|Birth: ||May 28, 1910|
|Death: ||Jan. 27, 1976|
Gordon R. Holstun was born May 28, 1910 in Waverly, Alabama. He was the fourth son in the family to attend his father's alma mater, Auburn University, where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in 1931.
He accepted a teaching offer from Mr. Mark A. Smith, Superintendent of the Thomaston City Schools and moved to Thomaston, Georgia, August 28, 1931 where he began teaching history and math at R. E. Lee High School. He served as athletic director for two of the eight years that he taught at the high school.
On October 14, 1932, Mr. Holstun married Louise Hooten of Jackson, Georgia. They had one child, Beverly Louise.
From 1939 to 1941, he served as principal of the R. E. Lee Grammar School. During this time he worked on his master's degree and received an M.S. in Education from Auburn University on August 16, 1940. In partial fulfillment of the requirements for his master's degree, Mr. Holstun wrote a 340 page thesis entitled, "A History of Education in Upson County" which outlined the development of education in the county from 1824-1940.
In May of 1941, after serving five months of a four year term as Superintendent of the Upson County Schools, Mr. Mark A. Smith retired and Gordon R. Holstun was chosen by the County Board of Education to complete Mr. Smith's term of office. During that month, Mr. Holstun completed his term as principal of the grammar school and assumed his duties as the county superintendent.
In 1948 the city school superintendent resigned and the city board of education asked the county board if Mr. Holstun could serve as city superintendent until they could find someone to fill the vacancy. On September 17, 1948 Mr. Holstun became Superintendent of the Thomaston City School System and served both the city and county in that position until 1970. '
In 1967 Mr. Holstun received his sixth year degree from Auburn University. At the time of his death,'Mr, Holstun lacked only one quarter of on-campus work to obtain his doctorate degree.
On July 1, 1970, Mr. Holstun resigned as superintendent of the city and county schools.
Prior to his resignation, on June 4, 1970, Chairman Hays Arnold of the County Commissioners proclaimed Gordon R. Holstun Day and a special ceremony was held in the gymnasium that bears his name.
In the fall of 1970 he joined the faculty of Tift College in Forsyth, Georgia. He became an Associate Professor of Education teaching consistently for two years "The History of Education" and supervised student teachers.
On Tuesday, January 27, 1976 he died of a heart attack at age 65.
Highlights in Education
Taught at R. E. Lee High School, 1931-1939
Board of Education named principal at R. E. Lee Grammar School, 1939-1941
Elected superintendent of Upson County School System, 1941 (elected every four
Appointed Superintendent of City Schools, 1948
Held City and County superintendent positions concurrently 1948-70
Hot lunch program in the county schools in 1941
Free dental clinic visited all the county schools
Yatesville basketball coach in 1943; in 1945 state champions
Consolidation of white and black county schools.
Contributions to the schools by local citizens and industries. Under his leadership,
the Thomaston Mills gave two school buildings to the city board of education (1950)
and when Silvertown became annexed to the city, the B. F. Goodrich Martha Mills
gave three school buildings to the city board of education.
Construction of new buildings without floating a bond issue (1955)
1951 plans made for standardized tests.. .one grade, one teacher, one grade
Supervisor of student teachers of Tift College, 1954-58
1967 sixth year degree from Auburn University
Highlights in Civic and Community Service
Joined First Baptist Church, Thomaston, August 30, 1939
Ordained a deacon October 11, 1939
Clerk of the Church from October 1942 to September 1948
October 1939 became the teacher of the Men's Bible Class until his death in 1976
Spring of 1940 the Thomaston Lions Club was organized and he became a charter
Charter member of Georgia Lions Lighthouse
President of Thomaston Lions Club in 1943
Elected district governor of the Lions Club in 1948
Served on the Board of Trustees of Tift college from 1954 to 1958 and vice-chairman
for the 1957-5 8 year
Member of the Georgia Accrediting Commission 1960 to 1966; vice-chairman 1960
Member of the Georgia Education Association 1944-48
Member Georgia County Superintendents Association, president 1955
President, Georgia Association of School Administrators 1960-61
Chairman, State Textbook Committee
Member, International Platform Committee for the National Society Study of
Member, Phi Delta Kappa
Active in the National Beta Club; served on the Georgia Beta Club Council since
1968, chairman since 1969, national President of the National Beta Clubs in 1974 (he
was returning from a trip concerning Beta Club work when he suffered his heart
Honors and Awards
Who's Who in the South and Southwest in 1969-70,1973-75, 1975-76
Who's. Who in American Education in 1965-66
Outstanding Educators in 1971
Personalities in the South in 1970
Resolution passed by the Georgia State House of Representative for "his exemplary
leadership and personal commitment"February 1975
Honored by the Upson county Board of Health for continuous service from May 1,
1941 to July 1, 1970
Awards Created in his Honor
Gordon R. Holstun Rifle Team Award
Gordon R. Holstun Certificate of Appreciation to the Outstanding classroom teacher
by the local Business and Professional Women's Club
Gordon R. Holstun Kiwanis Award to an exemplary high school student
Gordon R. Holstun Sports Achievement Award given by the Touchdown Club
Much of this information was taken from The Holstun Collection and "Gordon R. Holstun and his Contribution to Education in Upson County" by Helen M. Smith
This information was taken from the Gordon Holstun Collection Finding aid at the Thomaston Upson Archives.
Pleasant Reese Holstun (1872 - 1933)
Annie Lizzie Robinson Holstun (1884 - 1966)
Louise Hooten Holstun (1912 - 1993)
Infant Daughter of Mr & Mrs Gordon R Holstun (1941 - 1941)*
Gordon Robinson Holstun (1947 - 1947)*
Harvey Holstun (1901 - 1946)**
Beverly Reid Holstun (1902 - 1971)**
Reese Compton Holstun (1904 - 1988)**
Gordon Robinson Holstun (1910 - 1976)
Cordelia Holstun Roton (1915 - 2015)*
Created by: Thomaston-Upson Archives
Record added: Jun 22, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 71815027
To My Robinson family connection|
Added: Jun. 8, 2016
To My Robinson family connection|
Added: Feb. 17, 2013