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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Winston, Hollis Taylor

by William S. Powell, 1996; Revised December 2021

25 Oct. 1877–5 June 1938

Photograph of Hollis Taylor Winston from the 1896 University of North Carolina yearbook. Image from Digital NC.Hollis Taylor Winston, naval officer, was born in Chapel Hill, the son of George Tayloe and Caroline Taylor Winston. He attended The University of North Carolina between 1893 and 1895 and was graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1900. Winston served on the USS Columbia in the West Indian campaign, on the USS Charleston during Secretary of State Elihu Root's diplomatic tour of South America in 1906, and as gunnery officer aboard the Charleston, which won the trophy in 1909. He was an instructor at Annapolis in 1910 and took part in the Nicaraguan and Mexican campaigns in 1913–14 aboard the USS California.

He married Marie Eugenia Smith at the home of her parents in Washington, D.C. on September 1, 1917. However, the marriage was apparently not a happy one, as a 1921 court case revealed that his wife left him in 1918, "refusing longer to live with him" and had moved from their home in Brooklyn back to Washington, D. C. She applied for a divorce in 1921, but the court of appeals dismissed it as she had not established the necessary three years' residency in the District of Columbia. 

Winston was on engineering duty at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in 1917–19 and in charge of engineering inspection for the Philadelphia district in 1920–22. He retired from active service in 1922 as a lieutenant commander. Funeral services were held in the Fort Meyer Chapel, and he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924).

Raleigh News and Observer, 8 June 1938.

Additional Resources:

George Tayloe Winston Papers, 1868-1969 (collection no. 00797). The Southern Historical Collection. Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.,George_Tayloe.html (accessed March 27, 2013).

Koonce, Mildred Marshall. "Society: Season Revives Under New Diversions." The Washington Herald [Washington, D.C.]. July 15, 1917.4. Library of Congress. (accessed March 27, 2013).

"The President, with Mrs. Wilson And Small Party, Attends Theater." The Washington Herald [Washington, D.C.]. August 30, 1917. 6. Library of Congress. (accessed March 27, 2013).

"Japanese Ambassador Host to Hundreds Who Meet the Mission." The Washington Herald [Washington, D.C.]. August 31, 1917. 6. Library of Congress. (accessed March 27, 2013).

"Interesting Events in Society." The Washington Herald. September 2, 1917. 4. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Library of Congress. (accessed June 4, 2013).

"Marie E. Winston, Appelant vs. Hollis T. Winston, Appellee." The Washington Law Reporter 49, no.14 (April 1921). 210. (accessed March 27, 2013).

"With the Classes. 1897" The Alumni Review 7, no. 1 (October 1918). 18. (accessed March 27, 2013).

"Necrology. 1897." The Alumni Review 26, no. 9 (June 1938). 282. (accessed March 27, 2013).

Winston, Hollis T. Direction signal. US Patent 1,240,639, filed May 15, 1916 and issued September 18, 1917. (accessed March 27, 2013).

Winston, Hollis T. Traffic signal. US Patent 1,240,640, filed December 21, 1916 and issued September 18, 1917. (accessed March 27, 2013).

Image Credits:

"[Winston]" Photograph. The Hellenian. Louisville: Courier-Journal Job Printing Co. 1896. 121. (accessed March 27, 2013).

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