A short history of Hollandale

The following is believed to have been written by Marcus Treadway, Jr. based on information gathered from  Ruth Treadway Alexander.  The date it was written is unknown but probably around 1975.


   Early records of Washington County show that land deeds were recorded as early as 1823.  The Delta land was fertile, but the marshy area and continuous dampness took many of the lives of the early settlers who dared to come here to live.  Because of these factors the land was owned by large landowners who lived in the nearby hill towns.  They hired overseers and made infrequent trips by buggy or horse to check on their property.

   In papers of the Washington County Historical Society, we are told that Dr. Thomas J, Gaddis came from Scott County in 1860 to practice medicine in this area and lived near Arcola until his death of yellow fever in 1878.  A local chapter of the Masons is named the "Thomas Gaddis lodge".

   Some of the earliest plantations around this vicinity were along the East side of Deer Creek.  They were the Pace Place, the Stephen Barefield Place and the West Place which adjoined the Thompson Place.

   On March 29, 1854, Stephen Barefield, son of Jesse and Peggy Jane Barefield of Walnut Hills (Vicksburg) and his wife bought 1050 acres of land from James M. Bradston for $ 13,000.  In June 1854 he bought 105 acres from A.C. Downs for $ 5859.

   Since Barefield and his wife lived in Vicksburg he let two of his nephews run his place.  In December 1863 he came to the Delta to see about his place.  His nephews had sold $ 60,000 worth of his cattle and knew he would find out about it so they planned to murder him.

   The nephews buried their gold and fled on horseback.  They were caught by a group of soldiers and scalped at Ten-Mile-Cane-Break, now know as Panther burn.  They did not reveal the location of the money and their bodies were hanged on the Panther Burn bridge.

   What happened to the money?

   In a Saint Louis newspaper in 1953 there was this news item:

        "While plowing in a field near his home, J.B. Drew unearthed a pot containing $ 60,000 in gold.  It is said to have been buried there since the Civil war."

   Someone sent Mr. K.D. Alexander the clipping and asked if it were true.  He said that everyone always thought so but Mr. Drew always denied it.

   Since Stephen Barefield's wife had died it Jan 1863 and their children had all died in infancy, the large estate was divided among his brothers and sisters and their heirs.  Most of these came to the Delta to live at that time and the East side of this community became knows as Barefield Colony.  It kept that name until Hollandale was incorporated in 1897 on the West side of Deer Creek.

   The community on the West side of Deer Creek before the incorporation of Hollandale had been know as Richard's Crossing.  There were steamboat landings at Estill, at Westburg Landing (where Merlin Jones' house is now) and at the John Barefield home (where Mrs. Ivy's home is now) known as Cottonwood Landing.  Deer Creek was navigable and much used for commerce.

   Dr. Thomas Walter Holland and his wife, residents of Canton, gave the railroad a right of way for privilege of naming the town "Hollandale".

   Barefield Colonty was somewhat like the "wild and wooly West".  It was in frontier territory.  Like all frontier towns there were the saloons.  They were located: one on the corner of Booth's Drug Store, one of the corner of Hollandale Supply, one where Goldfarbs is and one South of town at Cletonia.  The Cetonia saloon and store was located on the West side of the bridge and the rural families had to part the cane and push through the rushes to get to the store.  This mass of cane from Deer Creek to Murphy was cleared by a crew of Negroes who were under the supervision of my Grandfather M.A. Treadway in 1900.

   The streets of Hollandale were cleared by Colonel Joe Hollingsworth, John Keith and a Negro, Joe Blair.  The first sidewalks of Hollandale were made of planks and the streets were knee deep in dust or mud, depending on the weather.  The road into Hollandale from the North followed  Deer Creek from Leland and entered the city about where the school superintendent's home is now.  There were no paved roads and no paved streets except in front of and on the East side of the present day Methodist church.

   The first Post Office was a little one room shack about 14 x 16 feet about 7 feet off the ground.  It was located where the Western Auto Store is now.  Mr. Charles  Aikon was Postmaster.

   Hollandale's first City Hall was located where P.N. Nunnery's Law office is now.  It was in this building that Clifton Pope was killed by Mr. Yunt.  Yunt was the first man to ever be executed in a portable electric chair in this state.

   Hollandale was a very religous minded community.  As early as 1860 there was a church in this town.  This first church was the Methodist Church located on the site of the present day Hollandale Cemetery.  According to custom the cemeteries were located next to churches.  This first church was a chapel known as "Drakes Chapel".  It met the needs of the congregation for a number of years.  In 1889 plans for a new church were made and soon a new frame structure was built.  It served its member for 35 years.  In 1925-26 the frame structure was sold and a brick building  erected.

