Ella Virginia Houck Holloway
(Mrs. Reuben Ross Holloway)

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Maryland Patriot and protector of the Flag of the United States and the National Anthem- The Star Spangled Banner. She was the guiding force which convinced Helen and John Charles Linthicum to work on her behalf to introduce and support legislation recognizing the song as the official national anthem. Recognition of the anthem by Congress was just one part of the development of what might be considered the "cult of nationalism" by the children of the post civil war period-the children of the Gilded Age.

Birth: Sep. 3, 1862
Baltimore City
Maryland, USA
Death: Nov. 3, 1940
Baltimore City, Maryland,USA

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Mrs. Reuben Ross Holloway demonstrates the proper way to hold the flags of the United
States and Great Britain at the same time

Reuben Ross Holloway Geneology

The ancestry of Reuben Ross Holloway is traced through maternal lines to Edward Foulke, who was born in Wales, May 13, 1651, came to America in 1698, and died November 8, 1741. His wife, Eleanor, born in Wales, died in Gwynedd, Pennsylvania, January 16, 1733. The line of descent from Edward and Eleanor Foulke to Reuben Ross Holloway is traced through their daughter, Margaret Foulke, born in Wales, who died, March 23, 1717, in Pennsylvania. She married Nicholas Roberts, who died in 1733. The line continues through their daughter, Elizabeth Roberts, born June 11, 1723, died May 29, 1790, who married, February 12, 1743, David Humphrey, son of Robert and Margaret (Evans) Humphrey, of Gwynedd, Pennsylvania. Their daughter, Elizabeth Humphrey, born in Gwynedd, March 13, 1761, died in Baltimore, Maryland, April 29, 1847, her husband, Sabritt Bowen, surviving her. Eleanor Humphrey Bowen, daughter of Sabritt and Elizabeth (Humphrey) Bowen, was born in January, 1792, died November 2, 1874, married Robert Holloway, of Virginia, born in 1786, died January, 1863, leaving a son, Charles Thomas Holloway. He married Anna Harden Ross, they the parents of Reuben Ross Holloway, to whose memory this review is devoted.

Charles Thomas Holloway, son of Robert and Eleanor Humphrey (Bowen) Holloway, was born December 25, 1827, died in Baltimore, Maryland, March 17, 1898. He was an influential man of his day, head of the Charles T. Holloway Chemical Fire Engine Company of Baltimore, a company devoted to the manufacture of a fire extinguisher and a chemical fire engine, both inventions of Charles T. Holloway, and bearing his name both as an inventor and maker. He married October 12, 1854, Anna Harden Ross, born July 13, 1830, died January 31, 1909, daughter of Reuben and Sarah Ross.

Reuben Ross Holloway, son of Charles T. and Anna Harden (Ross) Holloway, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, June 13, 1855, and died in his native city, December 13, 1908. After finishing his school years he became associated with his father in the manufacture of the special lines of the Charles T. Holloway Chemical Fire Engine Company, and when, in 1898, the father passed to the spirit land, he was succeeded by his son as head of the business. Mr. Holloway continued the manufacture of the Holloway extinguisher and chemical fire engine for some time, then sold his right, title, and interest, to the American La France Fire Engine Company, and from that time until his death was manager of the Baltimore branch of that company, and a member of its board of directors. He was a member of high degree in the Masonic order, and belonged to several social and patriotic organizations, among them the Sons of the American Revolution, he serving the local chapter as treasurer.

Reuben R. Holloway married, January 28, 1892, Ella Virginia Houck, daughter of Dr. Jacob Wever and Susannah (Porter) Houck. Mrs. Holloway survives her husband, a resident of Baltimore, with two children, Virginia Leslie, born November 18, 1892, married, April 26, 1913, Ernest Smith Jeffries, their children: Ernest Smith (2) Jeffries, born April 2, 1914; Virginia L. Jeffries, born July, 1916; Charles Thomas (2) Holloway, born March 22, 1897, married June 20, 1918, Frances A. Fuller, of Worcester, Massachusetts.

Ella Virginia (Houck) Holloway traces her ancestry to Lieutenant Robert Porter, of Back River Neck, Porters Bar, Maryland, an officer of the Revolution. He was born in 1757, died March 16, 1810. He was commissioned first lieutenant in the Third Regiment of Maryland Troops, February 20, 1777, resigned in April, 1777, married Susannah Buck, born in 1772, who died September 1, 1845. The line of descent is through their son, James Porter, born in 1797, died September 30, 1843. James Porter married November 26, 1829, Elizabeth Frances Todd, born January 29, 1809, died in July, 1860, daughter of Bernard and Mary (Green) Todd, of an ancient Maryland family (q. v.). The line continues through Susannah Porter, daughter of James and Elizabeth Frances (Todd) Porter, born September 26, 1832, died in May, 1911. She married, November 15, 1852, Dr. Jacob Wever Houck, and they were the parents of Ella Virginia Houck, widow of Reuben Ross Holloway.

