Prof. Lewis Holland (1876)
In any celebration of the founding and successful operation of Savoy College, Professor Lewis Holland deserves a large share. In collaboration with Professor R.R. Halsell, they organized the college in 1876, and remained equal partners in the conduct and affairs of the school for twelve or fifteen years when Mr. Holland resigned to enter other activities.

While Mr. Holland was not so prominent perhaps in the advertisement and propaganda workings of the institution as was his partner, Mr. Halsell, yet he was a power in the study hall and in the class-room. A profound student of history, of the classics, and of several sciences I have been told by those who had long known him that he had been a hard student all his life; he was indispensable in the department of higher education. Useless words and idle thoughts seemed absent from his vocabulary. He was not given to much speaking, but what he said before his classes was seasoned, comprehensive, and conclusive. He had a knack of inspiring confidence in the minds of his pupils that we were being taught efficiently and with just enough thoroughness to arouse within us the determination to go on and do more efficient and industrious thinking for ourselves.

My Holland was of a tranquil mentality; not given to magnifying mole-hills of vexation…

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One day while he was busily engaged in a class recitation that heavy timber fell with a crash by the side of his chair missing his head by only a few inches. His face flushed with surprise and with a prayer of thankfulness that his chair was six inches out of line with the falling body, the professor arose with quiet dignity, picked up the missile, deposited it in a far corner of the room, returned to his chair and continued the work without any appreciable loss of time.

Mr. Holland’s efficiency and usefulness were not confined to the school room alone where his influence on the character and destiny of his pupils was sublime, but also as outstanding citizen of the community, a beloved leader in the church, and a valued friend and counsellor of all. When the cyclone of 1880, which came within one week of the close of the school year, devastated the town, Mr. Holland and the other members of the faculty did yeoman service in ministering the wounded, consoling the bereaved and burying the dead.

After serving his college connection here, Mr. Holland moved to San Antonio where he engaged time in a lucrative business, insane economy and thrift which characterized him throughout college days here, amassed considerable wealth. He died at San Antonio, June 15, 1914, leaving his family in affluent circumstances and unto them and a host of former residents another heritage, the memory of an honored helpful and successful life.


  1. Lou Arterberry, The Savoy Star, vol.35, no.50, pg.12