   The Baptist Church was organized in 1874 and was located at Cletonia, a town about a mile South of the present site of Hollandale.  It was known as Cletonia Baptist Church.  In 1899 a frame building was erected in Hollandale and the name changed to Hollandale Baptist Church.  Worship was held there until 1932 when the present brick structure was built.  Chalmette Taylor was organist at Cletonia and later at Hollandale Baptist church.  Mrs. Paul Holland, Mrs. M.A. Treadway, Mrs. Everette White and Mrs. Grant Hamilton all played for the church.

   The Episcopal rectory, where the Cope home is now, was built in 1919-20.  The first resident minister was Reverend Frederick W. Jones.  He organized his congregation under the name of St. Paul's Mission.

   The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1927 when the present brick building was erected.

   The first school  was the house next to the present Methodist Church.  William Hannah was the first teacher.  He must have been quite a charactor as Julius Thompson described him in his  frocktail coat and square spectacles on the end of his nose!  The old Hannah home was later home of Annie Lou Alexander.  Other early teachers were, Professor R.V. Pollar who later became a lawyer in Greenwood, Mr. O'Brien, Donna Taylor, Professor Fowler (crippled), Ester Prowell, H.H. Horton, Maude Moore and Medoria Pulliam, the first music teacher.

   The next school was across the creek at  the end of Washington street where the McKinneys live.  This building was used until the Hollandale Consolidated School was built.  This two story school burned in 1928 and was replaced by the the present building (torn down in 1974).

   Hollandale had two hotels, the McAlpin Hotel and the Collum Hotel.  They were on opposite sides of the street and the competition between them was quite keen.

   In 1900 the Hollandale Cotton Oil Mill was built by R.W. Bolt.  It was quite a new thing to the people, who went to the mill sight-seeing.  One serious accident nearly happened when Mrs. R.W. Golden, a rather large lady, fell into an oil tank beneath the floor.  The oil was so slippery it was almost impossible  to hold onto her to get her out.

   About this time,  tradgedy took place.  A saloon was located where Goldfarb's is now.  One afternoon the saloon keeper, an 18 year old boy, was called outside by a Negro woman wanting to ask him something.  This gave a Negro man time to get behind him and shoot him in the back, killing him.  The two Negroes were caught and put in the Southern R.R. "Dummy" freight room (Wong's Grocery).  They were tortured all day and that night before they were hanged the possee asked if they  had any last requests.  The man had none, but the woman said "Yessir I would like to see a mirror so I could fix my hair."  The man had no comment.  The possee planned to riddle the Negroes with bullets as they hung from the bridge but one of the bullets missed, cutting the rope.  They fell into the creek and drowned.

   On Jan 31, 1904, Hollandale was swept with fire.  It happened on a Sunday afternoon and only the brick bank and Russsell Brothers store survived.  The five shots from a piston that came as the first alarm of the fire, struck terror in the hearts of women and children who feared the acts of lawlessness and riotous doings in the town.

   Right after the shots, the cry of "FIRE-FIRE" came from every lip as the first blazes started from a cafe near the depot.  The fire bell at the corner of Washington and East streets rang to give the alarm, calling out the fire department and citizens for duty.

   Following a vivid description of the fire, the Hollandale Star (the local newspaper) gave a list of the stores lost in the fire.  No building on the North side of Washington was left standing. The paper stated "the losses will go into the thousands of dollars and fall upon almost every resident of the city."

        McGhee General Mdse (partial insurance)
        Golden McAlpin Grocery (partial insurance, the Post office was there)
        Rubensteins drygood store
        Holland-Hays, general mdse (insured for $10,000)
        Collum Hotel and Livery stable (insured for $15,000)
        Tucker and Peters general mdse (insured for $2000)
        Crough grocery
        Masonic Lodge building (insured for $750)
        McAlpin hotel (no insurance)
        Dr. Magruder's office (small insurance)
        Spivey/Magruder drug store ($1000 insurance)
        McCleary Livery (no insurance)
        Bank of Hollandale (partly damaged)
        Russell Brothers store (partly damaged)

   The first car in Hollandale was owned by Mrs. L.C. Hays.  The next car, a Ford, was bought by Dr. Shanke.  Mr. Tousinnia (unsure of spelling), the undertaker, had a car but he used a horse drawn hearse.

   The Delta in years gone by was a very unhealthy place.  Every year, malaria, hematuria and other diseases took many lives.  In 1904 there was a terrible yellow fever epidemic and it took the lives of many Mexicans who were on Panther Burn  to harvest crops.  They died like flies and were hauled to the Methodist Cemetery by the wagonload and dumped into common graves, some still alive.

