The days of pioneer hardships are largely done in Nez Perces County; the times of Indian fighting are over; the toil of the sturdy frontiersman has resulted in a prosperous and wealthy community of intelligent and progressive people. One who has passed the years of toil, danger and hardship as one of the real pioneers and who has demonstrated himself one of the real frontiersmen of the country, having passed through all the trying times referred tci. is mentioned at the head of tin’s article. Samuel Holt is well and widely known both as a business man of Culdesac, having a first class hotel there, the “Commercial” and also as the intrepid, fearless and sturdy pioneer of thrilling early days.
An epitome of his career will be interesting reading and therefore we make it a part of the County history. He was born in Fort Scott, Kansas, on July 22, 1840, being the son of Thomas A. and Alary (Cardwell) Holt. The father was a lieutenant in the regular army, participated in the Mexican War and died when our subject was one year old. The mother was born in Tennessee in 1823 and the time of her death was 1853. After her husband’s death she had married John L. Kline in 1852. In 1853 they started across the plains, when within one hundred and fifty miles of Boise City she sickened and died.
Our subject and his older brother, Frank, three years his senior, came with their stepfather to Eugene. Oregon, and there wintered. When he was thirteen years old the two boys came to Walla Walla together and he went to cooking for Ed Whitman’s pack train. In 1863 he was at Lewiston and also at Idaho City with a pack train In 1866 he was cooking at Beartown and more or less since that time he has followed cooking.
In 186S he returned to Lewiston, and that town has been his headquarters most of the time since. When the Nez Perces reservation opened up he came and on May 22, 1896, he took a claim seven miles southwest from Culdesac, which he still owns and handles. In addition to that Mr. Holt operates the “Commercial” as stated above, one of the leading hostelries of the county. He has a good trade and is wise in his management to please the traveling public. During the Nez Perces war he served seven months, pursuing the Indians most of the time. He carried dispatches from Lewiston to Walla Walla at that time and made the best time on record. He rode the distance of ninety-eight miles in seven hours and forty minutes, having four relays.
On November 2, 1885, Mr. Holt married Miss Laura A., daughter of Samuel and Lucinda (Privett) Minnick, the nuptials occurring in Lewiston. The father was a carpenter and a native of Illinois and a pioneer to Oregon. The mother died in Oregon in 1871. Mrs. Holt has one sister, Addie Lubkins, living in Spokane. She also has three half sisters and three half brothers in Spokane. Two children have been the fruit of this happy marriage, Mabel and Chester, both at home. Mrs. Holt was born in Albany, Oregon, on February 5, 1870, and came with her parents to Waitsburg while an infant. Mr. Holt has one brother, Frank, living in Yakima. He is the only living relative.
Mr. Holt is a Democrat and active in matters of political moment. He is an advocate of good schools, and one reason of his moving to town was to educate his children better than could be done in the country.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903