Delaware Nation is proud to recognize Myrtle Parton Holder (February 26, 1905 – September 8, 1984) during National Women’s Month 2022! Myrtle is the daughter of Grayson Parton and Stella Ellis Parton. In the 1920’s, she married James Holder and they had five children. Myrtle Parton Holder was appointed president in February 1947, after the death of Belo Ellis. She held this office until 1955. Mrs. Holder was a progressive thinker, she could see what the future held for Delaware Nation.
In November 1945, Frank Exendine suggested the tribe elect a chief, Myrtle Parton stated “…a chief was a person of the past, and a chief was not necessary to a tribe which was doing business in a business-like manner according to the white man’s way of doing business.” Mrs. Holder also knew the only way for Delaware Nation to receive compensation for their interest in the lands that were ceded to the United States was to sue the U.S. Government. In August 1951 Ms. Holder filed a joint complaint with Mr. Exendine for claims to Indiana lands. The Commission’s final determination was entered on June 4, 1969, whereby $1,385,617.81 was awarded to the Cherokee Delaware and Absentee Delaware, resulting in a descendancy payment of $1,399.59 in July of 1977. In 1980 each enrolled Absentee Delaware received $619.34 for lands in Indian and Ohio. For these reasons, Myrtle Parton Holder is posthumously awarded the Survivor Award, “Prospering today for the legacy you left us.”