Sidney Holderness Sr. family papers
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Sidney Holderness Sr. family papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: University of West Georgia
Creator: Holderness, Sidney, (1864-1939)
Creator: Holderness, Sidney, Jr., (1899-1974)
Title: Sidney Holderness Sr. family papers
Dates: 1892-1968
Quantity: 0.42 Linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:These materials consist of documents pertaining to the personal and professional lives of prominent Carrollton attorneys, Col. Sidney Holderness Sr. (1864-1939) and his son, Sidney Holderness Jr. (1899-1974). The materials were found during the 2014 renovation of the Stallings Building (previously the Holderness Building) at 201 Newnan Street in downtown Carrollton.
Identification: LH-0077

Biographical/Historical Note

Prominent attorney and city court solicitor, Colonel Sidney Holderness Sr. (1864 – 1939) came to Carrollton from Whitesburg to practice law in the late 1800s. In 1896, Holderness married Ada Clare Long (1871-1940) daughter of famed Carroll County statesman, Benjamin McFarland Long (1827-1903). In the early 1900s, Holderness had a building designed and built for his law office by the Atlanta architectural firm, Morris and Butt. Pioneering female attorney and author, Betty Reynolds Cobb, served as a secretary to Holderness during this time period and the position allowed her to secretly study law as she prepared to take the bar exam. The building, located at what is currently 201 Newnan Street, was owned by the Holderness family until the 1970s when Sidney Holderness III sold it to Reuben M. Word.

Around the time he established his law offices on Newnan Street, Sidney Sr. commissioned the Morris and Butt architectural firm to design his family’s home at 48 Dixie Street (currently 301 Dixie Street). Sidney Holderness Sr. and Ada Clare Long had three children together: Ben Scott Holderness (1895-1896), Clare Holderness (1897-1943), and Sidney Holderness Jr. (1899-1974). Clare Holderness married Brooks Oliver Pittman and the two lived in the home on Dixie Street after Sidney and Ada passed away. After Clare’s death in 1943, Brooks Pittman married Margaret Sprout Long (first cousin to Clare and Sidney Jr.) and had two daughters, one of whom lives in the home on Dixie Street as of 2014.

In addition to his status as a prominent figure in turn of the century Carrollton, Sidney Holderness Sr. also owned and operated the farm of his father, William T. Holderness, in Douglas County. Sidney Sr. operated the farm with his son, Sidney Jr., who was also a prominent Carrollton attorney. The Holderness farm was often referred to as the “Rabbit Farm” by family members, a name that derives from the rabbit hunting enjoyed by the family on the property.

Before his death in 1939, Sidney Sr. persuaded his son to abandon the practice of law and to take on the complete management, control and operation of the family farm. After much persuasion, Sidney Jr. became a full-time farmer with the agreement that his father would equip the farm with the sufficient stock, tools, and implements to operate the farm and would leave it to him as his own after his death. However, Sidney Sr. failed to leave any written record of this father-son agreement and, at the time of his death, left a will appointing the First National Bank of Atlanta as executor and trustee of his estate. In 1940, Sidney Jr. and his sister Clare petitioned against First National Bank and by 1945 were granted the full land and mineral rights to all properties owned by their father. Petitioning on behalf of Sidney Jr. and Clare during this process was Alexander Stephens Mitchell, brother of Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell. Sidney Holderness III provided supplementary information regarding the properties owned by his family members in a phone interview with the Graduate Research Assistant, Brian Crews, conducted in April 2014.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists largely of financial and property records pertaining to both Colonel Sidney Holderness Sr. and his son, Sidney Holderness Jr. These records include: abstracts of deed, agreements, correspondences, datebooks, deeds, financial statements, income tax returns, mortgages, plats, property descriptions and warranties of deed. The property records found here include detailed records of the Holderness’ Carrollton properties, as well as their family land in Douglas County.

Also included are an assortment of keys, a collection of 1943 U.S steel pennies and two sheets of the 1937 Atlanta Tuberculosis Association Christmas Seal with an accompanying letter addressed to Sidney Holderness Jr.

The four datebooks found in folder seven are a random sampling of the forty datebooks originally donated with the collection in February, 2014. Spanning the years 1941 to 1968, the datebooks include the casual jottings and bookkeeping notes of Sidney Holderness Jr. Lacking historical substance or artifactual value, the remaining thirty six datebooks were discarded by the Head of Special Collections in April, 2014.


Arranged alphabetically by file title.

Index Terms

Carrollton (Ga.)--History.
Douglas County (Ga.)--Maps.

Administrative Information

Custodial History note

The materials were discovered during the 2014 renovation of the Stallings Building (previously the Holderness Building) at 201 Newnan Street in downtown Carrollton.

Estate conservator, Robert Harker, donated the papers to the University of West Georgia's Special Collections on behalf of the Stallings Estate.

Preferred Citation note

Sidney Holderness Sr. family papers. Annie Belle Weaver Special Collections, Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library, University of West Georgia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Robert J Harker, Esq. Conservator of the Stallings Estate, February, 2014.

Processing Information note

Processed by Brian Crews in 2014.



Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights transferred to the University of West Georgia Library.

Container List




11Abstracts of Deeds—Springer Property, [circa 1929]
2Abstract of Title—Sidney Holderness Sr., 1926
3Agreement, 1900
4Agreement—First National Bank of Atlanta, Sidney Holderness Jr., 1945
5Case Notes, [circa 1933]
6Correspondence, 1935-1965
7Datebooks—Sidney Holderness Jr., [1941-1966]
8Financial Statements, [circa 1920-1950]
9Financial Statements—Douglas County Farm, [1920s]
10Income Tax Returns, 1915-1935
11Miscellaneous, [1945-1958]
12Office Realia—Keys; U.S. Pennies, Steel, 1943
13Philately—Christmas Seal, Atlanta Tuberculosis Association, 1937
14Plat—Griffin Drive, undated
15Plat—Tanner Street, undated
16Property Description—Parcel 3rd District, Douglas County, undated
17Property Records—Carrollton, 1938-1965
18Property Records—Douglas County Farm, 1892-1924
19Property Records—Lassiter Place, [circa 1960s]
20Purchase Agreement, 1965