Walking in Memphis: my great-great grandfather, Harry T. Holman
Harry Thomas Holman, my great-great grandfather, was born in Lincoln County, Tennessee on March 26, 1878. He was the fourth of six children born to Civil War Major Daniel Wilson Holman (1832-1885) and Fannie Landess Holman (1843-1923). The Holman roots run deep in Lincoln County as my 5x great-grandfather, Hardy Holman (1774-1826) surveyed and laid out the city square for the county seat, Fayetteville. On July 22, 1901, Harry T. Holman married Pearle Feeney Woods (1879-1975). He graduated from Vanderbilt in 1902 with literary and law degrees and represented Lincoln County in the state legislature. They had one child, Julian Claire Holman (1903-1977), and the family moved to Memphis in 1907 where Harry T. Holman was later appointed Assistant District Attorney.
Over the next 30 years, Harry T. Holman practiced law and according to his obituary, “A colorful and popular member of Legal Row, General Holman distinguished himself in many instances in the local courts, particularly in criminal cases.” Although he was likely on the side of the state as assistant attorney general, oral tradition suggests that he made his later career defending criminals. City directories indicate that Harry T. Holman worked for years as a lawyer out of an office in the same building as political boss E.H. Crump during the height of his reign over Memphis. Harry’s son, J.C. Holman, initially followed him into the law profession, but there are rumors that he lost his license in scandal. Perhaps the work was too much for Harry T. Holman as he developed severe stomach ulcers and died on March 13, 1938, shortly before his sixtieth birthday. He is interred at Rose Hill Cemetery in Fayetteville, Tennessee in the shadows of his parents and grandparents.