Peoria Waddell's House Burns Down
by Justin Collier
The facts in this story are according to my grandfather Emmette Collier, who was the son of Levi Collier
and Lillie Mae Pike.
The old home place of Peoria Waddell Pike, granddaughter of Amanda Holland and Larry Waddell, caught on fire and burned to the ground about 1946 or '47. At that time Peoria, who was born in 1886, was about 60 years old and suffering from a major disk infection that hindered her ability to walk. In the middle of the day Alton Holland [b. 1911 Wayne County, NC, son of Rufus Henry Holland], saw smoke and flames arising from the house. He ran in and pulled my great-grandmother Peoria out. The only item that survived was an old footlocker/trunk brought out by Peoria's grandson Emmette Collier. This trunk is still in the Collier family. Alton Holland was not only Peoria Waddell Pike's neighbor but her third cousin.
The house was rebuilt. Peoria, her cousin Adolphus Waddell, and his family all moved into the new home. Not long after being in the new home, Adolphus Waddell had my great-grandmother Peoria moved into a nursing home where she soon died in 1948. After that the house was put up for sale and was bought by Aaron and Gladys Holland of Absalom's branch. Aaron Holland was also Peoria Waddell's third cousin. Aaron lived there until his death, after which the house was passed down to their son Charles Edward Holland. After Charles Holland died the home was passed on to his brother Rand Holland, whose son still lives there to this day.
Aaron Holland, was very close to the Collier family. In the 1950's Aaron Holland built the store that my great-grandfather Levi Collier used to run. Emmette Collier said that Aaron Holland used to always come to Levi's store when he would get one of those large round cheese blocks in. Aaron would always want to taste test the cheese and would then normally buy half of the block. My grandfather also remembers that Aaron Holland always smoked an old pipe.
It is possible that Peoria Waddell Pike, Alton Holland, and Aaron Holland did not know that they were third cousins.
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