Lydia Hollingsworth Holaday Obituary

Winterset Reporter, July 20, 1911, Greenfield Transcript

Mrs. Lydia Hollingsworth Holaday, one of the oldest residents of Madison County, died last Saturday evening at 8:30 o’clock, at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Caroline Murray, on west Green Street.  For a year Mrs. Holaday had been in failing health from the infirmities of age, though no specific disease had attacked her splendid constitution.  For over two weeks she had been suffering from the results of a slight fall, and from the intense heat, so that the end occurred more suddenly than expected.

The funeral services were held Monday morning at 10:00 o’clock from Mrs. Murray’s residence.  They were conducted by the Reverend J.H. Stewart, of the First Baptist church.  Though she had outlived nearly all her close acquaintances, the affection in which she was held was shown by the numerous gifts of flowers which lightened the gloom of the occasion.

The pastor paid a fine tribute of appreciation to the memory of one so well fitted from her life to serve as a model of Christian faith.  Misses Edith Hyder and Jean Cash and Dr. Charles Leech and Glenn Tate sang “Abide With Me” and “The Home of the Soul.”  The interment ceremony at the cemetery was very brief.

The majority of Mrs. Holaday’s relatives live too far away to arrive in time for the service.  Those who were present were:   Mrs. Royal Brown, of Greenfield, Mrs. Caroline Murray, of Winterset, daughters; William Holaday, of Greenfield, Henry Holaday, of Massena, and Milton Holaday, of Council Bluffs, sons: Mrs. Elizabeth Murray Newman, of Winterset, Mrs. James Taylor, of Des Moines, granddaughters:  Mrs. Rebecca Hollingsworth Delong, niece: and Mrs. Raymond Waldron, of Winterset, grandniece.

Lydia Hollingsworth Holaday was born in Union county, Indiana, November 28, 1819, so she was close to 92 years of age at the time of her demise.  Her ancestors were a Quaker family, prominent in the history of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa as pioneers and nation builders.  Born in the Friends’ faith, she was the greater part of her life unable to attend a church of her belief, yet she lived always according to its truest creedal spirit, being a deep and untiring reader of the Bible, and a searcher for its hidden and inspired meanings.

Her early life was spent near Kokomo, Indiana, and at Danville, Illinois, where her father was a land-owner, and a progressive citizen, honored and beloved by his fellows.  They early joined the westward march of the “path-finders,” coming to Iowa in 1841.  One brother, Dr. Wm. Hollingsworth, settled at Washington, Iowa; another Hon. Jeremiah Hollingsworth, located at Richland, was a member of the Iowa Constitutional Assembly, and a framer and signer of the state constitution of this state.  Mrs. Holaday was one of a family of twelve children, only one of whom, Mrs. Ruth Wicher, has survived her.

At the age of 19, Mrs. Holaday was married to George Holaday, afterward a resident of Winterset, owner of the St. Nicholas hotel and judge of Adair County.  The young people cleared a farm in Keokuk County, living near Richland for several years.  In 1854 they moved to Adair County and in 1859 to Winterset.  Here Mrs. Holaday spent most of her long life, after the death of Senator B.F. Murray living constantly with her daughter, Mrs. Caroline Murray.

Of the eleven children born to Mrs. Holaday two died in infancy: her oldest son, Samuel, died six years ago at Massena, Iowa: one daughter, Ellen, died twenty years ago in Denison, Texas: her second son, Miles, lives at Tulare, California.  Milton, at Council Bluffs: William, at Greenfield:  Henry, near Massena, Iowa: her daughters, Mrs. Emily Brown, at Greenfield: Mrs. Pauline Dabney, at Oakland, California: and Mrs. Caroline Murray, Winterset.

Her counsel and example to her children were priceless and they have always reverenced her character and true religious faith.  Her long life was unfailingly helpful and unselfish, charitable and steadfast.