Homer Adams Holt is a distinguished Washington and Lee alumnus who had an outstanding career in politics and law, and who gave devoted service to his alma mater. Little is recorded, however, about his two years (1923-1925) as a law professor at W&L. Immediately upon graduation from W&L law school, Holt accepted an appointment as assistant professor of law. During his second and final year, he was promoted to associate professor. He taught Agency, Constitutional Law, Domestic Relations, Introduction to Law, Municipal Corporations, and Torts, and was said to be "very businesslike and efficient" in the classroom. While teaching at W&L in 1924, Holt married Isabel Hedges Wood.
"Rocky" Holt was born in Lewisburg, West Virginia on March 1, 1898. He was educated at Greenbrier Military Academy and Washington and Lee University. He received his B.A. from W&L in 1918 after only three years of study. He excelled at mathematics (he assisted in teaching one class) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Holt served in the army during World War I.
In 1920 Holt returned to Washington and Lee University to attend the School of Law. He helped finance his legal education by serving as a mathematics instructor in the undergraduate school. During his last year in law school Holt served as president of the W&L student body. He received his LL.B. degree in 1923.
After leaving his law professorship at W&L, Holt practiced law in Fayetteville, West Virginia from 1925-1933, first with Hubbard, Bacon, and Holt, and then with Dillon, Mahan, and Holt. Holt was elected attorney general of West Virginia in 1932. He held that position until ascending to the governorship of West Virginia, a position he held from 1937 to 1941. As attorney general, Holt drafted legislation which he successfully defended in both the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He lead in the revision of the structure of the state government, especially in the areas of schools, highways and taxation. He continued his work in these areas as governor, and took a firm stand in coalfield labor troubles, most particularly in the bituminous coal mine agreement of 1939.
Following his term as governor, Holt returned to the practice of law with the firm of Brown, Jackson, and Knight in Charleston, West Virginia. From 1947-1953, Holt lived in New York City while serving as general counsel to Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. Upon returning to Charleston, Holt practiced with Jackson, Kelly, Holt, and O’Farrell.
Homer Holt served as a trustee of Washington and Lee University from 1940 to 1969 when he assumed emeritus status. He died January 16, 1975.