Thomas H. Holt owned Birmingham Marble Works, located on the corner of 21st and 3rd avenue in Birmingham, Alabama. Holt was born in 1830 and died in 1896. Holt was involved in a number of secret societies as told in A Short Sketch of His Career by the Birmingham News shortly after his death, below. Archer & Clapp purchased Birmingham Marble Works after Holt’s death.
The Birmingham News , Page 6, Birmingham, Alabama, Friday, July 31, 1896
Lost an Exemplar in Thos. H. Holt
Death claimed the Past Grand Master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
A Short Sketch of His Career
At 4:55 O’clock yesterday afternoon life departed from the body of Thomas Henry Holt at his residence, No. 2430 Fifth Avenue. He was surrounded by his wife, daughter, one son and friends. Physicians used their skill in his behalf but it was in vain, and his soul took flight to that power which gave it.
Mr. Holt was widely known in Birmingham and throughout Alabama. He was universally beloved for his life was that of a kind father, husband, true friend and good citizen.
Last Tuesday morning Mr. Holt became ill. The family physician was called in and the trouble was ascertained to be with his stomach. Inflammation of the bowels having set in. His condition grew worse and worse until yesterday afternoon he sank into unconsciousness. Drs. Elias Davis, Barclay and Scholl did all in their power for him, but death with its icy cold fingers claimed another victim, and, without a word to his beloved ones, he passed away.
Mr. Holt was perhaps the best known worker in secret societies in the State. He claimed membership at the time of his death in more than a dozen lodges and his affiliation was admired by his brothers of the societies for his zeal and constancy.
SKETCH OF HIS LIFE
Thomas Henry Holt was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, March 1, 1830. He moved South in 1854, locating in Lexington, Ky. He moved to Birmingham in 1881 and started in the marble cutting and tombstone business, opening a yard on Second avenue and Twenty Fourth Street, where he remained a few years, after which he moved the business to Twenty first street between Third and Fourth avenues, where his establishment now is.
He was married twice, the first time in Alleghany, Pa., in 1854. His union was blessed with four children, one daughter and three sons. The daughter, who is a teacher in the public schools in Allegheny City, and one son, Thomas E. Holt, were at their father’s bedside when life passed away. The other sons are in Pittsburg and Ohio Pyle’s Fall, Pa., respectively. At the latter place, Mr. Holt has two sisters and a brother.
Mr. Holt married again in Lexington, KY, his present wife, but no children have blessed the union.
SECRET SOCIETY WORK
When Mr. Holt moved to Birmingham he took an interest in the secret societies which were beginning to be formed. Bearing a card of membership in the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and also the Knights of Honor, Odd Fellows and Red Men, he started to work in those orders here and lent his whole soul to their upbuilding. He realized that brotherly feelings made good citizenship and his efforts were always in behalf of strengthening the great brotherhood wherever possible. In charitable maters he was always willing to take a foremost part Widows and orphans will ever remember him. Sick and distressed will carry memories of him and many disheartened people feel better for the encouragement he gave them.
Thomas H. Holt Obituary, 1 Aug 1896, The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee)
Birmingham, Ala., July 31.–(Special)–
Thomas H. Holt, the best known and most prominent secret society man in Alabama, died at this home here last night of inflammation of the bowels after a brief illness, aged 65 years. The deceased was past grand master of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Alabama, Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment of Odd Fellows, a Royal Arch Mason, a leading member of the Red Men, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, and was prominent in several other secret orders. He contributed during his life to the promotion of these various orders more than any other man in the State. His funeral Sunday will no doubt be attended by a greater number of secret society members than that of any man who has ever died in Alabama.
Thomas Holt is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama, next to his wife Mary Holt. His three year old daughter, Mary Holt (left), who died in 1881, has a beautiful cradle grave next to her parents in Oak Hill.