John Holsworth, born on March 2, 1822, in Yorkshire, England, came to America in 1847. He labored in Philadelphia, New York, Richmond, Virginia, toured the southern states, and located in St. Louis for a time. He lived in Alton, Illinois, and Bloomington, Illinois before settling in Joliet, Illinois, where he was foreman for the Killman Manufacturing Company and later foreman for the Joliet Iron and Steel Works. In 1854, he married Caroline P. Bryant, a native of Connecticut; had two sons, John Henry, who died in infancy, and Edwin Arthur. John, Caroline and John Henry were buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Joliet, Illinois.
Edwin Arthur Holsworth was born on January 22, 1857, in Bloomington, Illinois, and died on February 19, 1939, in Collegeport, Texas. He married Helen Manners Pettigrew, who was born on December 24, 1869, in Chicago, Illinois, and died on November 22, 1928, in Collegeport, Texas, and was buried in Hawley Cemetery. Before his marriage, E. A. Holsworth lived in Chicago where he played semi-pro baseball for the Chicago White Sox. He was a patron of the Chicago Opera where he had a season ticket and occupied the same reserved seat for many years. He was a 32nd degree Mason. By trade he was a foundryman--a master draftsman and precision pattern maker. After his marriage to Helen, the couple bought a farm in Joliet, Illinois. Ed was not a farmer, so he eventually opened the Holsworth Foundry.
Helen Manners Pettigrew was the daughter of Martha Manners and Robert Mason Pettigrew. The Pettigrews came to America from Glasgow, Scotland, with one young son, Guy. Children born in America were: Helen, Robert Mason, Jr., John, and Margaret (who was born shortly after her father's death). Robert Mason Pettigrew died in his early forties of a coronary. At the time of his death he was serving as Chief of Police of Chicago. The Pettigrews were devout Scotch Presbyterians. Martha Pettigrew held her family together through some trying times. She was remembered for her wonderful sense of humor.
After E. A. Holsworth's retirement, the family moved to Texas, arriving in Collegeport on December 24, 1910. Earlier they had purchased real estate in the area, so upon their arrival by train with all their earthly possessions plus a car load of lumber milled for the new house, they built a retirement home on Bayshore Boulevard.
Helen Holsworth was a homemaker par-excellence. She was an accomplished seamstress, an excellent cook, and a marvelous hostess. She was widely read and a Bible scholar. She was very creative, whether it be building a chicken coop, decorating her home, upholstering furniture, painting, or entertaining. She too, had a wonderful sense of humor and one long remembered with fondness the pleasure of her company. She was a member of the Eastern Star, and a charter member of the following organizations: the Collegeport Federated Church--which later became the First Presbyterian Church, the Woman's Union (church auxiliary), Kings Daughters, Women's Club, and the Matagorda Federation of Women's Clubs. She was a trustee of the Gulf Coast University of Industrial Arts, and served as a trustee and secretary of the Collegeport school board. She held various offices in all the organizations in which she participated. The Holsworths had two children: Mason Standish "Jack," and Margaret Pettigrew.
Margaret Pettigrew Holsworth was born on December 16, 1896, in Joliet, Illinois, died on December 28, 1964, in Collegeport, Texas and was buried in Hawley Cemetery. Margaret came to Texas with her parents at the age of fourteen. Years later she delighted her nieces and nephews with reminiscences of the early days of Collegeport and the first experience of living at the hotel until the first building phase--a two-story barn--was completed, and they moved on the premises of their new home. It took a year to build the house.
At the age of sixteen, Margaret began what was to be her life-long career--teaching school. She taught in Matagorda County schools: Citrus Grove, Collegeport, Markham, and Bay City, before returning to Chicago where she pursued her education at night school and continued to teach. She taught in the same room in the same school for thirty-eight years. She received her B. A. degree and her Master's degree from the University of Chicago and DePaul University. The year 1930-31 she taught full time, got her Master's degree, and wrote her thesis. Margaret retired from the Chicago school and returned to Texas to the family home she had maintained after her mother's death. One year of retirement found her embarking on her second teaching career. She taught in Bay City, Wharton, and Palacios until her final retirement in May of 1964, a total of fifty-four years as a teacher. She was rated a superior teacher by her colleagues.
Margaret Ann Holsworth Hodge - 1984
Matagorda County, Volume II, pp 251-252
Helen M. Holsworth
At noon Sunday, February 19th, Mrs. Helen
Holsworth of Collegeport passed away suddenly at her home on
Mrs. Holsworth was one of the early pioneers of this town
and moved here twenty-eight years ago with her children and
her late husband, Edwin Holsworth, steel manufacturer and
founder of the Holsworth Foundry of Joliet, Illinois.
Mrs. Holsworth’s chief interests were her family, her home,
and her community. She was very active and interested in all
community activities which benefited her little village.
Her sudden passing was a shock, not only to her family, but
to her many friends throughout the county.
She leaves a son, Mason Standish (Jack) and a daughter,
Margaret, and four beloved grandchildren, Margaret, Thomas
Edwin, Phyllis Helen, and Mason II all of Collegeport.
Mrs. Holsworth’s passing will be a great loss to all the
people who have known and loved her.
She was laid to rest at Hawley Cemetery on Wednesday,
February 22, at two o’clock. Funeral services were at her
home at that time.
Rev. Gillespie officiated and the pall bearers were her
neighbors whom she has known ever since Collegeport was
Funeral arrangements were in charge of Taylor Bros.
Palacios Beacon, February 23, 1939
IN MEMORIUM MRS. HELEN MANNERS HOLSWORTH
By Mrs. Dena D. Hurd
In the passing of Mrs. Helen M. Holsworth
whose recent departure from earthly life came without
warning or pain at the family home when the only son was en
Mrs. Holsworth was born in
The esteem in which the family is held
and the love the village had for the lately departed one was
evidenced by the long cortege that followed the remains of
Mrs. Holsworth to her last resting place in
I saw them again, bending low o'er the grave
Where their hearts' dearest hope had been laid,
The star had gone down in the twilight of dark
And hope from their bosoms had fled.
But the Healer was there, pouring balm on their hearts,
And, wiping the tears from their eyes
He anchored the chain He had severed in twain
And fastened it firm to the skies.
There is no death.
Reverend Gillespie officiated at the home and tomb where Mrs. Helen Manners Holsworth was laid to rest beneath a mound of many beautiful floral tributes and in the presence of a great throng as a pilgrimage to a sacred shrine.
Tribune, March 3, 1939
2007 - Present by the Holsworth Family
This page was created
Mar. 2, 2008
This page was updated
Mar. 2, 2008