Parthenia Overton Holt, Healer, Wart Charmer, and Reader of Tea Cups

Parthenia Overton Holt was the 2nd wife of my 3rd Great-grandfather, James Holt.  She cared for his little children after my 3rd Great-grandmother Mary died on the trail near the Iowa River in 1844.  She had some unique gifts, as recorded below.


Parthenia Holt’s home in Ogden was always filled with the sick or poor. Many she nursed in sickness and sorrow. At times she was called to deliver a baby when no medical help was possible. Her home remedies and herbs relieved many suffering people. In 1856 when the remnant of the ill fated Martin Handcart company reached the valley they were taken in by families who were willing to share and care for them. The James G. Bleak family was taken to Brother and Sister Holt’s. Brother Bleak’s feet were badly frozen. For several days his wife had drawn him in the cart before they arrived. Now Sister Holt had another chance to nurse an afflicted one to health and strength.

Through her care the frost had been drawn out by spring and the feet were saved. Though not as good as before they could be used fairly well. This is only one of the many cases of her fine nursing.

Parthenia Holt had the gift of charming warts as well as healing sores. At one time the family had a very fine horse which had a growth on the hind knee joint. It grew to be four or five inches in diameter. The men tied elastics on it and tried in different ways to get rid of it but could not. One day they tied the animal so Sister Holt could charm it and soon it had disappeared.

She told the past and future from the tea cup. While living at the ranch her boys went out and purchased a fine thoroughbred young horse. They put him in the pasture with others and in a short time he disappeared. They rode in vain hunting for him. Sister Holt thought of and proceeded to read her cup and told the boys that a large dark man put a rope on the horse and led him a long way off and sold him. At once they knew the identity of the thief. After some months they found where the horse had been sold and they recovered him.

(From a history written by a granddaughter, Mary Ann Cottam Miller.)

About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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