John G. Holloway

by Edmund Starling, 1886


JOHN G. HOLLOWAY was the eldest son of John Holloway, of Virginia, a soldier of the Revolutionary War, and who, subsequent to that time, removed to Henderson County, where he owned a large body of fine land. Mr. Holloway was a large grower of tobacco, and for many years up to 1820 was a successful grower of cotton. He married in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, Anne, eldest daughter of William Starling and Susanna Lyne. Mrs. Holloway was a woman distinguished for her great prudence and excellent sense. At the death of her husband, she was left with a large family and an encumbered estate, but, by her energy and fine management, she freed the estate and became flourishing and prosperous. She directed all things until John G., the subject of this sketch, was enabled to relieve her of such cares. It is said of Mrs. Holloway, that no woman ever lived or died in Henderson County more universally loved and respected.

John G. Holloway was born on the second day of September, 1802, and was educated in Transylvania University at Lexington, Ky. In early life he took an active interest in political affairs, and was a popular and effective speaker; but he preferred the peaceful field of agriculture to the turbulent pool of politics, and, therefore, turned his attention to the management and improvement of an extensive landed estate, and becoming a very large slave owner, was a successful planter and thrifty farmer. While in politics, however, he represented his county several times in the Lower House of the Legislature and his district in the Senate. He was a man of strong convictions, yet one of the noblest hearted of the human kind. During the Rebelling he was a pronounced Union man and become so obnoxious to the rebels and guerrilas that his life was frequently threatened. He was a heavy looser by the war, yet he maintained his adherence to the Union--a man of decided views and positive character, weilding[sic] great influence in his county, and, in fact, wherever known. He was greatly respected for his integrity of character, and was always sought after for places of trust and responsibility--such as trustee of funds and guardian of estates, requiring honesty, judgment and capacity. Mr. Holloway was twice married, first, to Miss Sarah R. Terry, on April 1st, 1830; she died February 10th, 1831, without issue. September 4th, 1838, he married Miss Laura M. Smith; unto them have been born eleven children, seven of whom are living. Peter Smith, William Starling, Nannie R., Edmund Starling, Louisa Anderson, Mary Turpen, and Robert Anderson. William Starling married Miss Mary Williams, a bright, handsome woman of fine domestic traits of character; Nannie R. married F. B. Cromwell, and has a large family of children; Edmund Starling married Miss Mollie Mayo, of Daviess County, a lady of rare domestic qualities and greatly beloved by all who know her. They have four children. Louisa Anderson married Judge L. P. Little, of the Owensboro Circuit, a lawyer of ability and man of strong mind; she has children. Mary Turpin married Judge Joe McCarroll, of Hopkinsville, a man of fine business character, and has children. The other children are yet unmarried. John, Jr., was a distinguished officer in the Union Army, and one of the brightest men of his age ever born in the county. He died in Russellville after his return from the Morgan raid in September, 1863. Mrs. Holloway is one of the most lovable of women. Her life has been as pure as an angel's whisper, and her noble, true, good heart, has been continuously wrapper up in her jewels, her children. Mr. Holloway died suddenly of heart disease on the evening of the eighteenth of January 1871, leaving a very large estate. Of his life, a friend who knew him intimately, has furnished the following tribute:

     "John G. Holloway was fortunate in his parentage. His father was of robust integrity, firm adherence to correct principles, independent spirit and inflexible in his views of right. These qualities did not protect him from the exhibition of a spirit that may be called arbitrary on occasion, but preserved him clean from the temptation of immorality.

     "Of his mother I can hardly write and escape the use of language that may be deemed extravagant panegyric. She was a modest woman. Her modest, unpretending disposition, and all her womanly virtues were balanced by her spirit of independence and devotion to duty. She was industrious and frugal, yet these qualities were crowned by a gentle and bountiful charity. There is no doubt her son, John, for the most part owed his success and position in life to her counsel and example. When Major Holloway died she found herself with a large farm and a number of slaves to manage. John was young, and as his school days had left but little time for farm work, was wholly inexperienced.  But with the help, encouragement and advice of his mother-he conducted the business successfully, and the Holloway residence was noted for order, hospitality and good living. He continued on the old farm all his life, never engaged in dangerous speculation, kept up the reputation of the old home, and it is noted to day, long after his death, under the management of his widow and her children, for the same order, hospitality and good living.

As John Holloway was of fair education for his time and place, possessed a clear and vigorous mind, it was natural that a man of his position would take interest in public affairs. Identified with the Whigs, he became a force in the Whig party, and contributed to its popularity and success in Henderson, until it was shattered in the impending conflict on the slavery question. He represented Henderson in the Legislature and the district, of which Henderson was a part, in the State Senate. He acted well his part in both positions and never lost the confidence and respect of his constituents. In the presidential contest preceding the Rebellion, he supported Bell and Everett, as he considered this the safest and most conservative ticket, in the troubled and exciting times immediately before the bloody revolution, which few foresaw, but which was stirring then in the heated, social and political elements. At the opening of the Rebellion, he espoused the cause of the Union, and gave his strong mind and will for the preservation of the nation in its grand integrity, and gave his blessing to one of his boys who enlisted under the stars and stripes. That he may have opposed and severely criticized many things done in the conduct of the war for the Union the writer of this will admit, but the honor, which will never grow dim, may be claimed for him, that he was a brace Union man. He died suddenly, and, as we hope, a painless death, and, by his prudence and fostering care, left ample provision for his faithful wife and children. While it may be said all men have their imperfections, yet it may be said that the dominant qualities in the character of John G. Holloway, only tend to good society and promote the public welfare."

Since the foregoing sketch of Mr. Holloway was written, Mrs. Louisa Little has departed this life, leaving a devoted husband and five children to mourn her loss. She was a noble woman, possessed of many marked traits of character, and very much beloved by her friends as well as family.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 740-42;

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