Strangers to Us All
Lawyers and Poetry

Thomas P. Holt

(late 1880s-1978)

We learned that Thomas P. Holt was an attoney, poet, and chairman of the Oklahoma state election board by way of an article in the Ada Evening News (Ada, Oklahoma), dated May 16, 1934.

Holt practiced law at Ada, Oklahoma from 1905 until his death.

There is apparently a reference to Holt and his poetry in Aletha Caldwell Conner's Anthology of Poetry by Oklahoma Writers (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Times-Journal Pub. Co., 1939)(vol.2).

We have been informed by Thomas R. Carlton, that his maternal great grandfather, Thomas P. Holt was one of the first lawyers in Ada, Indian Territory and that he wrote under the name Topeho or Thos. P. Holt. While working as a lawyer for the railroads, Holt spent some time in the Arizona Territory and submitted offerings to the newspapers there under the name Topeho. Judge Holt, as he was long referred to in Ada, was at times a District Judge, and he also served as one of the first State Representatives from Pontotoc County to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His daughter Roba Holt was longtime personal secretary to Sen. Robert S. Kerr, Speaker of the House of the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Carlton goes on to tell us that his mother, Betty Sue Carlton, was nominated several times for the post of Poet Laureate for the State of Oklahoma and is widely known down home and by an Oklahoma Senate proclamation as Oklahoma's Poet.

Carlton has, to date, found no publication of his great grandfather's poetry.