Druggist. Mary Kate, born Dec 1879. Junius I. & Lynna R, grandchildren are also living with the family.

Dallas Morning News, 6 May 1890.
Black Jack, Tex., May 5 - Another disastrous fire visited this place this morning between 4 and 5 o'clock originating by a brick building owned by will Rash and occupied by A. J. Halbrook, which soon communicated with R. C. Holderness & Son's drug store, consuming three buildings and contents which are a total loss. The flames also spread to buildings occupied by Rash, Smith & Co.'s stock of dry good and clothing which buildings and stock were badly damaged. The fire was stopped and a part of the stock and what was left of the buildings saved. Holderness & son's loss on the building and stock $4000, insured for $1000 on stock, $1100 on building. Halbrook's loss $1000, insured for $750. C. W. White's barber shop total loss, no insurance. Rash, Smith & Co.'s loss on stock is considerable but fully insured. Their loss on building is about $1000 fully insured. Mrs. T. C. Bridgeman's loss on building $100, insured for $1100.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette. (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 248, Ed. 1, Tuesday, June 17, 1890
Hogg Club at Black Jack Grove
Black Jack Grove, Tex., June 15. Saturday was a gala day for the constituency of Gen. Jas. S. Hogg. A petition being placed in circulation to secure members for the organization of a Hogg club resulted in securing 113 signers. They met in the postoffice building at 8 pm and organized by electing Dr. R. C. Holderness, president; ...R. W. Harris, secretary.
....Gen. Hogg's supporters are numerous and enthusiastic and from present indications Hopkins County will be almost unanimous for him.
[another article on the same page makes plain that Gen. Hogg was then Attorney-General of Texas]

Fort Worth Daily Gazette. (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 260, Ed. 1, Sunday, June 29, 1890
Family Poisoned.
Black Jack Grove, Tex. June 27
Our little city was all excitement yesterday evening over the news that the entire family of Mr. T. F. McGarity, boot and shoe dealer of this place, had been dangerously poisoned. Doctors R. C. and G. W. Holderness and Oscar Smith were summoned and after some hours of exertion succeeded in relieving them of the poison, though they are yet in critical condition. Various theories are advanced as to the cause of the disastrous affair, but the geneal supposition is that they were poisoned from mile drank and which had been in a tin paid over night. At present writing all parties are resting easy and doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances.

Dallas Morning News, 26 Oct 1898
Petition in Bankruptcy
Cumby, Tex. Oct 25 - R. C. Holderness & Son, druggists of this place, filed a petition in bankruptcy at 10:30 this morning. Clark, Esq. of Sulphur Springs was appointed temporary receiver. Amount of liabilities unknown.
Note: the son and partner in the drug store was Robert N. Holderness.

John Haden relates the following story that his grandmother (Bettie Holderness Haden) told him about her father: One dark night the good doctor was riding horseback to assist in a birth and had to pass through a heavily wooded area. He heard a horrible scream in the woods; soon after something of great weight seemed to land behind him on his horse causing his horse to buck and rear in fright. When he was able to stop where there was light after their mad dash from the woods, the horse had deep scratches down his back and haunches. (Was it a bobcat, a mountain lion???)

Printed in HOPKINS CO HERITAGE, Vol 12, #2, June 1995.
"Old Settlers in Hopkins Co: 40 Years Ago" by R. W. Harris. Copied from CUMBY RUSTLER of 15 Jul 1932. [R. W. Harris was a son-in-law of Robert C. Holderness]
Dr. R. C. Holderness was born in Taswell County, NC [actually Caswell Co] 11 Oct 1827. Graduated in medicine from the University of Penn. In 1850, practiced medicine in Calhoun Co Ark. for several years, moving to Texas in 1863. For something like 20 years he did an extensive practice in what was then known as the Prim Hill community north of Ridgeway, and in 1884 located in Black Jack Grove, where he continued to have a lucrative practice for many years. He died June 14, 1905 [grave marker has Jun 2] and is buried in Cumby. He was a man of splendid education attainments, and was known far and wide over Hopkins County.

Early History of Hopkins County Texas; Biographical Skethches and Incidents of the Early Settled Families, E. B. Fleming, 1902; reprinted 1976
“Biography of Dr. R. C. Holderness”
Dr. R. C. Holderness was born in the state of North Carolina in the year 1827. In the year 1850 he graduated in medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently moved to the State of Arkansas, Calhoun County, where he began the successful practice he has always enjoyed. In the year 1863 he migrated to Hopkins County, where he has lived since in the enjoyment of a lucrative practice. The doctor married Miss Virginia Thomas, an old Carolina lady, in the state of Arkansas. They both came from the same county in North Carolina and migrated to the same county in Arkansas. They were united in marriage in the year 1854. Ten children were born to this union, five sons and five daughters. Fourt of these were born in Arkansas. Nine of his children are living; only two single, who live with their aged father in Cumby. His companion died in the year 1894 and is laid away in the cemetery in Cumby. She was a Christian lady, and practiced her religion in all the walks of life; a devoted mother and an affectionate wife. Dr. Holderness has ever taken great interest in public enterprises and has contributed his time and money to aid in the completion of them. He is a cool-headed man of fine judgment. The social position of his family is equal to any in the state, and the doctor is a polished gentleman. He is an ardent supporter of Christianity, being a member of the Methodist church, and has acted as steward in this church for fifty-two years. He was converted in Arkansas. He had ever been a man of good habits, using neither spirits nor tobacco in any form. He is a hale hearty fellow. His step is elastic and his form erect, although he is burdened with the weight of seventy-five years. He attributes his physical condition to his abstemious habits.

