Tom Holden was born February 18, 1906 at Texico, New Mexico to Luther Lieutenent Wilbourn (1887-1977) and Nina (Holden) Wilbourn. He married Faith D. Strain on May 4, 1937 at Castle Rock, Colorado. She died January 21, 1987. Survivors include three sons: Larry of Anaheim, California; Tommy of Denver, Colorado; and James of Wooster, Ohio; two daughters: Jackie Sweet of Fullerton, California; and Doris Carnes of Honolulu, Hawaii; two brothers: Clyde L. Wilbourn of Durango, Colorado and Lawrence L. Wilbourn of Bayfield, Colorado; three sisters: Frances Henderson of Durango, Colorado; Maxine Rather of Carbondale, Colorado; and Lottie Murray of Alamosa, Colorado; and ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were Friday, March 20, 1987 at Hendricks Funeral Home, WaKeeney, Kansas with the Rev. Duane K. Harms officiating. Burial was in WaKeeney City Cemetery. Tom died March 16, 1987 at Trego-Lemke Memorial Hospital.
Tom Holden was a man of many talents and interests. He liked a challenge. Tom was a person of adventuresome spirit who was an innovator on the growing edge of things. Some of the areas Tom pioneered included race car driving, stunt driving, helping to introduce midget race cars, building Dupont Raceway in Denver, Colorado and becoming a race and show promoter and manager at many fairs and other events around the Midwest. Later, he turned his attention to the oil drilling mud business headquartered at McCracken, Kansas and later at WaKeeney, Kansas. He was also involved in oil leasing and drilling up to the time of his death. Tom deeply respected the teaching of the Masonic organizations to which he belonged. Tom was a generous person. He was not one to give up. He liked new beginnings.
As a race driver, Tom Holden set both the three-lap and six-lap track records in his Chrysler 70 dirt car at the Cowley County Fairgrounds at Winfield, Kansas in October of 1928. The three-lap record stood for 28 years.
Tom Holden organized the Consolidated Auto Racing Association and the Mile High Racing Association in the 1930s both for the purpose of promoting auto racing. He is credited with introducing midget auto racing into Kansas in 1936 when he toured the state promoting a group of those racers from the west coast. He formed the Tom Holden Auto Thrill Show in the 1950s with which he toured mostly county fairs in the Midwest. He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa in 1998 and has been named to the Cowley County Wall of Fame at Winfield, Kansas.
Tom Holden's grave is unmarked.
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