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Lucius Roy Holbrook (April 30, 1875–October 19, 1952) was a Major General who commanded of the United States Army's Philippine Department from 1936 to 1938.

While stationed at Boise, Idahomarker, Holbrook met Henrietta Coffin, (January 7, 1877 – March 28, 1965), the daughter of Frank R. Coffin, a merchant and baker and Charlotte Irene (Quivey) Coffin. They were married on June 7, 1899, at the Presidio of San Franciscomarker, Californiamarker.

Mrs. Coffin was reportedly the first Caucasian woman to enter Peking, following the Boxer Rebellion.

Early life and family history

Holbrook was born in Arkansawmarker, Wisconsinmarker. He was a son of Willard Francis and Mary (Ames) Holbrook. His father was born at Wrentham, Massachusettsmarker, on April 27, 1827, and died September 17, 1886. Mary Ames, whom he married, was born November 19, 1840, at West Bridgewater, Massachusettsmarker, and died July 12, 1889.

Holbrook graduated from high school in Northfield, Minnesotamarker, in 1892. He was appointed to the United States Military Academymarker on June 15, 1892 and graduated on June 12, 1896, as a second lieutenant in the Cavalry.

Military career

Holbrook served with the 4th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Walla Wallamarker, Washingtonmarker, until December 22, 1896, and at Boise Barracks, Forts Shermanmarker and Wardner, Idahomarker, until May 1899.

On June 24, 1889, he was ordered to the Philippine Islandsmarker and during the Philippine-American War he participated in the Northern Campaign, and in battles at Arayat, Cabiao, San Isidro, Santa Rosa, and Talavera.

Holbrook served with General Theodore Schwan's Southern Expedition from January 3 to February 18, 1900, and was at the Battles of Muntinlupa and Binan, Carmona and Silan, Tiaong, Candaleria and Tayabas.

He was promoted to first lieutenant on January 23, 1900.

In September 1900, he was reassigned to Troop H, 6th Cavalry Brigade at Boise Barracks, Idaho, where he remained until February 11, 1901.

Holbrook returned to the Philippinesmarker in March 1901 and served with Troop B, 15th Cavalry Brigade and Troop I, 4th Cavalry Brigade, based at Manilamarker, until July 1, 1901 and at Fort Rileymarker, Kansasmarker until August 7, 1902.

He was promoted to Captain on July 15, 1902.

He was then assigned to Camp Stotsenburg, in the Philippines, until June 14, 1903. He returned to the US and served at Fort Loganmarker, Coloradomarker, and Fort Huachuca, Arizonamarker, until August 28, 1904.

Holbrook was a distinguished graduate of the Infantry-Cavalry School at Fort Leavenworthmarker, Kansasmarker on July 2, 1905 and then attended the Staff College, Fort Leavenworth until July 25, 1906.

Holbrook was the umpire for maneuvers at Fort D.A. Russell, Wyomingmarker (later Fort Francis E. Warren) until September 16, 1906. He then joined the 5th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Wingatemarker, New Mexicomarker until October 24, 1907.

Holbrook was assigned to the Commissary Department where he commanded the first training school for army bakers and cooks until March 9, 1911. It was here that he wrote the army's first cooking manual.

Holbrook then served as Assistant to the Chief Commissary, Maneuver Division, San Antonio, Texasmarker, until July 21, 1911 and at Fort Riley until September 20, 1911. He was then ordered to Parismarker, Francemarker, where he attended the Ecole de L'Intendance (the French Army School of Supply) until December 15, 1912.

Holbrook was stationed at Schofield Barracksmarker, Hawaiimarker until April 4, 1916 and was then a Quartermaster at Fort Riley, until July 1916. In 1916, he served with General John J. Pershing's Mexican Expeditionary Forces, as commander of the bakeries. This was the first use of the army field oven, which he had invented.

He was promoted to major on July 1, 1916.

Holbrook then served at Fort Sam Houstonmarker, Texasmarker, until March 7, 1917 where he was in command of the 7th Field Artillery Brigade, of the 1st Division, and he sailed with it for Francemarker on July 31, 1917. When the United States became involved in World War I, this was the first artillery unit to be sent to France, and it fired the first US artillery shell against Germanymarker.

While with the American Expeditionary Force, Holbrook was at Le Valdahon, from August 14 to October 18, 1917; at Sommerviller Sector, October 21 to November 20, 1917; Ansauville Sector, January 19 to April 4, 1918; Cantigny Sector, April 20 to June 8, 1918; Montdidier-Noyon Defense, June 9 to 13, 1918; and Saizerais Sector, August 4, to 16, 1918.

Holbrook was promoted to the temporary rank of general on August 16, 1918.

He then commanded the 54th Field Artillery Brigade, in training until October 3, 1918; served with the 1st Field Artillery Brigade, in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, until November 7, 1918; and again commanded the 54th Field Artillery Brigade, at Chateau Reynel and elsewhere until May 22, 1919.

Holbrook returned to the United States in May 1919 and commanded Camp Braggmarker, North Carolinamarker, from May 16, 1919 until July 1, 1919, when he became the head of the Artillery Department of the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworthmarker, Kansasmarker.

On July 15, 1919, he reverted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. On February 24, 1920, he was promoted to colonel.

From January 27, 1921 to May 4, 1922, Holbrook served as Assistant Chief of Staff for Supply, Ninth Corps Area; and as Chief of Staff, Ninth Corps Area until June 30, 1924. After this assignment, he became the Chief of Staff, Non-Divisional Group, Organized Reserves, Ninth Corps Area, until June 30, 1925; and Inspector, Ninth Corps Area, until October 19, 1925.

He was promoted to Brigadier General on October 20, 1925.

Holbrook then commanded troops at Fort Douglas, Utahmarker, until August 19, 1926. Holbrook then commanded Camp Stotsenburg, in the Philippinesmarker until May 11, 1929. Aterwards, he commanded Fort Bragg, North Carolinamarker, from August 20, 1929 until October 5, 1930, when he became commander of the 1st Division and Fort Hamilton, New Yorkmarker, until November 9, 1935.

He was promoted to Major General on December 28, 1933.

On January 22, 1936, became commanding general of the Philippine Department until 1938.

Holbrook retired on January 31, 1939.

Military decorations

Dates of promotion


The Holbrooks became the parents of the following children:

  • Franklin Rayle Coffin, born on May 2, 1901. Advancing to the rank of major general, he retired in December 1955. On May 7, 1927, he married Virginia Howell of Trenton, New Jerseymarker, born on January 8, 1902. They are the parents of, Franklin Coffin Holbrook, who attained the rank of first lieutenant. He married to Nancy Bascom Palmer and they had two children: Palmer Lee, and Franklin Rayle Coffin Holbrook, II.
  • John Ames, born on October 26, 1903. He became a captain in the United States Navy and retired. On August 8, 1952, he married Barbara Barber of Berkeley, Californiamarker. By a previous marriage, he was the father of, John Ames, Jr., born on April 1, 1936.
  • Lucius Roy, born July 30, 1906. He held the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force. On July 16, 1934, he married Mary Gertrude Sutterle in Shanghai, Chinamarker. They had two children: Lucius Roy, 3rd, born January 4, 1944; and Marilyn Sutterle, born September 7, 1948.


Major General Lucius R. Holbrook died on October 19, 1952, at Letterman Army Hospital. His remains were taken by train to Boise, Idahomarker.

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