Friday, April 29, 2016

52 Ancestors – News Articles from 1893 and 1900 Corroborate 1964 Aaron Hall Holland Letter (86-2016)

House in Galveston on Avenue N, October 15, 1900*
On March 7, 2015, I blogged about Cindarilla Darliska Amanda Hall Holland, second wife of my second great-grandfather Leroy Thomas Holland. The blog post included personal memories written by Amanda’s son, Aaron Hall Holland, in a 1964 letter to my grandfather recording Hall/Holland family history, including his description of how they survived the historic 1900 Galveston hurricane and a fire that happened several years earlier on their farm in Whitfield County, Georgia.

Last weekend while researching the historical newspapers housed on the Library of Congress website, I found an Anderson Intelligencer article where they shared a paragraph from a letter written by Amanda Hall Holland to the newspaper describing her experience during the hurricane. In her own words … I find it fascinating.
The Anderson Intelligencer, September 19, 1900
Sad Letter from Texas.
We take the liberty of publishing the following paragraph from a private letter written to us from Alief, Harrison County, Texas, under date of the 14th inst., by Mrs. Amanda Holland, widow of the late Lee Holland, who moved to the far West from this County about fifteen years ago: “Last Saturday we had a terrible storm of wind, rain and hail, tearing up everything as it came and leaving us nothing, not even a change of clothing. What we are to do, God only knows. The water was knee deep at our door, and when we had to get out of the house to keep from being killed by it falling on us, I was blown down into the water and would have been killed or drowned, as I could not get up, had not one of the boys pulled me out. We are now camped in an old ‘shack,’ with eight props around it, and cooking in an old pot resting on two bricks. The people who are able to get away are leaving, for there is nothing any one can do here to make a living. All the crops are in mud and ruined. Where we expected to make twenty-five bales of cotton we will not get one-half of a bale. You have no doubt seen in the papers where so many lives were lost. I do not see how any of us escaped alive. Our stables were torn to pieces and mules, cattle and hogs killed. The big sills of the buildings were blown a distance of fifty yards or more. I noticed seven plank blown into the ground so deep and fast that you could not shake them. Oh, you can’t realize what a terrible night we experienced. We had no shelter to get under, and we had to take it all. The wind had been blowing for three days, and on Saturday the rain commenced falling. As night came on the rain increased and continued through the night. We have had a very wet summer, having had only six clear days during August.” Mrs. Holland is a daughter of the late Aaron Hall, who, prior to his death, lived near Flat Rock Church, in this County, and she has many friends and relatives in this section who will regret to hear of her terrible misfortune.
This was not the first time Amanda had been faced with adversity. I found a second article from 1893 where she lost important farming supplies to a fire.
The Anderson Intelligencer, December 20, 1893
An Appeal to the Charitable. Beaverdale, Whitefield [sic] Co., GA.
Editors Anderson Intelligencer: Mrs. Amanda Holland had the misfortune to get her corn, fodder and a lot of roughness, together with a splendid wagon, burnt up Sunday morning between 3 and 4 o’clock. It must have been the work of an incendiary, as there was no chance otherwise.
It left her without a bit of bread or feed for stock, and as she was from your County, we thought it right to ask through your paper for help, many of you knowing her from childhood. The fire also burnt up about $100 worth of property for Mr. Jas. Roach, consuming two cribs, three stables and two other small buildings for Mr. George P. Brownlee.
Anything will be thankfully received for Mrs. Holland. Mrs. Hattie Welch will deliver anything that is placed in her care for her sister, or send to her (Mrs. Holland) at the above named Postoffice.

Very respectfully,
W. H. Bryant, Justice of Peace.
E. Creekmore,
George Warnock,
T. R. Hipp.
These articles are important to me because they corroborate the stories told by Aaron in his letter. Although he recalled the fire taking place in December 1894, it appears it actually happened in December 1893 but the rest of both stories match up.

Thank you to the Library of Congress for sharing these historical newspapers. We all know the importance of documenting your research and both of these articles do just that.

*Photo credit: By Griffith & Griffith - Library of Congress[1], Public Domain

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