by Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Dunn
Most of this material is from the "History of Holts Summit" by William Holt prepared for the Bicentennial Celebration, copies of which were still available at this writing. Our thanks to Mr. Holt for permission to use it.-Authors.
Looking back to the early settlement of this area, we find that most of the pioneers were from the state of Virginia. One such settler was Abner Holt, who, with his wife Elizabeth and children, settled for a small time in Tennessee. Traveling on to Missouri, they came to Howard County in 1819. It was their intention to settle in Call-away County; however, because of the lack of organized settlements and due to the fierce wilderness, they stopped in Howard County. While the family remained there during the winter of 1819-20, the menfolk were busy making a home and preparing a crop in Callaway. In the following spring, Abner brought his family to their new home in the then unnamed community we know as Holts Summit.
James Holt, the third son of Abner and Elizabeth Holt, worked in his father's mill and acquired a pioneer education to the degree that it rendered him an expert in business affairs. Thus the foundation for this community began in cultural growth, and "Uncle Jimmy," as he was fondly called, became the founder of Holts Summit and one of the most highly respected citizens of Callaway County.
Holts Summit was plotted out in 1870 by Timothy Holt around a general store owned by Timothy, his father James, and a cousin. The store was called Holts Summit because it was the highest point between this place and the Missouri River. Thus we have arrived at how the community was named. In addition to the great influence of Timothy and James; Elijah and John (brothers of James), and Perry Simeon Holt, John's son, also contributed to community development. It would be safe to say that the early influence and reputation of the Holt family greatly contributed to the formation and development of this community that is to bear the family name forever.
The boundaries of the town originally ran parallel along the Chicago and Alton Railroad tracks north and south. The exact northern boundary and exact southern boundary is not really clear, but the road that presently runs west from Summit Drive to the Community Center was the approximate southern boundary.
Schools: The first school began in a one-room structure. Then as the community grew it became necessary to be annexed to the Jefferson City School District. We now have two separate schools, North School and Callaway Hills School, housing approximately 800 students from kindergarten through sixth grade. Older children attend school in Jefferson City.
Churches: Religious needs are furnished by several churches: Union Hill Baptist Church, St. Andrews Catholic Church, General Baptist Church, Summit First Assembly of God, and the Community Presbyterian Church.
Businesses: In the early years several small businesses supplied the needs of the community. Lon Holt's store of general merchandise found a place for items such as jewelry, shotguns, nails and tobacco. Perry Simon Holt also had a general merchandise store. Joe Green way's place (which is now Greenway Park) supplied maple syrup from his maple grove. The grist mill and sawmill owned by Joe Pearre and Lewis Atkinson provided custom grinding and sawing for the needs of the community.
Summit Plaza: Bringing the times up to modern day, Summit Plaza affords many accomodations to the community; namely: United Super (grocery bakery, and meat market), Erlene's Card Shop, Auto Parts Store, Liquor Store, Hirsch Department Store, Milo Walz Hardware, Laundromat, Summit Shoes, Eiler's Drug Store, Denim Post, Garage and Body Shop, Car Wash, Granny's Restaurant and the Pizza Works. A new addition to the plaza will be called Callaway Center.
Banks and Savings and Loan: With growth came the financial needs which have been supplied by the Summit Bank and Fulton Savings and Loan.
Medical and Dental Clinic's: Holts Summit Family Medical Clinic, with James R. E. Ennis, D.O., physician-in-charge, meets the medical demands for many in the community. Dr. Walter A. Henderson, Jr., supplies the dental needs for the area.
Other Services: Other services which have been brought about through the growth of Holts Summit are: Callaway County Veterinary Clinic, Animal Clinic of South Callaway, Water District, Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department, and several beauty shops. Civic Organizations: The Lions Club, Optimist Club, and Civic Organization (owners of Greenway Park) take care of many needs for social activities.
City of Holts Summit: The city of Holts Summit has grown to be a fourth class city. Its governing body is composed of a mayor, a few councilmen (two from each ward), city clerk, treasurer and police department (police chief and five officers). The City Hall is located on Summit Drive.