So Much in a Picture

homestead (2)This is a  1904 picture of my Great Grandfather John Dobson Holdaway, his wife, Elvira Perkins, Holdaway, and their three sons still living at home.  My Grandfather, Roscoe Holdaway is pictured in the middle with his bicycle, James Holdaway holding his rifle to his left with George Holdaway on the end, his pet groundhog at his feet.

This picture prompts so many stories.  First of all, Elvira Perkins Holdaway had been bedridden for months.  My grandfather dressed her in her wedding dress and seated her in the chair for this picture.  She died three days later.  John Dobson Holdaway had  been a Texas Ranger and was a Confederate Veteran before marrying Elvira and settling on this homestead in Red River County Texas.  They had twelve children.  Most died in early adulthood.  He lived to be 96.

Each of the three boys was pictured with a prized possession:  Roscoe with his bicycle, Jim with his rifle, and George with his pet groundhog.  Just a few days before, the groundhog had caused them some embarrassment.  Great-Grandpa wouldn’t let the boys play cards in the house so they had a game going on the porch when the preacher rode up.  They stuffed the cards in the groundhog’s hole, hoping not to get caught.  A few seconds later an arc of cards flew out of the hole, followed by a furious groundhog.

George, the brother on the end, was gored by a long-horn cow when he was four, leaving him with lifelong disability.  The whole family worked to keep him in school so he could get an office job, knowing he wouldn’t be able to do manual labor.  He worked in the Clerk of Courts office until his death.

Jim, the middle brother, was my grandfather’s favorite.  Most of his stories involved their escapades.

More history on Holdaway family

<span style="color:#0066cc;"


23 thoughts on “So Much in a Picture

  1. That groundhog makes me smile like all get out. Great picture, so glad you posted and I think it’s marvelous that you can put the names to the faces, and hopefully preserve that for posterity.


  2. So much history wrapped up in a single picture! It’s amazing. And each person in the picture holds so many stories to themselves. I just find it so fascinating.


  3. Great picture and story – I remember my father wryly referring the old days when accidents and illnesses took people away at what we would now consider alarming rates as “back when people died more”:0).


  4. Thank you for the background information on this fascinating story. I would have missed the groundhog completely. Ahhh, the scandal of playing cards! Elvira died only three days later, how very sad. Wonderful post, Linda.


Talk To Me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s