John Henry Holdridge (1842-1921) and
Martha Adlade Jackson (1840-1912)

7. JOHN HENRY HOLDRIDGE, son of John H.6 and Edy (Coley) Holdridge, was born 19 July 1842 in Georgia, and died 31 March 1921 in De Leon, Comanche County, Texas. He married in Tallapoosa County, Alabama, December 12, 1865, MARTHA ADLADE JACKSON, who was born 29 January 1840, in Georgia, and died 12 February 1912, in De Leon, Comanche County, Texas, daughter of Thomas1 Jackson and unknown Smith.[1]

John Henry Holdridge served as a drummer in the Civil War, serving under General Robert E. Lee in the Battle of Seven Pines, Richmond, Virginia. He was wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg. Formerly a Presbyterian, he joined the Methodist Church. His family was supported by farming. John Henry was a big 6 ft. 200 lb. man with a mustache.

Martha Adlade, called Mattie, was small, weighed about 100 pounds, 5 ft. 2 in., very shy and quiet. Her mother died of cancer when Mattie was a small child. In 1860, her family was living in Bowden District, Carroll County, Georgia. By December 1865, they were living in Alabama, where Mattie and John Henry Holdridge married just nine months after the end of the Civil War. Mattie's father Thomas Jackson remarried in 1867, to widow Emerline Holdridge Bryant, John Henry Holdridge's first cousin. Martha Adlade had at least three sisters. Mary "Mollie" W. married Philip Wolf, and after Mollie's death her sister, Elmira Felicia, married Philip. Martha's third sister, Lucinda "Lou" Jackson, married Lindsey Edward Washington "Wash" Ray.

John and Martha lived briefly in Rose Bud, White County, Arkansas, about 1874 when their son Horace Benton was born. They were back in DeKalb County, Alabama at least as early as 1877, when John Henry and his father John signed a lien to borrow money from A.G. Henry as an advance on a crop, so they could purchase seed and merchandise.

The State of Alabama
Marshall County

Know all men by these presence that having this day received from A.G. Henry Twenty-eight and 45/100 dollars advanced on corn and merchandise having given our note bearing date even with this instrument and due the first day of November 1877 for said sum of money we John Holdridge and John H. Holdridge do hereby declare that such advance was obtained by us bona fid for the purpose of making a crop the present year on our own land Russell Plantation in DeKalb County and that without the same it would not be in our power to procure the necessary team provisions and farming implements to make a crop and in consideration of said advances and such other advances as the said A.G. Henry make to us during the current year and to secure the same we hereby grant bargain and convey to the said A.G. Henry the entire crop of cotton corn and wheat and oats which may be produced in said plantation the present year and also the following property --- one mare and one mule in addition to the crop upon which a lien is hereby given and the possession to the same is hereby given to the said A.G. Henry. But the conveyance is upon the following conditions if we fully pay said note and account for additional advances made during the present year in or upon the 1st day of November 1877 when the same falls due the this conveyance to be paid, but if we either remove or attempts to remove said crop or property hereby conveyed in part or in whole before or at the time the same fall due then the said A.G. Henry is authorized to seize and take into his immediate possession said crop and property above conveyed or any of it and also authorized to sell the same at private sale or by giving 10 days notice of time and place of sale by posting in the public places in said county --- to sell the same to the highest bidder for cash and to execute titles to the purchaser and deliver to him or them the possession of such property as may be sold and by the proceeds to pay him the expenses of seizing advertising selling and conveying. Secondly the amount of principal and interest which may be due and unpaid to said A.G. Henry and lastly shall return any surplus of said proceeds to the undersigned witness our hands and seal this 19th day of June 1877
John Holdridge (seal)
J H Holdridge (seal)
A.G. Henry Jr

Fairview Methodist Church is located in Dawson, Alabama between Crossville and Collinsville. From Crossville, travel east toward Collinsville on Highway 68 for 3.7 miles. Turn left on County Road 57. Turn Right onto County Road 843 after 0.5 miles. The church and the cemetery are 1.7 miles on the right.

