Holliday Centennial

The birthday festivities began on Sunday, May 23, 1976. Special events were planned for each day of the week: Sunday, church day; Monday, flag flying day; Tuesday, visit your neighbor; Wednesday, tea for the queen candidates; Thursday, family day; Friday clean up community day and Saturday, set up for the Sunday celebration.

Sunday at 10 a.m. worship and memorial services were held. Rev. Stan Fretwell of the Christian Church gave the message with the Baptist Church of Holliday and Christian Church of Madison participating. Following the service a barbecued chicken dinner was served at noon to almost 500, catered by Madison Lions.

The afternoon program was held on the black-topped school play area where contests were held. The Holliday 4-H Club presented their winning skit which followed the Bicentennial theme and with which they won at “Share the Fun”. Mrs. Sam Akers was M.C. and Mrs. Mildred Howe pianist.

Guy Callison, mayor gave the official welcome to the crowd which was estimated to be over 700. The oldest resident, originally from Holliday, was Maud Blades Hill, 86; oldest resident present was Mrs. Naomi Olney. The person traveling farthest to attend was Mrs. Gertrude Solomon Parrish, a 1925 graduate of the high school, from Ft. Myers, Fla.

Two ladies, Mrs. Virginia Meitmeyer and Mrs. Ruth Curtright were recognized as members of the 1909 graduating class from Holliday, the first year the school had high school graduates. Hurlie Wiley and Mary Frances Reid were present from the class of 50 years ago, 1926.

Mrs. Guy Callison served ably as Centennial Chairman assisted by co-chairman Mrs. Gene Million, Mrs. Lylburn Johnson and Rev. Fretwell. Mike Halliburton was in charge of historical displays.

The Queen chosen was Mrs. Marvin Houston with Miss Julie Ragsdale the Teen Queen and Stephanie Callison the Princess.

Committees for the Centennial were: publicity: Cloyce Menefee and Rev. Fretwell, food—Mrs. Jerry Ragsdale and 4-H club, decorations—Mrs. Paul Ensor, Mrs. Elton Morgan and Mrs. Wesley Myers, program and music—Jane Akers and Mayor Callison, historian—Mrs. Howe and the treasurer—Mrs. Delbert Secoy. Contests were under direction of Sam Akers, Rev. Fretwell, Mrs. Harold Wilson, Mrs. Poole Harrison, Mrs. Mike Mallory and Mrs. David Menefee.

The beard contest “Brothers of the Brush” had winners: longest—Fred Blades, bushiest—Gary Duncan, reddest—Herman Stamp, best goatee—Cloyce Menefee, whitest mustache—Nova Miller and best mustache—Rev. Fretwell.

Four women, the Gwyn sisters, were recognized as descendents of John and Thompson Holliday, founders of the town. A booklet with photographs about Holliday’s history had been prepared by Mrs. Howe and the mayor and was available for a souvenir.

Junior Gifford of Thompson brought his covered wagon and team to the Sunday celebration and Tom Deveno, Holliday, had a yoke of oxen and a covered wagon there, too. The large animals weighed over 1,800 pounds each.

The original town of Holliday was first established in 1872 a mile and a half east of the present location and consisted of a railroad station and a general store, the store owned by a Mr. Foster and known as Foster’s Station. In 1876 the town was moved to the present location on land given by the Holliday brothers, William and Thompson, and the name changed to Holliday.