Tenie Holmes was born in Durango, Texas in 1874. She attended school there until 1891. She attended Baylor University. She came to Bay City in 1895 with her mother, Virginia Holmes. Her mother established a private school and both "Miss Tenie" and her mother taught children of Bay City pioneer families.
"Miss Tenie" began teaching in Bay City public schools in 1898, when she was 24 years old. She was an assistant to the principal. In 1905, she moved to the new Jeff Davis School on 4th Street (where Pierce School is now). She taught there until she retired in 1934. In 1936, she opened a private kindergarten where she taught until her death in August, 1952. She taught a total of 55 years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church and the Eastern Star Chapter in Bay City.