John Pinkney Holbert

Photo added by bplevi

John Pinkney Holbert

  • Birth 15 Apr 1864 Polk County, North Carolina, USA
  • Death 29 Feb 1952 Fletcher, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
  • Burial Hendersonville, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA
  • Memorial ID 5226594

John Pinkney Holbert was the son of Joseph Holbert and Mary Newman. He and his brothers were rock masons, and owned a rock quary in Henderson County. They built several of the houses, Churches, and other large buildings in Henderson County, and other NC counties. During the depression he lost most of any money he had because the first thing he did when things started getting hard was to pay his workers.

The following is a story told by his granddaughter, Lois Holbert Corn.

"Gramdpa John Holbert was an alcoholic for about the first ten years of his marriage to Grandma. He was mean to grandma when he drank. Erskine was their first child. Next they had grandaddy "Brosky", then Beaula. When Beaula was about 3 or 4 years old they had little Johnny. Grandpa loved little Johnny so. He practically worshiped him.

When Johnny was 2 years old he got sick with the croup. They sent for the doctor, and he gave little Johnny some medecine. But it turned out to be a medecine that they gave to horses when they were sick. In a couple of days, when little Johnny wasn't any better, they sent for the doctor again, and he gave him more of the same medecine, which turned out to be poison for a little baby. Little Johnny died. Grandpa was absolutely heartbroken. He grieved over little Johnny's death for a long time.

In those days people would gather at each others houses for weekly prayer meetings. One night the meeting was taking place at grandpa and grandma's house. There were about 8 people there that night, all sitting around the fireplace, giving their testimonies one by one, and giving praise for what God had done for them. No doubt these good people knew of Grandpaw's "wicked" drinking habits, and how he treated his gentle wife. But that night grandpa spoke.

He confided to these people gathered around his fireplace, of a recent life changing experience. "A few nights ago I had just gone to bed, my heart still heavy and burdened over my little Johnny's passing. Oh, how I wanted to see him again. All of a sudden I noticed a glow in the room. I looked down at the floor and saw, right before my eyes, a roaring fire. I could feel the heat. Terror filled my heart. Then I got a word from the Lord, telling me that if I didn't get right with God that fire is where I would end up, I'd never see my little son agin. I got on my knees, right where that fire had been, and gave my life to the Lord."

Grandpa never drank again after that. He really was a changed man. In fact, he didn't even get grandma up in the morning to make his breakfast. He'd let her lay in bed and read. When his grandchildren speak of him, it's with warmth and good memories."

The following story is told by his granddaughter, Cyrene Holbert Levi.

"Grandpa John P Holbert's room always smelled of tabacco and apples. I remember him peeling and eating apples and asking us if we wanted a bite. He had a peculiar way of eating too, I thought. For a long period, maybe two or three months, he'd eat just potatoes, then black-eyed peas. Next he'd eat grits. When he'd catch a possum he'd eat rice and possum as long as it lasted. It lasted a long time, 'cause he was the only one who liked it! And he wore his clothes for six months at a time, but I don't remember him smelling bad, and he wore his long-johns all year.

Crowds of peolple from all over the county would gather at grandma and Grandpa Holbert's place for pickin', singin' and dancin'. What a time they would have! John Pace and his brothers would come and bring their stringed instruments, along with anybody else in the county who could pick and sing. They would stay until well into the night sometimes. I remember one night when everybody was there.

it started raining and storming, real hard. Well, nobody would leave because it was raining so hard. They just stayed and stayed, and laughed and sang.
It got later and later, and I started to get worried. Finally I was real worried because it was time to go to bed, and I was so concerned over where in the world everbody would sleep! I remember worrying so much about that. But, they just stayed, pickin' and singing, and left in the morning when it quit raining.

I don't remember grandpa John ever singing, or playing an instrument. I just remember him laughing. He had the sweetest laugh. He'd just sit around watching everybody sing and dance, and he would laugh that wonderful laugh.





  • Created by: bplevi
  • Added: 23 Feb 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5226594
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Pinkney Holbert (15 Apr 1864–29 Feb 1952), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5226594, citing Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, Hendersonville, Henderson County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by bplevi (contributor 40873455) .