The Todd ancestry of Ella V. (Houck) Holloway begins in Maryland, with Thomas Todd, of "Toddsbury," Gloucester county, Virginia, in 1664, who settled at the North Point farm in Baltimore county, Maryland, now called "Todd's Inheritance," which is still in the possession of the family. v He was a son of Thomas Todd, who is mentioned in the records of York county, Virginia, in 1642, and who bought land in Gloucester county in 1652. His eldest son, William, patented 500 acres in that county, in 1666. Thomas Todd served as burgess of Baltimore county from 1674 to 1675. His will dated April 11, 1676, was the first recorded in Baltimore county. He died on board the ship "Virginia," bound for England. Thomas Todd married Ann Gorsuch, daughter of the Rev. John Gorsuch, Vicar of Walkam Parish, Herefordshire, England, and granddaughter of Sir William Lovelace. Their children were: Thomas, of further mention; Christopher; James; William; Phillip; Joanna; Frances and Averilla.

-Spencer, Richard, Henry, Genealogical and Memorial Encyclopedia of the State of Maryland, 1919.

Virginia Leslie Holloway and Ernest Jefferies had a third child, Eleanor Gorsuch, born May 19, 1920 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Eleanor married Ellicott Gordon Ellicott of Baltimore, Maryland, son of Maurice Tyson Ellicott and Eugenie Marie Dryden.
-Marilyn Ellicott

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An outspoken woman, Holloway wasn't afraid to voice her opinions.

She was against:

National prohibition.

Women's Suffrage and jury service ("A woman's place is in the home.").

Recognition of communist Russia.

Birth control ("That's a doctor's business.").

Giving American citizenship to Albert Einstein ("He admitted he was a pacifist.").

She was for:

A big army and navy.

Buying American products.

The execution of Sacco and Vanzetti.

-Baltimore Sun

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Sayings and Anecdotes

In the Bath

When a wag asked what she would do if she were taking a bath and heard the song, she curtly replied, "Young man, I stand when I hear 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'"

-Rasmussen, Frederick, N., McClatchy-Tribune usiness News, march 11, 2006

The morning salute to the flag.

On the latter, Holloway proposed that every adult and child begin their day that way.

"I believe it would be a patriotic thing if parents each morning gathered their children around them, and, after saying grace, if they do, to salute the flag before breakfast. The flag could be hung in the dining room or parlor."

She was known as a fanatic about standing when seeing or hearing "The Star-Spangled Banner," so a wag asked her what she would do if she heard it while in the bathtub.

"Young man, I stand when I hear `The Star-Spangled Banner,' " she replied.

-Baltimore Sun

In 1938, at a Rotary Club luncheon here, she described how respect for the flag once "averted a panic at sea in the midst of a storm." She said in her remarks: The third-class passengers on ++ the steamship President Harding fell to their knees in prayer on the storm swept deck of the liner, when 60-foot waves disabled the craft. According to her story, the chief steward's mate walked among them and said, " 'You are sailing under the American flag. The ship cannot sink.'

"It didn't," Mrs. Holloway told her audience. With that mystic observation, she allowed the audience a few moments of silence to draw the same moral from the story that she had.

The Hat

She always appeared in public wearing a tall shako, a cylindrical beaver hat with plume, that rose a foot above her head.

"The general contours of my hat and the Constitution of the United States must remain unchanged," she told The Sun in 1937.

"Some persons said she loved it because it resembled the Shot Tower, next to where she was born," observed the newspaper.

-Baltimore Sun

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Misc. Information

Dar Listing for Holloway


Lineage Book, Vol. 43, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1916,p.113.


Born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wife of Reuben Ross Holloway.

Descendant of Lieut. Robert Porter, of Maryland.
Daughter of Dr. Jacob Wever Houck and Susannah Frances Porter,
his wife.

Granddaughter of James Porter and Elizabeth Todd, his wife. Gr.-granddaughter of Robert Porter and Susannah Buck (1772-1845), his wife.

Robert Porter, (1757-1810), served as lieutenant in the
Third Maryland regiment. He died in Baltimore.
Also No. 38481.

Blue book

The Greenway Apts. University 6,000  1939


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Holloway was 78 at her death in 1940 in the old Marine Hospital in Wyman Park, Baltimore.

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Druid Ridge Cemetary, Baltimore, Maryland

Center left

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