James Chesley Holt was born January 16, 1889 in Red Bluff, California to James Richard and Mary Ault Holt, who moved to Redding when he was two and a half. He was one of four children, Freddie who died at the age of two and two girls, Inazetta and Helen who went away to Stanford University and never returned to Shasta County.

James reluctantly attended Redding Elementary and Shasta High Schools and then was sent to Lick Prep School in San Francisco, where he was a football star. In 1911, he was called home to take over as partner in Holt & Gregg, after the death of his father.

Norma Cravens was the youngest of eleven children born to John Daniel and Martha Kivett Cravens of Anderson. Norma went to local schools and then after two years at Stockton Normal School and a Shasta County examination, began teaching in country schools.

In 1916, Jim and Norma were married, and she quit teaching; she resumed for one year while they were living in Kennett and taught five years more after they moved to Redding. She had taught a total of ten years when she retired because of the birth of her son James Cavens Holt, born 1927.

The lime kilns near Kennett were closed and Holt and Gregg went out of business in 1920. Jim and Milton Heryford established Hereford and Holt Cadillac, Chevrolet, and White Auto and Truck Agency on California Street in Redding in 1921 and sold it to Thatcher and Lowden in 1926. Jim went to work at Vern Ferguson's Mobil Station, then as sales representative for
General Petroleum.

In 1928, Jim became the commission agent at the new Texaco bulk plant in Redding.

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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