   Some of the early doctors here were Dr. Balmer, of Balmer's Ferry, who discovered that quinine was fatal in the treatment of Hematuria, Dr. Magruder, Dr. Howard Spivey, Dr. S.M. Shankle and Dr. Harbour.  Dr. Harbour performed the first operation in Hollandale on Ezra Collum, Mrs. T.A. Landrum's father.  It was performed on the kitchen table and was the removal of his appendix and although everyone thought he would die, he lived and completely recovered. 

   The first bicycles were owned by Effie Russell (Effie Barefield), Byrd Shankle and Annie Mae Magruder.

   For recreation, the young people went walking up the railroad to Estill picking "Violets".  Late in the afternoon the conductor on the Southern R.R.  would let them ride home on the train.

   One of the most exciting events in Hollandale was when Charles Lindberg landed nearby before his famed trip across the Atlantic.  Almost everyone who wanted  went for a plane ride with him for a dollar.

   Like all Southern towns, Hollandale was very social minded.  A news item from an old scrapbook gives an interesting event concerning some citizens of the town.



    On Wednesday evening, December 30, the handsome home of Mr. & Mrs. J . A. McAlpin was the scene of one of the most charming entertainments given in Hollandale in many years.  Sam C. Ryalls, son of the host & hostess, home from Clinton College for the holidays, was the guest of honor.  The following named young ladies graced the occasion with their presence.  

Miss Sallie Vaughn of Vicksburg was gowned in white Swiss over Blue silk trimmed in white lace.

Miss Mary Vaughn of Yazoo county wore rose colored silk and pearls.

Miss Myrna Sloan of Hollandale wore blue satin trimmed in lace and forgetmenots.

Miss Emma Boyd of Brandon brocaded silk and velvet,  jewels and pearls.

Miss Maidie (spelling unsure) McKinney of Arcola wore blue albatross trimmed with ribbons and white lace.

Miss Minnie Morson of Sunflower River wore red silk gauze with ribbon garniture.

Miss Annie Bobbs of Vicksburg wore blue nuns veiling and lace.

Miss Ada Collum of Flora wore pink albatross with lace and ribbons.

Miss Alexander of Redwood, Miss Maybird Barefield, Miss Mamie Crough and several other ladies of Hollandale were also handsomely dressed for the occasion.

The following named gentlemen were also in attendance:  Professor R.V. Pollard of Erwin, TN;  Mr. F. Taylor, Mr. Lowe, Mr. B.T. Winters;  Messrs Edwin and Mercer Thompson of Percy, Mr. Lynch of Texas, Mr. Oda Collum of Flora,  Freddy Overby of Nitta Yuma and many others.  Until 11:00 O'clock the assembled company amused themselves  with dancing when they were all invited into the large dining hall where a lavish and elegant supper was served.  The table was loaded with delicious viands,  substantials, delicacies, meats, fruits and dainties of all descriptions.  The table was artistically and beautifully decorated with flowers and the entertainment was one of the most enjoyable and memorable in the social history of Hollandale.

    My grandfather brought a colored family from Alabama to work on his plantation.  The woman of the family was a very fine seamstress.  She used to make whiteduck suits for my grandfather.  When Mr. Russell and Mr. Magruder found out how well she sewed they hired her to sew for their daughters Effie and Annie May, who were very conscious young  ladies.

    In 1927 another trajedy hit Hollandale,  the 1927 flood.  Water covered everything but somehow it never got over the front steps of our house.  The lifesaver for our livestock was a  small indian mound nearby elevated above the water.

    Soon after the flood, the Planter's Bank was organized with Mr. J.B. Drew as President, and Mr. Grant Hamilton as cashier.  The bank was located on the present site of Mr. Torey Woods office but ceased to exist in 1930.  

    Hollandale was the first community to have dial telephones.  In 1940 Mayor J.V. Lee made the first call on a dial phone in the state. 

    The mayors of Hollandale have been Clarence Hollingsworth, Dr. Shankle, E.W. Scott, J.V. Lee and J.W. Fore. (Fore penciled in on original document, presumably later)

    Town Marshals of Hollandale have been Broomfield (killed), Catlidge, Charlie Keith, Tackett and  Pope (murdered).  Tackett was re-elected and served until his death when he was succeeded by  Criswell.

    As the past history of Hollandale draws to a close, and the future opens, I should like to leave this thought which was found among the possessions of my Grandmother, Mrs. Annie Lee Treadway after her death:


        "I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."