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Barrie Lucien Holt papers

Identifier: MSS-0692

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the papers of Barrie Lucien Holt, covering his life as a capitalist, planter, financier and Quartermaster General of the Alabama National Guard. The papers consist of an account ledger dating from 1850 and maintained by Holt and his father, James L. Holt. Holt was an organizer and majority shareholder in the Prattville Cotton Mills and Banking Company, as well as a partner in D. M. Snow and Company which owned a hardware store and engaged in money lending. The bulk of papers are from the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The collection also has correspondence and miscellaneous business records of the Prattville Cotton Mills for the years 1906 and 1907. There are general business papers and financial records from D. M. Snow and Company from 1871 until 1892, and general business papers for Holt himself primarily from 1905 until 1908. The bulk of business papers, however, are related to several loans contracted by Robert C. Sandlin, a general merchant and financier in Nixburg (Coosa County) with D. M. Snow and Company.

Using as collateral the property conveyances which he had acquired through purchase or foreclosure of mortgages, R. C. Sandlin borrowed money from D. M. Snow and Company. When Sandlin was unable to meet his payments, the Coosa County lands accrued to Holt and his uncle and partner, D. M. Snow. The deeds and papers of collateral comprise a substantial portion of the collection and while the Sandlin-D. M. Snow business affairs began in 1895 and continued until 1911, the approximately eighty-nine warranty deeds and land conveyances date from as early as 1841, with the majority of transactions occurring from 1865 to 1887. The conveyances reflect the economic times of the post Civil War and post Reconstruction South.

The collection also contains papers from Holt's years as the quartermaster general of the Alabama National Guard (1886-1911) which relate primarily to the logistics of transporting and supplying the summer maneuvers of the Alabama National Guard from 1905 to 1909.

Also included in the collection are papers of various members of B. L. Holt's immediate family including his father and son. These papers are primarily general business papers and limited in scope.

The collection thus breaks somewhat naturally into four groupings that cover more than a century, from 1841 until 1950. The bulk of papers, however, are from the years 1905 through 1908.


  • 1841-1950


Biographical / Historical

Barrie Lucien Holt was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 24, 1858, to James Lord and Olive (Snow) Holt. He attended private schools in Montgomery and graduated from Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1875. In the same year, he returned to Montgomery where he entered into business with his uncle D. M. Snow at the D. M. Snow Hardware Company. In 1884, he became a partner in the business.

In 1886, Holt was appointed quartermaster general of the Alabama National Guard by Governor Edward A. O'Neal and given the rank of colonel on the Governor's staff. He was reappointed to the position by each succeeding governor for more than 20 years. With the election of Governor Emmet O'Neal in 1910, Holt retired with the rank of brigadier general.

As quartermaster, Holt was actively engaged in maintaining the presence of the National Guard during the Hawes riot in Birmingham in the late 1880s. He was engaged in the logistics of transporting the Guard, whether infantry, artillery or cavalry, and their equipage, from point to point during the annual summer maneuvers both in and out of state.

Holt, who lived in Pickett Springs, outside Montgomery, owned extensive real estate and farmland, which was farmed by tenant farmers. His records include farm and plantation accounts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Barrie L. Holt was active with the Alabama Agricultural Association in the early 1900s and was a Mason. He was married to Louise, daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Mary Thereasa (Cook) Noble, in 1879. They had five children: Mary, who married Robert Lee Harmon; Ethyl, who died in infancy; Olive, who also died in infancy; Dan Snow, who married Coradell Schuesslar; and Mittie, who married J. Michel Microsi. Holt died on October 27, 1911, at his home near Pickett Springs.


2.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Contains the papers of Barrie Lucien Holt, covering his life as a capitalist, planter, financier, and quartermaster general of the Alabama National Guard. Holt was an organizer and majority shareholder in the Prattville Cotton Mills and Banking Company, as well as a partner in D. M. Snow and Company.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Cather and Brown Books, 1991

Processed by

Jeanne A. Whitehead, 1992; revised and updated by Lauren Gilbert and Martha Bace, 2009
Guide to Barrie Lucien Holt Papers
November 2009
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266