Sterling R. Holt
Sterling R. Holt is a scion of an old and prominent family of North Carolina, of which a representative of this family served as
governor. Mr. Holt's parents were Seymour P. and Nancy A. Holt, and he was born in the village of Graham, Alliance county,
that state on the 26th of March 1850, and both parents were natives of North Caroline, where they passed
their entire lives.
The ravages of the Civil War brought serious financial reverses to the family, and thus the subject of this review was dendied in
his youth the educational advantages which otherwise would have been accorded him. He attended the common schools of his
native state as opportunity offered, but he early began to depend largely upon his own resources, initiating his career as one of
the world's gallant army of workers while he was a mere youth.
At the age of nineteen years Mr. Holt came to Indianapolis where he gave his attention to such employment as he could secure,
having no false pride and realizing that only through individual endeavor could he finally reach the goal of his ambition, the castle
of his dreams. His determination and zeal lead him to seek to supplement his some what meager education, and this he did by
finally completing a course in the Bryant & Stratton Business College in Indianapolis.
In 1872 he secured a clerical position in the retail dry goods establishment of the firm of Muir & Foley, and he continued in the
employ of this concern for three years. By utmost frugality and constant application he had by this time accumulated a small capital
and at the expiration of the period noted he resigned his position with the fray-goods house and associated himself with a practical
pharmacist, in the opening of a drug store, which was located at 164 West Washington street. The enterprise was successfully
conducted for the ensuing seven years, during the last four of which Mr. Holt was also engaged in the ice business. In. 1880 he
disposed of his interest in the drug store and became associated with others in the organization of the Indianapolis Ice Company.
In 1888 was made a division of the business and he retained control of its wholesale department. He brought to bear t characteristic
energy and discrimination in the conducting of the enterprise in an individual way, as this his success became cumulative and
substantial, with the rapid development of th business. He finally became interested in ice companies and firms in various other cities
and towns of the state, and his investments in this line are now of extensive and important order. The Indianapolis enterprise us
conducted under his own name and is the largest of the kind in the city.
Though essentially a business man, Mr. Holt is too broad-minded and progressive to have permitted his personal interests to engross
his entire time and attention, and he has been a prominent figure in the councils and campaign maneuvers of the Democratic party,
having long been an uncompromising and intelligent advocate of the basic principles for which the democratic party stands
During the administration of Mayor Sullivan Mr. Holt was president of the Board of Public Safety for Indianapolis. In 1890 he was
elected chairman of the Marion County Democratic central committee and in 1892 he was elected county treasurer, securing at
the polls a majority that well indicated the strong hold he has ever maintained upon popular confidence and esteem in the city and
county of his adoption. He gave an admirable administration of the fiscal affairs of the county, but he did not become a candidate
for re-election. In 1896 Mr. Holt had the distinction of being chosen chairman of the Democratic state central committee of Indiana,
but he resigned the position after the national convention of the party in 1896, because of his disapproval of the free-silver plank
in the platform adopted under the domination of William Jennings Byran. Since that time his activities in the party have not been so
marked as previously though his fidelity to the generic cause has not waned in the least iota. His genial personality, vitality and
earnestness made him an effective political worker, and the same elements of character have gained to him the inviolable friendship
of those with whom he has come in closer contact in the various relations of life.
In the York Rite of the time honored Masonic fraternity Mr. Holt is affiliated with the lodge of the Free & Accepted Masons, the
Chapter of the Royal Arch Masons; and the Commandery of the Knights of Templar. In the ancient Accepted Sovereign Consistory,
Sublime Princess of the Royal Secret, besides which he is found enrolled as a popular and appreciative member of Murat Temple,
Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias. He is identified in an active
was with the Indianapolis Board of Trade and holds membership in the Commercial Club, a representative civic organization of the
On the 18th of November 1874, Mr. Holt was united in marriage to Miss Mary Gregg who was born and reared in Indiana and who is
a daughter of Martin Gregg, a prominent business man of Danville, this state.
Greater Indianapolis : the history, the industries, the institutions, and the people of a city of homes
Chicago: Leis Pub. Co., 1910, Dunn, Jacob Pitt mg. 1154-5
Sterling R. Holt came to Indianapolis in 1869. He was then nineteen years of age, and several years passed before his work and
abilities attracted attention beyond his immediate employers. Through sheer force of will and the exercise of good common sense
and industry Mr. Holt has come to attain a prominent position in business affairs, and twenty years ago was a recognized leader in
the democratic party of the State of Indiana.