The Commerce Journal, April 21, 1905, p.11
Dr. Holderness [Robert C.] of Cumby was among the visitors to Commerce this week. He was here visiting his son Dr. Holderness [George W.].

Robert is buried Cumby Cemetery. No record in the cemetery book of Virginia being buried there with him, but she must be. She is on FindAGrave and it says she has one of her own and is also on Robert's marker; picture included.
HOLDERNESS, R. C. DR. - Cumby, Hopkins Co., Texas- June 2, 1905 - Dr. R. C. Holderness died here today from an apoplectic stroke. He was born Oct. 11, 1827, in North Carolina, and had lived in Hopkins County 40 years and had practiced medicine in Ark. and this state nearly 50 years. Burial was by the masonic Fraternity. ( Dallas Morning News, June 3, 1905)

The Commerce Journal, Friday, June 9, 1905, p.2
Death of Dr. Holderness
Dr. R. C. Holderness was stricken with apoplexy at his home in Cumby Friday morning and died about five o'clock that afternoon. His sudden death was a sad shock to all. His son, Dr. G. W. Holderness of this city was notified of his illness and hastened to his beside and was with him in his last hours. His funeral was conducted by the Methodist minister and was one of the numerously attended funerals ever held in Cumby. His death marks the end of a long useful life. He had resided in that community for many years and was known and esteemed far and wide for his many gentlemanly and Christian excellencies. He enjoyed in an unusual degree the respect and confidence of the public. He raised a large family, nine of the ten children born to him having been raised to maturity and he had the satisfaction of seeing them all comfortably established in life and within a radius of about 100 miles of him. He was a man of distinguished bearing and pleasing personality and lived nearly a decade beyond the three score years and ten allotted to the righteous, being about 78 years old.

Dallas Morning News, 28 Aug 1905
Drug Store for sale; stock all new and well selected; good location, established trade, good paying business, invoices $1,200; population 1,000. Reasons for selling, death of proprietor. Address C. S. Holderness, Administrator, Cumby, Tex.

Dr. ROBERT CHARLES HOLDERNESS and VIRGINIA ELIZABETH THOMAS were married on 2 November 1854 in Calhoun County, Arkansas.25,73 VIRGINIA ELIZABETH THOMAS, daughter of NATHANIEL PRICE THOMAS and REBECCA E. WALTERS, was born on 29 April 1836 in Danville, Pittsylvania County, Virginia. She died on 20 May 1894 at the age of 58 in Cumby, Hopkins County, Texas.

Marriage record: Holderness, Robert C. (27) - Thomas, Virginia A. (18) 2 Nov 1854

The land that Virginia and her sister Rebecca inherited was sold to William H. Holderness, her husband's brother that had bought all the Holderness land, before they left for Arkansas. Rebecca had died.
Found in the estate file of Nathaniel P. Thomas as found on
Virginia E. Thomas's Petition to sell real restate. Decree Spring Term 1857
Virginia E. Thomas has intermarried with Robert C. Holderness since the sale of lands set forth in the petition, who come to be made party to the petition in right of his wife.
It further appears to the court, that the petitioner Rebeccah W. Thomas has died under age since the sale of the lands set forth, and that by the death of the said Rebeccah, the whole estate passed over to Virginia E. Holderness, by the Will of the testator, their father Nathaniel P. Thomas, who thereby became entitled to received the whole of the proceeds of the sale.
Further appears that Robert C. Holderness and wife Virginia E. Holderness, formerly Virginia E. Thomas, have by deed duly conveyed all right, title and interest, to William H. Holderness.
Decreed by the Court, that the master pay over to William H. Holderness whatever terms of money are remaining in his hands from the sale of real estate and that the receipt of the said William H. Holderness by a sufficient discharge for the same.

Fort Worth Gazette. (Fort Worth, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 183, Ed. 1, Friday, May 25, 1894
After a Short Illness
Special Dispatch
Black Jack Grove, Tex. May 24. Mrs. Dr. R. C. Holderness, aged 58 years died last Sunday afternoon of erysipelas after an illness of only a few days. Her remains were interred in the city cemetery Monday evening and were followed to the grave by a large crowd of sorrowing citizens.

Erysipelas is an acute infection of the upper dermis and superficial lymphatics, usually caused by streptococcus bacteria. Patients typically develop symptoms including high fevers, shaking, chills, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, and general illness within 48 hours of the initial infection. The erythematous skin lesion enlarges rapidly and has a sharply demarcated raised edge. It appears as a red, swollen, warm, hardened and painful rash, similar in consistency to an orange peel.
Erysipelas infections can enter the skin through minor trauma, insect bites, dog bites, eczema, surgical incisions and ulcers, and often originate from strep bacteria in the subject's own nasal passages. Infection sets in after a small scratch or abrasion spreads resulting in toxaemia.

Find A Grave Memorial# 21022020. Buried Cumby Cemetery, Hopkins Co, TX. She has her own grave marker and is also on her husband's stone.




Rebecca Sarah HOLDERNESS.












George Washington HOLDERNESS MD.



Thomas Brooks HOLDERNESS.



Virginia Ann "Jennie" HOLDERNESS.



Charles Sidney HOLDERNESS.



Willie Richmond HOLDERNESS.



Mary Katherine HOLDERNESS.