 Holdridges and related families were founding members of Fairview Methodist Church in Dawson, Alabama, "A small group met and organized the Fairview Methodist Church at Dawson, Alabama. A site a short distance northeast of Dawson was selected, cleared, and a log building was erected. The records show that Rev. J.M. Dodds was the first pastor. The charter members were Peter Stewart, William H. Morgan, Simon A. Stewart, Martha J. Holdridge, Alice O. Ballentine, George Stewart, Abrilla Morgan, Nancy R. Morgan, Elmira Wolf. On 17 August 1879 the following joined, Marietta Georgia Wolf Lyrand, Mary Wolf Stewart, and Alexander Stewart. The first member by baptism was Martin Patrick Lynbrand 18 Sept. 1882. In a few years the frame building was erected on the site of the present church, which was erected in 1922." This Martha J. Holdridge could be Martha Adlade Jackson Holdridge; they lived in Dawson during this time and Elmira Wolf was her sister.[2]

John and Martha moved to East Texas, Mt. Pleasant, Titus Co., about 1904. They moved on the train, except those who moved the stock. They went to Larkin's Landing and had to cross the Tennessee River on the ferry.  Then they caught the train in Scottsboro. Cora and Nora Morgan, daughters of Thomas and Lou Ella Holdridge Morgan, got scared when the freight train came through. Their mother looked at them and they were white as a sheet and she asked what was the matter. They said, "Do we have to get on the train when it is going that fast?"[3]

John Henry and Martha Adlade moved to Comanche County in 1905 to join other Holdridge and Morgan families who came to Texas around 1900 from Langston, Alabama. They all moved to Comanche County for health reasons, everyone had chills and fever all the time in East Texas. Also the farming was better.

John and Martha

John and Martha Adlade Jackson Holdridge about 1911

John Henry wore a mustache and beard until he came to Texas, then he shaved the beard but kept the mustache. He always wore a tie. He was grey-headed, but never had all white hair. He was tall, about 6 foot, but not a heavy man. He always got ready first and was waiting for others. He was a farmer even after coming to Comanche County. He was originally a Presbyterian, but joined the Methodist church in Alabama.

John Henry Holdridge

John and Martha lived with their daughter Lou Ella Holdridge Morgan and her family when the Morgan family moved in 1910 to the Harrison Place. Grandma Mattie had cancer for several years, and died on February 12, 1912.  After her death, John Henry divided his time between the home of son Horace Benton Holdridge, and the home of Thomas Warren and Ella (Holdridge) Morgan. James Marvin Holdridge, son of Horace Benton, remembers how he and grandpa were planting peanuts one day. Always he had done this with a walking planter and a mule or a horse. But this year they were using a brand new riding planter for the first time. Marvin recalled that he heard grandpa say "whoa" and he fell dead from the planter, a heart attack, March 31, 1921.

Children of John Henry Holdridge and Martha Adlade Jackson:

  1. Lou Ella Holdridge
  2. Mary Alice Holdridge
  3. William Howard Holdridge
  4. Horace Benton8 Holdridge
  5. Ida Belle Holdridge
  6. Minnie Ola Holdridge
  7. Arthur Henry Holdridge

  1. James Rector Holdridge, "Research Notes and Records (1985-1989)", Edited and Revised by Cynthia Ann Holdridge Smith, 1999.
  2. Heritage of DeKalb County, Alabama (Clanton, Alabama: Heritage Publishing Consultants, 1998), 38. Note that Martha J. Stewart Holdridge, wife of George Holdridge, was buried at Fairview Methodist Church Cemetery. Although they did not marry until 1881, she could be the Martha J. Holdridge named as a founding member.
  3. LaDoris Morgan Whitney, letter to James Holdridge, December 1985, from notes taken in an interview of Horace Benton Holdridge,  no date but prior to Horace's death in 1953.