Henry and Amanda Holcomb
Henry Holcomb was born in Cherokee County, Texas on January 23, 1856 and he died on January 26, 1926. He was married to Amanda Singletary who was born near Vicksburg, Mississippi on December 14, 1855 and died March 1, 1928. Religion was the mainstay in the life of Henry and Amanda Holcomb. Most of the home life, as well as outside activities, were centered on the church. Henry was an active member of the Methodist Church, serving as a lay minister for several years. He was a well-read man and acted as a ‘teacher’ to many families in the community helping them with their Sunday school lessons each Saturday afternoon. Henry was born and reared in Cherokee County, and Amanda was born near Vicksburg, Mississippi and lived there until about 1864. She and her family left when the Union Army started closing in on the Confederate Army near Vicksburg. They crossed the Mississippi River in covered wagons and slowly made their way to East Texas. After Henry and Amanda, a small woman with lovely black hair, were married, they set about making their new home in Cherokee County. Their history in Houston County began when they with their two sons, Bascom and Ed, moved in 1880. They settled in the Augusta area, and immediately became active in the church and community. When Henry and Amanda arrived in Augusta, there was no house available for them so they moved into an old log cabin, which at one time had been a barn, until they could build a home of their own. Shortly after moving into the cabin, a third son, Arthur was born. And Arthur in his adult years took delight in telling his children about his birthplace. ‘Jesus and I have something in common,’ he would say, ‘we were both born in a manger.’ Later the couple was blessed with three other sons, George, Albert and Early. In 1903, Henry and Amanda and their six sons moved to the Bodenheimer place in the Liberty Hill community. The old home served as a stage coach inn, being located on the Rusk-Crockett road near the Bodenheimer Ferry on the Neches River. The large house was constructed of hand-hewn logs and wooden pegs, but in later years, was remodeled and planks were nailed over the logs. Today the old Henry Holcomb home is being restored by the heirs of his youngest son, Early. The children hope to keep as much authenticity as possible in the two-story, half-timbered home. The Henry Holcomb home was famous for its hospitality. Visiting preachers and travelers alike were cordially welcomed and fed bountiful meals from the large dining table. Henry’s land, 2,200 acres, was farmed in a progressive farmer manner for the early 1900’s. He became well-known inEast Texas circles as an authority on stock raising and cattle breeding. He also owned a sawmill which used the plentiful timber from his lands. In addition to his farming activities, Henry served as tax assessor of Houston County around the turn of the century. While Henry was busy tending to his many interests, Amanda was staying busy acting as ‘mid-wife’ to a large number of expectant mothers in the farming community, and together she and Henry ministered to the ill when the local doctor was out on calls. Henry and Amanda’s six sons gave them 22 grandchildren to carry on the Holcomb name. And each year in July their descendants meet for a family reunion.