History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 464
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48 H ST R OFTXS
idleness nor in unprofitable labor. He was
one who was well formed by nature for the
duties that fell to his lot, and he discharged
those duties creditably to himself and with
advantage to the community in which he
lived. Strong in body. courageous, selfreliant,
expert in the use of fire-arms and
skilled in wood-craft, he combined all the elements
of the frontiersman with the better
qualities of the sturdy, industrious, homeloving
commonwealth builder. To these endowments
were added habits of temperance
and sobriety, charity for the foibles and shortcomings
of others, and a generosity toward
all his fellow creatures, hardly equaled in
those times, now celebrated as the golden age
of the household virtues and man's love for
man. During his residence in Tennessee he
interested himself actively in politics, being
a Democrat and trained under the eye of the
great apostle of Democracy, General Jackson,
to whom he was greatly attached both personally
and politically. Politics playing but
little part in the affairs of the people of Texas
when he took up his residence here, his mind
was concerned with the more weighty problems
incident to the founding of the new
government of the Republic, and the furtherance
of the measures by which it should be
sustained. He left at his death a widow and
two children. The widow was married a
second time, in 1846, to V. P. Ackerman, of
Washington county, and died a year later.
The elder of the two children was James H.
Holtzclaw, of this article, and the younger
a daughter, Martha, who was first the wife of
L. M. Minor, and after his death the wife of
R. H. Sanford, both of Milam county.
James H. Holtzclaw, with whom this
sketch is mainly concerned, was born atGeneral
Jackson's famous country seat, "The
Hermitage," near Nashville, Tennessee,
March 20, 1833. His recollections, however,
are entirely of Texas, as he was brought to
this State by his parents at the age of three.
He was reared principally in Washington
county. On the death of his mother he was
bound out, at the age of fourteen, to William
Rutledge of Washington county, to learn the
blacksmith's trade, but before completing his
indenture ran away and joined an expedition
bound for New Mexico in search of gold.
With this party of adventurers, composed of
116 men under the leadership of Rev. Stewart,
a Methodist minister, he spent several
months prospecting in New Mexico. The
expedition broke up in the fall of 1852, having
failed in its object, the finding of gold.
Its members separated and followed their individual
inclination, scattering into diverse
sections of the Union. Mr. Holtzclaw located
at El Paso, Texas, which was on the route to
California, and along which there was a large
amount of travel in those days. There he
secured work at his trade and followed it
profitably for a period of two years. He then
returned to Texas, and going to his old home
in Washington county, passed a short time
there and then came, in 1855, to Milam
county. Here he was married, February 4,
1857, and then settled down to farming on
the head-right located by his father, between
the San Gabriel and Little rivers. He has
since continuously resided here. He has been
engaged in farming on his present place
nearly forty years, and thus has not only one
of the first located head-rights, but one of
the oldest actually settled farms in the county.
Hle has added to the old homestead by purchase
until his holdings now embrace 2,300
acres, all lying in the black land district,
and about 400 acres of which is under cultivation.
It is a splendid body of land and one
that is yearly growing in value.
-H-18-TOR O EXS
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/499/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .