By Allison Cornwell
September 19, 2006
Sarah Wilder Holt is a 1958 graduate of Locust Fork High School. Today, she is the mayor of Locust Fork.
While Mrs. Holt was in school, she was a member of the Beta Club and Future Homemakers of America. She was also a photographer for the Hornet Staff (which produced the school’s first yearbook). During her senior year, she attended beauty college on Saturdays. She graduated from high school and beauty college at the same time. After getting her license, she opened her own beauty shop in Locust Fork in the home where she lived with her mother and father, Mildred and Forney Wilder. She and her sister, Jean Wilder Comer, also opened a florist in Pinson and were there for a couple of years. Later, they opened a flower and beauty shop in Locust Fork.
She has lived in Locust Fork all her life. In 1963, Mrs. Holt married Hobert
Thomas. Sadly, he passed away in 1966. In 1968 she married Arthur Holt. She has one stepson, Donnie Thomas, and granddaughters, Amanda and Alicia. Donnie Thomas was Probate Judge in Blount County for one term. She also has one stepdaughter, Donna Kent, a grandson, Jim Kent, and a six year old great-grandson, Nicholas.
Today, Mrs. Holt is the first female mayor of Locust Fork. She is following in her father’s footsteps. Forney Wilder was the first mayor of the town of Locust Fork, which was incorporated in 1977. Mrs. Holt was elected to the town council in 1984 and served one term with her father. In 2000 she was elected mayor.
She says she has enjoyed being mayor but there are many responsibilities. Sometimes it is hard to get certain things done because of the lack of funding in the town. Her goal as mayor is to preserve the rural feeling of Locust Fork but also to keep up with needs of the town, such as having a sewer system. Locust Fork is continuously growing. Since her term as mayor, many businesses have come into the town such as Subway, Dollar General, Smith Brothers, and T & S Carwash. The town gives Locust Fork School a teacher grant through the Blount County Education Foundation. There has also been a new fire station built along with new equipment bought for the fire department.
Mrs. Holt is highly active in the community. She is a member of Tabernacle United Methodist Church where she has been going since she was three years old. She is the Chairperson of the Administrative Council and President of Tabernacle Women’s Outreach. Other foundations and committees she participates in are the Oneonta/Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Blount County Education Foundation, and her favorite program, Karing for Kids, which was started by Tabernacle UMC Women’s Outreach.
After being in the beauty shop business for 44 years and serving as mayor for almost eight years, she plans to retire from being the mayor in 2008.