Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
Elbert W. Holt House
Elbert W. Holt House

ELBERT W. HOLT HOUSE, NASHVILLE, HOWARD COUNTY

SUMMARY

The Elbert W. Holt House stands as a fine example of the turn of the century work of Elbert W. Holt, a local builder in Howard County.  Holt constructed a variety of public buildings and residences in Nashville and surrounding communities, including schools, commercial buildings, and the 1905 Howard County Courthouse.  The residences built by Holt were primarily based on the Colonial Revival style of which the Elbert W. Holt House remains as one of the best examples in Nashville.  Built by Holt in 1910, the exterior of the Elbert W. Holt House remains intact except for alterations to the back porch.  The interior remains basically unchanged, including the original pressed tin wainscoting in the hallway and the beaded ceilings.  Most of the construction Holt was responsible for was brought about by the boon to the Nashville area following the completion of the railroad from Hope to Nashville in 1884, and the move of the county seat from Centre Point to Nashville in 1905.  Holt continued to work up into the late 1920s, and was therefore responsible for much of the construction in Nashville during the most significant period of growth for the town.

ELABORATION

Elbert Washington Holt was born in 1867 four miles east of Nashville in Bingen, Arkansas.  He was the son of J. H. Holt (1842-1929), a Confederate Civil War veteran, and Margaret E. Hutchinson Holt (1845-1882).  Elbert Holt lived in Bingen where he learned to be a carpenter and builder.  He married Laura J. Ramage in 1886, and they moved to Nashville in 1900 where their first home was on Leslie Street across Dodson Creek from the 1910 Elbert W. Holt House.  Holt teamed up with a masonry contractor named A. B. Cupp to construct many of the important public and commercial buildings in Nashville in the early 1900s, including the 1907 Nashville High School and the 1912 Nashville Baptist Church.  Holt was also responsible for the Howard County Courthouse and jail built in Nashville in 1905.  In addition, Holt constructed buildings in surrounding communities, including the 1914 schoolhouse in Old Washington, the "peach" hotels in Corinth and Highland where seasonal fruit pickers lived, and the first buildings at the Murfeesboro diamond mine.  One of the churches in Nashville for which Holt was responsible is listed on the National Register - The First Christian Church (1911).

Elbert W. Holt built his 1910 home not far from his uncle Flavius Holt’s House (NR) which was built in the early 1870s, and across the road from the Womack-Parker House (NR) which was built in 1878.  Holt died in 1930, and his wife remained at the house until she died in 1941.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Interview with Mrs. Iva Holt Merrill (87), daughter of Elbert W. Holt (Interviewed by Parker Westbrook, August, 1983 at Nashville, Arkansas).

Interview with Mrs. Hopie Holt (91), and Mrs. Addie Holt Martindale (89), sisters of Elbert W. Holt.  (Interviewed by Parker Westbrook, January, 1984 at Nashville, Arkansas).

Interview with Parker and Lucille Westbrook by AHPP staff, January 24, 1984, at Nashville, Arkansas.