James W. Holt (b. 1849)

Men of West Virginia
George Richmond, Pres.; C. R. Arnold, Sec'y and Treas.
Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, ILL 1903
Volume I, Pages 396-397

Photograph - James W. HoltJAMES W. HOLT, editor and proprietor of the Daily and Weekly Grafton Sentinel, of Grafton, West Virginia, one of the prominent and active political leaders of Taylor County, was born February 14, 1849, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and is a son of Alfred T. and Maria (Stone) Holt.

James W. Holt was educated in the public schools of Kingwood and the old Kingwood Academy. He learned the printing trade at this place in the office of the Preston County Journal, and was 21 years of age when he removed to Grafton, having completed his three years apprenticeship in Preston County. The Grafton Sentinel had been established about eight weeks prior to this, and he took charge of it as editor and publisher. In less than a year the able and ambitious young man had secured the entire plant and from that time to the present has held a prominent place in the history of the paper. In 1875 he sold the entire plant to C. M. Shinn, but six months later Mr. Holt re-purchased a one-half interest, and it was jointly operated for one year, when our subject again became the sole proprietor, purchasing Mr. Shinn's interest. In 1878. Mr. Holt took E. G. Jeffrey into the business as a partner, which combination lasted until 1880, when George Dunnington, of Fairmont, succeeded to the ownership and management for one year, selling then to Mr. Jeffrey who continued as owner and publisher until 1885. In the same year Mr. Holt and S. P. McCormick became the sole proprietors and remained so until the death of the latter, when our subject again gained sole control and has continued as editor and proprietor ever since.

The Weekly Sentinel is a 12-page six-column paper, of strong Republican principles, is well edited and replete with foreign, general and local news, and has a large and increasing circulation. In order to keep abreast of the times and meet the growing wants of a critical public, Mr. Holt inaugurated the Daily Sentinel, an eight- page, six-column sheet, -- an evening paper satisfactory in every respect to the rapidly growing city of Grafton. From the start it met with generous favor, and is now considered one of the fixed features of the city. Politically, Mr. Holt is a stanch Republican, and as such wields a great deal of influence in the councils of his party. In 1881, he was appointed to a position in the internal revenue service, which he filled three years, and under the administration of President Harrison and also under that of President McKinley he served as postmaster of Grafton, holding the position five years. In 1885, Mr. Holt served one term as mayor of West Grafton. He is now holding the position of president of the Board of Education of the city.

In May, 1873, Mr. Holt married Annie J. Jordan, daughter of John and Catherine Jordan, of Grafton, who died in November, 1897, at the age of 45 years, leaving these children: John A., of Horton, Kansas; Alfred A., William H., Howard, Annie L., and Maria K. Mr. Holt is connected with various social organizations, is a member of Mystic Lodge, No. 75, A. F. & A. M., of which he was for a number of years secretary; and of Friendship Lodge, No. 8, Knights of Pythias, belonging also to the Uniform Rank of that order.


Return to the Transcribed Biographies Index