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William S. Holman
By W. T. Stott

     Another of the leading men in the Laughery Association was William S. Holman, son of Jesse L. Holman. He was born in Indiana in 1822; he had the educational advantages of the public schools, and a course, though not complete, in Franklin College. He engaged in the study and practice of law, and in 1843 was elected probate judge for his county. He was chosen prosecuting attorney of his county from 1847 to 1869;and in 1851 was elected a member of the Indiana legislature. In 1858 he was elected to the United States Congress, and was elected fifteen terms in succession an honor that has not fallen to any other congressman in the history of the country. He was a member of the Aurora Baptist church at the time of his death, and had been for many years. And while he gave a great deal of time to civil matters he was also actively connected with his denominational work in Indiana. He was a member of the board of trustees of Franklin College from 1851 to 1857, and was chairman of some of the most important committees of the Indiana Baptist Convention. He was an active and earnest supporter of the government through the trying times of the civil war; and more than one Indiana soldier found him ready to sympathize with him and help him, as they met in Washington.

     Judge Turpie, his colleague and lifelong friend, had this to say of him in an address during the Obituary exercises in the House of Congress in 1897:

"He was for the Union at all risk, and at every cost. He supported the prosecution of the war for the Union with fervent zeal and unflagging constancy. He had, all his life, resided on the very border between the free and the slave States. He represented the people of a border district. His constituents had with their neighbors of Kentucky, and indeed with the people of the entire south, through the great commerce of the Ohio river, the most intimate and congenial relations; but these cost him not a moment's hesitation.

. . . Although Judge Holman was a man of affairs, in close contact with the varied political activities of this world, yet he had not forgotten had always borne in present remembrance the concerns of the world to come, the distant scene beyond. He had been from early manhood, and continued to the close of his career, a steadfast believer in the Christian faith. He became and remained a member of the Baptist church, and always took an active interest in the progress and growth of that influential body. . . . It must have been certainly an interesting and edifying spectacle to have seen and heard the distinguished statesman, whom time had clothed with so many years and honors, discoursing upon some subject of discipline or doctrine among his brethren, as one who, in deliberations upon the great secular questions of his age, had yet kept and preserved his interest in the affairs of that grander and more glorious commonwealth the church."


[Taken from W. T. Stott, Indiana Baptist History, 1908, pp. 100-102. jrd]

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