From History of Texas Published in 1896
H. L. Holt, the popular druggist of Buff Dale and the pioneer physician of Erath County, for almost a quarter of a century has been identified with the business interests of this place as one of its leading citizens is held to high esteem. Figuring thus prominently, it is but fitting that biographical honors be accorded him in connection with the personal mention of other representative men and women of Central Texas.
Dr. Holt is a native of South Carolina, born March 4, 1844, a son of Israel and Harriet Eliza (Conant) Holt. The Holt family is of German origin, and was founded in America in early colonial days. The father of our subject was born in North Carolina, and when a young man went to South Carolina. He served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and made farming his life occupation. He was married in South Carolina to a daughter of Major Nelson, and after her death he married Mrs. Harriet Eliza Nichols, widow of Dr. Nichols and whose maiden name was Conant. She was a native of South Carolina, of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and died in 1857. In 1859 he removed with his family to Texas, locating in Cherokee county.
The Doctor was reared on his father’s farm, and the public schools afforded him his early educational privileges. In the summer of 1861, when less then eighteen years of age, he joined the “boys in gray,” true to the district in which he was reared and to the principles with which he was familiar from his earliest boyhood. He became a member of Company G, Eighteenth Texas Infantry, which was attached to Walker’s division, and participated in the battles of Mansfield, Jenkins’ Ferry, Pleasant Hill, Yellow Bayou, and in many others. He was commissioned first lieutenant and commanded his company throughout the war. After the first year he was never off duty for a single day.
When hostilities were brought to an end, the Doctor took up his residence in Bosque County and began the study of. medicine under the preceptorship of Dr. M.S. Crow, at Meridian, remaining with that gentleman for two years. On the expiration of that period he took his first course of lectures at the Tulane University, in New Orleans, and then began practice at Iredell, where he remained until 1872, when he came to the present site of Bluff Dale. His practice in those early days extended over a radius of thirty-five miles in Erath, Hood, Somervell and Bosque counties. In 1876 he took a second course of lectures at New Orleans, and graduated, then resumed his practice in Bluff Dale and the surrounding country, where he has built up a very extensive and lucrative business. He has the honor of being the oldest practicing physician in Erath County, and his life has probably made him better known than almost any other resident. He has that true love for his profession without which there is no success, and that broad charity for a fellow man that enables him to get a keener insight into his patient’s condition than would otherwise be possible. He has ever been a close student, and his advancement in proficiency has been continuous. He has few equals and no superiors in all Central Texas, and he is indeed a worthy representative of the medical fraternity in this section of the state. For ten years he has also been engaged in the drug business, establishing the first store of the kind in Bluff Dale. He has a pasture of one thousand acres in Erath County and is extensively and successfully engaged there in the stock business.
On the 12th of February, 1871, Doctor Holt was joined in wedlock to Miss Sarah Adair, a native of Carroll county, Mississippi, who died October 8, 1872. He was again married February 12, 1874, his second union being with Miss Bell Gordon, a native of Georgia and a sister of A.P. Gordon, of Granbury, Texas. They have five children: Mary Ida; Condie; Birdie, who died at the age of eight months; Ulpian G. and Joe G.
The Doctor and his estimable wife are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Socially he is connected with Bluff Dale Lodge, No. 764, F.& A.M., and his wife and daughter belong to the Order of the Eastern Star, the former serving as matron and the latter as deputy grand of district No. 36. The Doctor also belongs to the Stephenville Medical Association and in politics is a Democrat. On the 14th of December, 1895, he lost his pleasant home and all its contents by fire, thus suffering a loss of six thousand dollars. The family is one of prominence in the community, the members of the household occupying an enviable position in social circles.
History of Texas, 1896, Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co.