Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

Henry Q. Holdren

HENRY Q. HOLDREN. A prominent and successful agriculturist of Hamilton County, and the postmaster at Hatton, Henry Q. Holdren located on his present ranch in 1887, and during the thirty and more years that he has occupied it he has greatly improved the property, erecting good buildings, setting out fruit and shade trees, and placing a part of it under culture, by his efforts adding much to the attractiveness and value of his homestead. A son of Terry Holdren, he was born June 19, 1861, in Virginia, in Franklin County.

George Holdren, his grandfather, was born in Virginia, of English ancestry, and, it is supposed, he entered from the public domain his homestead in Bedford County. He married Bettie Nance, and they reared three sons, Henry, Terry, and John.

Succeeding to the ancestral occupation, Terry Holdren, father of Henry Q., was actively engaged in farming in Virginia, his homestead being located in Bedford County. He married Martha Huddleston, a daughter of William Huddleston, the descendant of one of the early families of Virginia. She died at the age of sixty-five years, leaving eight children, as follows: Henry Q., the special subject of this sketch; Mrs. Minnie Kinsey, deceased; Mattie, wife of A. M. Shaner, of Bedford County, Virginia; Annie, wife of Flim James; Robert T., of Virginia; Eva married Tipton Snow, of Bedford County, Virginia; Maggie, who married Sam McCorkle, died in Arkansas; and William, living on the old Holdren homestead in Virginia. Although Terry Holden carried on farming and stock raising, he did it all without slave help. Serving as a soldier in the Confederate army of Northern Virginia, he took part in the engagements at Seven Pines and Petersburg and in the siege of Richmond, being at home on a furlough, however, when the war closed with Lee's surrender at Appomattox. A democrat in politics, he ever took an active interest in public affairs, and at the age of eighty-three years kept up with the news of the day. He was a member of the Methodist Church, with which he united many years ago. He died October 21, 1917.

Growing to manhood beneath the parental rooftree. Henry Q. Holdren thought to better his financial condition by going to a western country, where land was cheap and plenty. Therefore, in 1885 he settled in Marion County, Kansas, but at the end of two years he was not satisfied there and sought a change. In 1887 he packed up all of his worldly possessions and came to Hamilton, a frontier county at that time. Selecting a homestead on the southeast quarter of section 20, township 26, range 42, he built a dug-out home, the first shelter of his very own in the state. The county was then quite populous, there having been a settler on nearly every quarter section, but within three years a change took place, many of the settlers returning to their Eastern homes. Very few of the homesteaders lived out their time on their claims, commuting where they could and mortgaging and leaving the country. Mr. Holdren proved up his timber and homestead claims, and to his original tract has added by purchase seven quarters of land, the purchase price of these quarters ranging from $150 to $750. He is cultivating about 160 acres, and has running on the range 200 head of cattle, mostly Galloways, and to a limited extent has found horse raising profitable.

For several years after settling here, in what might be termed the Hatton or the Holdren basin, Mr. Holdren raised as fine crops of wheat as were ever harvested, but the climatic conditions so changed that he abandoned that crop. Various kinds of corn, including the kaffir, maize, rice, Jerusalem, and broom corn, have always been reliable crops, and occasionally Indian corn has done well, especially in the fall of 1917, when his twenty-acre field of that corn was in as perfect a condition as if grown in a real corn country. Mr. Holdren set out an orchard after he had been here a few years, not as a speculation, but with the expectation of getting fruit. His peach trees bore early, and were of fine flavor, while his apple orchard produces as delicious winesaps, without spraying, as the Oregon and Arkansas orchards that require so much care and attention.

Mr. Holdren married, October 30, 1883, in Bedford County, Virginia, Mattie E. Huddleston, a daughter of James Huddleston, and they are the parents of ten children, namely: Elbert, a successful rancher of Hamilton County; Martha, wife of A. G. Hurst, of Syracuse, Kansas, has one child, Martha May; James, of Prowers County, Colorado, married Emma Griffith, and they have four children, Rosanna, Lucille, Earl and Harry; Henry, a farmer in Prowers County, Colorado, married Grace Lane, and they have two children, Anna and Henry; Myrtle, wife of Cyrus Amerine, of Hamilton County, has two children, Thomas and Katie; Frank, residing in Hutchinson, Kansas, married May Deal, and is fighting in Company I, Three Hundred and Fifty-Third regiment of the Eighty-Ninth Division in France; Paul, of Stanton County, married Elizabeth Figart; Mary; Charles and Margaret are the younger children. Mr. Holdren assisted in organizing School District No. 44, and has served it frequently as its treasurer. He and Mrs. Holdren and three children are active members of the community church recently organized, it being of the Primitive Baptist denomination, and he is one of its deacons.