Biography of William H. Holt

William H. Holt came to Kansas a number of years ago as a railway employee, but soon took up banking and had had a wide experience in that field, partly in Kansas and partly in Northwestern Texas, and is now cashier of the Central National Bank of Ellsworth. This is one of the largest and most substantial banks in Southern Kansas.

Mr. Holt was born at Grafton, West Virginia, August 2, 1879. His ancestors came originally out of England and were colonial settlers in Virginia. His father, James W. Holt, was born at Kingwood in Preston County, West Virginia, in 1850, and had spent his entire life in West Virginia, being now a resident of Grafton and a retired publisher. In politics he is a republican and for several years served as postmaster of Grafton, as mayor two terms, and as a member of the Lutheran Church and the Masonic fraternity. He married Anna Jordan, who was born at Baltimore, Maryland, in 1852 and died at Grafton in 1897. They reared a family of very capable children, their names and situations in life being noted as follows: John A., a banker at Gage, Oklahoma; Alfred, a druggist at Grafton, West Virginia; William H.; Howard H., who succeeds his father as publisher of the Grafton Daily Sentinel and still had active charge of the journal; Mrs. Lillian Rightmire, living at Montgomery, West Virginia, her husband being master mechanic in the Chesapeake & Ohio shops; and Catherine, who married Frank Shrewsbury of Montgomery, West Virginia, an engineer with the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway.

William H. Holt graduated from the high school at Grafton, West Virginia, in 1897, and his first experience at earning his own living was in the local postoffice for two years under his father. Mr. Holt came to Kansas in 1899, being assistant chief clerk in the Rock Island Railroad offices at Horton for a year and a half. From Kansas he removed to Enid, Oklahoma, served as assistant cashier in the Bank of Enid five years, after which he established the Farmers State Bank at Gage, Oklahoma, and held the office of president until 1913. He then went into Northwest Texas at McLean in Gray County and bought the American State Bank, which he served as cashier until September 1, 1916. Mr. Holt then sold his interests and came to Ellsworth to accept the position of cashier of the Central National Bank.

He is also a stockholder in the Waukomis National Bank of Oklahoma, and the National City Bank of Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Holt owned one of the good homes of Ellsworth. He is a republican, a member of the Lutheran Church, and had Masonic affiliations in his former home town of McLean, Texas, with the Lodge, Chapter and Knight Templar Commandery and also belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows there.

September 6, 1905, at Enid, Oklahoma, Mr. Holt married Miss Mildred Long, daughter of David B. and Harriet (Sage) Long. Her mother is now deceased and her father lives retired at Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Long served in the Union army during the Civil war and soon afterward settled among the pioneers of Ellsworth County, Kansas, where he was an active farmer. Mr. and Mrs. Holt have two children: Howard, born June 20, 1906; and Catherine Long, born December 27, 1907.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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1 thought on “Biography of William H. Holt”

  1. Hi,
    My Grandmother was born in Kansas in 1924 where adoption records are crazy impossible to access. The story goes that my great grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Napier, adopted her from a family with the last name of Holt. They had several children and Gerry was just the youngest and tiniest. I can’t imagine that she would have been part of this successful one above but you never know who knows what about extended family. She was on the list to see if her mother was alive in the 1980s but didn’t get a response. The Napiers kept her name of Geraldine Marie but the birth certificate date was changed a little bit when the adoption was final. The two families must have know each other at the time. The Holts had extra mouths to feed and Napiers believed they were unable to have children.
    If you have heard anything like this before I would love to know.
    Thank you,

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