Benjamin Franklin Holt

on Friday, May, 07 2010 @ 12:54:00 am (819 words)
In Brazoria County history [ 50801 views ]


Benjamin Franklin Holt, farmer, teacher, soldier, and merchant, fourth son (fourth of nine children) of Benjamin and Charity Ann (Wrinkle) Holt, was born in Texas in the Sabine District (Department of Nacogdoches) on May 30, 1830.  His parents and his oldest brother, Abram, moved there from Louisiana in 1825.  His father, Ben Holt, represented the Sabine District as a delegate to the Convention of 1832, held in San Felipe de Austin.  The Holts returned to Louisiana in 1836 and resided there until 1852 when they moved to Ranch Prairie in Brazoria County, Texas.

On September 21, 1854, Benjamin Franklin Holt married Ann P. Hoskins, whose parents, Isaac C. and Nancy (Spraggins) Hoskins, had come to Texas from Christian County, Kentucky, in 1832.  (Nancy's father was Virginia-born pioneer Texas Baptist preacher Thomas Spraggins who at Independence, Texas, in 1839, led efforts to establish a Baptist Church there, and out of its organization grew the founding at Independence of Baylor University.  Thomas in 1830 was likewise a resident of Christian County and on the census for that year was listed just above the entry for the household of Isaac Hoskins.) In 1860 the household of Benjamin and Ann were enumerated after the respective households of his parents and of his brother Abram. The census gave the occupation of Benjamin F. Holt as "Teacher."

Benjamin Franklin Holt served as a private in the Confederate cavalry in the War Between the States.  He was enlisted at Columbia (Brazoria County, Texas) on March 26, 1862, by John W. Brooks for the duration of the war.  He was assigned to Company A, 12th Texas (Brown's) Cavalry Battalion, which later became the 35th (Brown's) Regiment, Texas Cavalry.  At Camp Chocolate in early November 1862, Holt and his younger brother Henry Madden Holt requested a transfer from Captain Stephen W. Perkin's "Columbia Blues" (Company A, 12th Battalion) to Captain William Sander's Cavalry Company (Company A, Joseph Bates's Battalion).  The transfer was effected on January 1, 1863.  On November 11, 1863, four cavalry companies from the 13th (Bates's) Regiment, Texas Infantry, were transferred to the 12th (Brown's) Battalion, making it the 35th (Brown's) Regiment, Texas Mounted Volunteers.  Thus, at the end of the war, Holt was a private in Company H of Brown's Regiment.

In 1867, Benjamin's parents died within seven months of each other, and their estates were thus combined as a single probate case.  From their estate, Benjamin and Ann purchased the house of his parents, which was near their own residence and other real estate holdings at the time.

Benjamin and Ann had no children of their own; however, the oldest son of Abram Wrinkle Holt (Benjamin's brother) and Margaret Elizabeth "Betsy" (Bludworth) Holt, was named for his uncle, and the nephew's name appears in various documents as Benjamin Franklin Holt, Jr., though he was more often known as Frank or Franklin.  Following the accidental death of Betsy on September 20, 1856, Abram Holt remarried in Bexar County, Texas, to Martha M. Young, a widow, and in 1862 the couple bought land in Burleson County to which they moved their combined family.  Franklin, however, chose to remain in Brazoria County and to reside with Benjamin and Ann Holt.

Censuses of 1870 and 1880 indicate that Benjamin and Ann also took in a young orphaned boy named Robert Scoby, who was probably the son of Mathew Scoby and thus grandson of early Austin Colony pioneers Robert and Mary (Fulcher) Scoby.  The 1900 census shows the younger Robert and wife Emma residing in Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.  Benjamin Franklin Holt (Sr.) is shown on the 1870 census as a farmer living with his wife, Ann, his nephew Frank, and Robert Scoby (age 6).  The real estate holdings of Benjamin were estimated at $1500; and his personal assets, at $1000.

By 1876, as indicated by his listing in the Bradstreet business directory for that year, Benjamin was the operator of a general store.  The community was then known as Ranch(e) Prairie. (Also listed in the business directory that year as a businessman in Ranche Prairie was cattleman William D. Hoskins, brother of Ann P. Holt.)  The 1880 census gives Benjamin's occupation as "Storekeeper."  Residing in his household besides himself at that time were Robert Scoby and Samuel H. Williams, a minister.

Ann P. (Hoskins) Holt died on March 21, 1878.  Benjamin died on February 28, 1882.  They are buried in the cemetery, now called Phair Cemetery, consequent to the change in name of the community in honor of Rev. George Phair, minister of the Methodist Church that once stood by the cemetery.

Following the death of Benjamin Franklin Holt, his nephew Benjamin Franklin Holt (Jr.) and his wife, Julia Ann (Follett) Holt, purchased the home, once owned by Franklin's grandparents, Ben and Charity Ann Holt, at the administrator's sale.  Benjamin Franklin Holt (Jr.) died in Velasco on August 11, 1897; his wife had died October 18, 1890.  He and his wife were both buried at Phair Cemetery.

The land on which all three Benjamin Holts ( Benjamin "Ben" Holt, Benjamin Franklin Holt, and Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Holt, Jr.) lived and farmed, and successively owned, is on Big Slough.



Comment from: dolores monet [Visitor]
dolores monetWhat a wonderful site. Not only is the site itself attractive, but you are doing a wonderful service in helping to preserve history!
05/27/10 @ 08:12
Comment from: roof repair [Visitor]
roof repairVery good post.
07/26/10 @ 12:25

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