Monday, December 17, 2007

Holderness Moot Court (UNC School of Law)

The moot court competition at the University of North Carolina School of Law is named the Holderness Moot Court, and all the proceedings there carry the “Holderness” appellation as well. This is of interest to those who attended UNC, but it also is of interest with respect to Caswell County generally.

In his will William Henry (Willie) Holderness (1904-1965) provided a generous bequest to the University of North Carolina School of Law School, which was used to endow the Holderness Moot Court Competition, named in his honor. Source: Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, William S. Powell, Editor (Volume 3 H-K) (1988) at 172. The Caswell County house last occupied by members of the Dr. Ludolphus Graham Page (1902-1970) family was built by the Holderness family:

Just west of Yanceyville, Caswell County, North Carolina, on Highway 158 is the Holderness-Paschall-Page House, built around 1851 (1852 according to Page family members). This is the house with the "bomb shelter" on the property. The following is from An Inventory of Historic Architecture: Caswell County, North Carolina, Ruth Little-Stokes (1979) at 104:
Photo 109. Holderness House. ca. 1851. Handsome Boom Era Greek Revival style house with hip roof, exterior end brick chimneys, pedimented Doric entrance porch. Unusually distinguished example due to the flanking one-story wings, each with a smaller version of the central entrance porch. The voluptuous mantels and stair rail are stylistically attributed to famed local cabinetmaker Tom Day. The unknown architect who built this house is said to have also built the front block of the nearby Bartlett Yancey House.

(click photograph for larger image)

Which member of the Holderness family of Caswell County built this house is not known. However, many believe it was William Henry Holderness (c. 1820-1890). He would have lived in Caswell County at the correct time and apparently had the resources to finance such a grand structure. William Henry Holderness (who probably built the Holderness-Paschal-Page House) was the grandfather of the William Henry (Willie) Holderness who established the moot court competition at UNC. A brother of the younger Willie Holderness was Howard N. (Chick) Holderness, who was president of Jefferson Standard insurance company 1950-1967. For more on the Holderness family go to the Caswell County Family Tree.

Note that a UNC School of Law scholarship also was established in the Holderness name:

William Henry Holderness and William Edward Elmore Scholarship

Established in 1996 and awarded on the basis of ability as indicated by a sound scholastic record, financial need, public service and community involvement. Recipients are residents of North Carolina. The scholarship is renewable contingent upon the recipient maintaining a grade point average of 3.0.

Set forth below are the documents that make up the Civil War Pardon Petition of one W. H. Holderness of Caswell County, North Carolina:


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