Tombstone Tuesday – August 28, 2018 – Nicholas Mosby Holton


Nicholas was the son of Elijah Gorman and Susanna (Mosby) Holtonn in Mason, Kentucky. Elijah and Susanna had eleven children: Sarah A. (1799), Benjamin F. (1801), Martha Ann (1803), Susannah (1805), Nicholas Mosby (1807), Malinda (1809), Elijah Gorman (1811), Thomas Jefferson (1812), Patsy B (1815), Maria Abigail (1817), Robert Alexander (1821).

Nicholas married Lucy Dupuy in Scioto County, Ohio on January 8, 1834. Nicholas and Lucy had nine children; Mary Elizabeth (1834), Victoria (1838), George (1841), Robert (1842), Matilda (1844), Virginia Mosby (1846), James (1849), Laura (1853), Lucy (1855).

In the 1860 Federal Census, Nicholas and his wife and their children are living in Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri. Their children are George (1840), Miltida (1843), Robert (1841), Virginia (1847), Laura (1853), Lucy (1855). They have 12 tenants who are also listed in the census at the “Holton Hotel” or boarding house.

According to the obituary of Nicholas’s daughter Mary Elizabeth Robbins, Nicholas Holton conducted business at the famed McCormack House at Danville. The Census records seem to indicated that he was likely running a hotel or boarding house. The McCormack house was a favorite place to stay for Abraham Lincoln when court was in session in Danville during his early career as a Lawyer. It was located on the northwest corner of Main and Walnet Streets in Danville and offered lodging for many weary travelers and local businessman. It was on McCormack House stationary that Lincoln wrote his acceptance letter to James A Briggs in 1859 which would lead the way to his presidency.

McCormack House

Photo of the famed Hotel.

In the 1870 Census, Nicholas Holton and his children; George, Laura, Lucy, Robert and his wife Virginia are living in Danville. Nicholas is a Tavern keeper and Hotel Proprietor. There are 26 tenants in his building which I believe to be the McCormick House referred to in his daughters obituary.

In the 1880 Census, Nicholas declared that he is a retired merchant and is 73 years old. His thirty-nine year old son George is a Master Gardener and lives with him along with a 50 year old housekeeper whose name is Lizzie Smith.

One hundred and thirty one years ago today, Nicholas Mosby Holton died in Danville, Illinois. He is buried at Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville, Illinois.


Rest in peace, Nicholas!

Love, Jan

Nicholas is a fifth cousin four times removed. Interestingly enough Nicholas is 2 times Great Grandfather to Robert De Nero. We share 8 times Great Grandparents, George and Susanna (Sage) Alexander from Stirling, Scotland.


Note: Sorry about the difference in font size…I have pulled my hair out trying to figure out how to fix this… Fonts are the same on my original document.

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