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Mason Standish Holsworth Family

Edwin Arthur Holsworth Family

Mason Standish Holsworth Family

Mason Standish "Jack" Holsworth came to Texas with his parents in March of 1910, at the age of sixteen. He enrolled in the Academy at the Gulf Coast University until the family arrived in December. After the University was closed, he and his father began farming rice. They farmed three crops before the canal to furnish water was completed. In January, 1915, at the age of twenty-one, Jack bought his first herd of Brahman cattle. Clay McSparran, manager of the Pierce Estate, helped him select his cattle and register his brand. Two years later he sold them to enlist in the army during World War I.


Upon his return from the army in 1918, Jack resumed his interest in farming and ranching. He bred another herd of 180 head of Brahman cattle, but after the freeze and ice storm in December, 1924, he had only eighty left. He soon bred another herd of good commercial cattle. In 1947 he began breeding a herd of registered Red Brahmans with the purchase of a registered bull, the son of an imported Brazilian bull--Rio Negro. His long range plan was to breed a herd of big, red cattle. This was the foundation of the present day ranching program.


On May 25, 1930, Jack Holsworth married Ethel Sirmon, a school teacher from Markham who was teaching in the Collegeport School. They had four children: Margaret Ann, Thomas Edwin, Phyllis Helen, and Mason Standish II.


Ethel Sirmon attended school in Markham and was graduated from the Markham and Bay City schools. She attended Southwestern University where she received her teaching certificate, and after that, began teaching in the Collegeport school. Her second year of teaching was in Pledger, Texas.


Jack Holsworth served the First Presbyterian Church as Elder, Treasurer and Chairman of the Building Committee for the Manse. He was a Trustee of the Collegeport School Board, Chairman of the Precinct No. 7 Election Board, and was a director of: the Independent Rice Warehouse, Navigation District No. 1, Hawley Cemetery Association, and Matagorda County Livestock Show. He was a member of the American Brahman Breeders Association and the Pan American Zebu Association.


Ethel Holsworth was a member of the Methodist Church in Markham and later the First Presbyterian Church, Collegeport. She was a member of: Woman's Union, Kings Daughters, Woman's Club, Collegeport YWCA, Home Demonstration Club, and held various offices in these organizations. She was also a Trustee and Secretary of the Collegeport School Board, Trustee of the Palacios Independent School District Board, Presiding Judge of Precinct 7 Election Board, and a member of the American Brahman Breeders Association and the Pan America Zebu Association. She was a charter member, the second from the United States, of the Asociation Granadera de Criadores de Cebu en la Republica Mexicana (Mexican Association of Zebu Cattle Raisers).


After the lengthy illness and death of her husband in January, 1959, she, with the aid of her two sons, assumed the operation of Holsworth Farms and M. S. Holsworth Ranch. Thomas managed the farm, Mason managed the ranch, and Ethel the office.


In order to support three families, it was necessary to expand the rice acreage, add the cultivation of milo, and install their own dryer. With Mason as manager of the M. S. Holsworth Ranch, an outstanding herd of Red Brahman Gyr-type cattle, heavy in imported blood was developed and received International recognition. M. S. Holsworth Ranch exported these cattle to South Africa, Mexico, the Central American Countries and Australia. In 1984, one of the bulls from the M. S. Holsworth Ranch exported to Australia was the sire of an embryo that sold for $9000.00 at auction.


Thomas Edwin Holsworth and Mason Standish Holsworth II were active in numerous church, farm, ranch and community organizations.


Margaret Ann Holsworth Hodge - 1984


Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp 252-253


A wedding of interest to Palacios and Collegeport was solemnized in Markham Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, when M. S. Holsworth was united in marriage to Miss Ethel Sirmon. We extend hearty congratulations to Jack and his bride, and invite them to visit Palacios. They will make their home in Collegeport.

