In 1901 Frank Holt, a representative of Central Iron and Coal Company, a subsidiary of the Central Foundry Company in New York City, arrived from Pittsburg, Tennessee to select a tract of farm land to build headquarters for the Central Iron and Coal Company which would produce iron and steel. He established Holt as a community and named it after himself. The company hired workers away from Birmingham, Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee to make up its labor force because no one in the area had any knowledge of working with a blast furnace. Central Iron and Coal then purchased additional land and built 350 homes for its workers. It also built a school, Holt School, for their children. The first graduation class was in 1910. According to Paul Singleton, who worked for the company for 50 years, the men that came to work at the foundry were called ironmen because they had experience in working with iron. The company later gave control of the Holt School to the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education. The mascot chosen for Holt High School was related to the nickname of the working men of Holt. The name Ironmen lasted, according to Mr. Singleton because, “Ironmen had a connotation like, you don‘t want to mess with them. They’re tough, they’re Ironmen.” In 2009, The Tuscaloosa News selected Holt’s Ironman mascot as one of the top five mascots in Alabama largely due to its testament to Holt’s proud tradition and history.
The original school burned in 1929 and in 1941 the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education rebuilt Holt High School at 3801 Alabama Avenue. As the community grew, two annexes were added to the school in the 1960s. The Paul Singleton Area Career Technical Center was added to the school in 1974. Students from other schools in the county received training in welding, auto mechanics, and masonry. During the summer of 2006, the school underwent a $2,000,000 renovation.
In November 2018, the Tuscaloosa County School System completed and opened a brand new Holt High School, located at 301 44th Court NE. Students attended the new school for the first time on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.