Mr. Holt was born in Graham, Alamanee county, North Carolina, March 26, 1850, son of Seymour P. and Nancy A. Holt. His parents
were both natives of North Carolina and spent their lives there. Like other Southern families they suffered from the ravages of the
Civil war, and as Sterling R. Holt was at that time of schools age he was deprived of many of the advantages which in a peaceful
condition of the country he might have secured.
He had been on his own resources and making his own way for several years before he came to Indianapolis. Here he worked at
whatever employment was offered and at the same time he prepared himself for a business career by completing a course in the
Bryant & Stratton Business College.
In 1872 he began work as a clerk in the retail dry goods firm of Muir & Foley, with whom he remained three years. He practiced
the strictest economy while there and on leaving the house used his limited capital to establish a drug store at 164 West
Washington Street, having as a partner a practical pharmacist. This business grew and prospered for seven years until Mr. Holt sold
In the meantime for four years he had been in the ice business and in 1880, after selling his drug store, he became associated with
other parties in the organization of the Indianapolis Ice Company. In 1888 a division was made of this business, Mr. Holt retaining
the wholesale department. For many years his fundamental interest in a business way at Indianapolis have been as an ice
manufacturer and dealer. He acquired interests in ice companies and firms in various cities and towns of the state, and the
Indianapolis enterprise conducted under his own name is the largest of the kind in the city.
Mr. Holt in politics has been a steadfast but broad minded and when occasion requires an independent worker in the democratic
party. Under Mayor Sullivan he was president of the Board of Public Safety for Indianapolis, in 1890 he was elected chairman of
the Marion County Democratic Central Committee, and in 1892 was elected to the office of county treasurer. He filled that office
one term, not being a candidate for re-election. In 1895 Mr. Holt became chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee
of Indiana. After the National Convention of 1896 he resigned, since he was unable to support the free silver candidacy of William
Mr. Holt is a active member of the Indianapolis Board of Trade and the Commercial Club, is a Knight of Pythias and prominent in both
the York and Scottish Rites of Masonary. He is affiliated with the Lodge, Royal Arch Chapter and Knight Templar Commandery,
with the Indiana Consistory of the Scottish Rite and with Murat Temple of the Mystic Shrine.
September 18, 1874, five years after he came to Indianapolis, Mr. Holt married Miss Marry Gregg. She is a native of Indiana, and her
father Martin Gregg, was at one time a successful business man of Danville.
Indiana and Indianans : a history of aboriginal and territorial Indiana and the century of statehood
Chicago: American Historical Society, 1919, Dunn, Jacob Piatt, pg. 2200
Indianapolis Ice Company,
Wholesale and Retail Ice, 223 West Walnut St.
This company commences operations in this city in 1876. Their office is connected by telephone with all portions of
the city; a dwelling house for emplues and a stable with accommodationd for 30 mules. Te extensive hice houses, 18
in number, covering one and one-half acres, are located on the canal, three miles from the city limits, and have a
storage cpacity for 40,000 tons of cie, which is of the purest quality, and is obtained froma fine ponf on the
opposite side of the canal, 150 hands being employed during the season in filling the houses. Ten wagons are used in
delivering ice tot he city patrons and 25 men are regularly employed. The company also has a large wholesale trade
extending throughout Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee, their annual transcations aggregating fully
$40,000. The individual members of the company are. E. J. Armstrong, S.R. HOLT and J. W. Armstrong.
The First named is a native of Ohio and was born in 1845; Mr. HOLT is a native of North Caroline and was born
March 25th 1851. Mr. J. W. Armstron was born in Ohio in 1838.
Manufacturing and mercantile resources of Indianapolis, Indiana : a review of its manufacturing, mercantile & general business
interests, advantageous location, &c. to which is added a historical and statistical sketch of its rise and progress.
unknown: unknown, 1883, pg. 630-1
FORMER TREASURER SUED.
Sterling R. Holt and Bondsmen are Asked for $90,000
Romus Stuart, in behalf of the taxpayers of Marion county, has brought suit in the superior court
against Sterling K. Holt, former county treasurer of Marion county and his bondsmen, and demands
judgement to the amount of $90, 000
The complaint filed at noon Friday at Indianapolis contains, many allegations of gross neglect of duty
0n the part of Mr. Holt while serving as treasurer.
It is alleged by Staurt that Holt made a practice of collecting delinquent taxes and appropriating the
money thus collected, not making the necessary entries in his books to show the money had been paid.
It is also alleged that other duties of his office were wilfully neglected and that he, in few instances, met
he demands of the oath of his office.
The suit will be one of the largest ones for the recovery of money instituted in the Marion
county courts for some time. - Aug. 4 1904 Culver Citizen