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Sidney Holderness Sr. family papers

Identifier: LH-0077

Scope and Contents note

This collection consists largely of personal, financial, property, legal, and miscellaneous records pertaining to Colonel Sidney Holderness Sr. and his son, Sidney Holderness Jr. These records include: correspondence, abstracts of deed, agreements, datebooks, account books, deeds, bank and financial statements, bills and receipts, stock market reports, income tax returns, insurance papers, fraternal lodge papers, business cards, memo books, church records, legal manuals, mortgages, plats, property descriptions, warranties of deed, a Soldier's Handbook (1941), World War II-era ration books, a B.C. and A. Freight Line notice, and an Atlanta Telephone Directory (1935). The property records 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, a Carrol Trading Company Lucky Coin, 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. Materials gifted in March of 2020 include a diary of private prayer, a book entitled Little Boy Black and Other Sketches, and a Lit-Mu Club program that were inscribed to Clare Holderness, two photo albums, and a print out of pictures of wall writings done by the Holderness family at their home on 302 Dixie Street.

Materials gifted in 2023 include correspondence to Sidney Holderness Jr. and two of Clare Holderness' diaries.


  • 1892-1968


Conditions Governing Access note

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use note

Rights transferred to the University of West Georgia.

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: 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.

Sidney Holderness Jr. attended Oglethorpe University, Harvard University Law School, and the University of Virginia and, practiced law in Atlanta, Tampa, and Carrollton.

In addition to his status as a prominent figure at the turn of the century in Carrollton, Sidney Holderness Sr. operated the farm of that belonged to his father William T. Holderness in Douglas County. Sidney Sr. and Sidney Jr. operated the farm together. The Holderness farm was often referred to as the “Rabbit Farm” by family members, a name that derived 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 sufficient stock, tools, and implements to operate it and would leave the farm to him 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. (Note: 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.)


3.66 Linear feet (8 boxes, 1 map folder)




These materials mainly 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. Additional documents were donated by Dorothy Pittman in 2020 and 2023.

Arrangement note

Series I: Arranged alphabetically by file title. Series II-VIII: Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Robert J Harker, Esq., Conservator of the Stallings Estate, February 2014. Additional materials were donated by Dorothy Pittman in March 2020, October 6, 2020, contained papers primarily related to Sidney Holderness Jr. A third gift on August 17, 2023, contained correspondence to Sidney Holderness, Jr., from his mother, father, and sister Clare, as well as two of Clare's diaries.

The initial 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 in Series I. to the University of West Georgia's Special Collections on behalf of the Stallings Estate. Additional gifts were made by Dorothy Pittman in March 2020, on October 6, 2020, and on August 17, 2023.

Processing Information note

Series I processed by Brian Crews in 2014. Series II-VIII processed by Catherine Hendricks in 2020 and 2023.

Guide to the Sidney Holderness Sr. Family Papers LH-0077
Finding aid prepared by Brian Crews in 2014.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States