Palacios Beacon, May 29, 1940

Mason Standish "Jack" Holsworth at Collegeport Cattle Pens

Photo courtesy of Ethel Williams

Funeral Services Held In Bay City Sunday For M. S. “Jack” Holsworth

Funeral services for Mason Standish (Jack) Holsworth, 65, of Collegeport were held in the Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Bay City Sunday, January 25 at 3 p. m. Interment was in the Hawley Cemetery.

Mr. Holsworth, a resident of Matagorda County for the past 48 years, passed away early Friday morning at the Methodist Hospital in Houston.

He was a member of the Collegeport Presbyterian Church and a veteran of World War I.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Ethel Holsworth; two sons, Mason and Thomas; two daughters, Mrs. Phyllis Helen Richman, all of Collegeport and Mrs. Margaret Ann Hodge of Dallas; four granddaughters and one sister, Miss Margaret Holsworth of Collegeport.

Palacios Beacon, January 29, 1959

Photo courtesy of Find A Grave Volunteer Chuck Taylor #46593732


Funeral services for Ethel Sirmon Holsworth, 90, of Collegeport, Tex. will be 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, 2000 at the Palacios Funeral Home Chapel with the Revs. William J. Hodge, and Andy and Janell Blair officiating. Interment will follow at Hawley Cemetery in Blessing.

Mrs. Holsworth died Jan. 10, 2000 at Clarewood House in Houston. She was born Dec. 24, 1909 in Markham to the late Richard Thomas and Maude Hardee Sirmon.

She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Collegeport and a resident of Collegeport since 1928. Mrs. Holsworth graduated from Bay City High School, attended Southwestern University in Georgetown and taught school in Collegeport and Pledger before her marriage to Mason S. "Jack" Holsworth on May 25, 1930.

Survivors include: two daughters and a son-in-law, Margaret Ann and Rev. William J. Hodge of Houston and Phyllis Derrick of Waco; two sons and a daughter-in-law, Thomas E. and Marie Holsworth of Palacios and Mason Holsworth of Collegeport; sister, Inez Chapman of McGehee, Ark; sisters-in-law, Thelma Sirmon of Bay City and Ben Eddie Sirmon of New Braunfels, Tex.; 11 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by: her husband, M. S. "Jack" Holsworth; brothers, Carvel, Malcom, Ralph and Earl; and sister Dorothy Jean.

Arrangements are with Palacios Funeral Home

THE DAILY TRIBUNE, Wednesday, 12 Jan 2000

Photo courtesy of Find A Grave Volunteer Chuck Taylor #46593732

Special Tribute to Ethel Sirmon Holsworth
Collegeport Day Newsletter of May 2000


Ethel Sirmon Holsworth (1909-2000) was a longtime resident of Collegeport, a schoolteacher, farmer/rancher and community activist.  She had an undying interest in the Collegeport community, and was instrumental in preserving the Mopac House when it had fallen into a state of disrepair and non-use.  At one point the Mopac was in deplorable condition with the doors off the hinges and cattle roaming through it.  Jack and Ethel Holsworth hired George Baccus to construct the trusses to straighten and support the walls and roof of the building.  Over the years, other improvements were made.


Collegeport Day had evolved as a “covered dish” occasion, and at one point, attendance waned.  In 1945, in an effort to improve attendance and stimulate interest for the homecoming, Jack and Ethel Holsworth donated a calf which was barbecued by John Merck and “Cheatum” Greenwood.  Since that time, barbecuing has become the tradition of Collegeport Day.  In more recent years, boneless beef briskets were used, for the convenience of preparation and serving.  Although there has never been a charge for the meal, the sale of barbecue has been the primary fundraiser for the upkeep of the building.


Mrs. Holsworth never lost her zeal for the Mopac House, or her love for our community.  She served as treasurer of the Woman’s Club for 50 years and also served as a trustee of the Mopac House Foundation, which maintains the Mopac House and Library for the benefit of the citizens of our community.  Her enthusiasm and efforts have helped the Mopac House remain vital as a community center in this area of Matagorda County.


Copyright 2007 - Present by the Holsworth Family
All rights reserved

Mar. 2, 2008
Mar. 2, 2008