Jefferson, Wis., and continued the
study of law, which he had been reading with his
father previous to his enlistment. He was admitted to
the bar of Wisconsin in 1866, continuing in practice
there until August, 1871, when he came to Tecumseh,
and shortly after formed the present partnership.
Those interested in reading further concerning the
history of the firm will find additional particulars
in the sketch of the life of J. D. Russell, to be
found upon another page of this volume.
Mr. Holmes was appointed by
President Grant Postmaster at Jefferson, Wis. He
received his appointment in 1869, and continued to
hold the position until he left Wisconsin. In 1874 Mr.
Holmes was elected to the Legislature on the
Republican ticket, and took his seat on the 1st of
January, 1875. By the Legislature our subject was
elected one of the Regents of the State University at
Lincoln. This position he continued to fill until the
new Constitution went into force, when he was again
elected, this time by the people, for a full term,
serving in all a period of nine years in that
Capacity. In 1886 the people again expressed their
sentiments of confidence and esteem by electing him to
the State Senate. During his term of service he was
made Chairman of the University Committee, the
Committee on Common Schools, that on Education, and
was second on the Committee of Finance. His term
expired on the 1st of January, 1889.
Mr. Holmes has always been a very
energetic, enterprising, busy man, and yet withal, has
such capacity for work as never to appear to feel the
burden of the various responsibilities and duties
devolving upon him. He is prominent in the Masonic
fraternity, and has received all the degrees of the
Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery. He is also an
enthusiast in the G. A. R., and very popular therein.
In both the above orders he has held various offices,
always with the greatest satisfaction to his fellow
On the 29th of August, 1866, our
subject and Miss Jennie T. Hurd plighted their troth,
since which time the two life streams there united
have flowed as one. This event was celebrated at
Jerseyville, Jersey Co., Ill. There have come to them
eight children, the following of whom are still
living: Althea M., Mary B., Kate E. and Ruth L.
The deceased members of the family,
with the exception of Carl W., who died on the 20th of
August, 1888, at the age of three years, all died in
infancy. The surviving members of the family,
excepting Althea M., now Mrs. G. D. Bennett, are at
home, and are receiving the best education it is
within the power of their parents to give.
Mrs. Holmes was born in Jerseyville,
on the 26th of February, 1842, and is the daughter of
Jay M. Hurd. Her home until her marriage was made with
her parents. She is a lady fitted by education, by her
home training, and the many graces and womanly virtues
that are hers by the gift of nature and heredity, to
fill any position in society to which she might be
called. She was educated at Galesburg, Ill., and
passed the years prior to her marriage engaged in
teaching. She is prominent as a worker in the W. C. T.
U., and takes the greatest interest in all works of
charity and beneficence. With her husband, she is a
member of the Universalist Church, and in that
communion they are held in the highest possible
regard. She is now serving her third term as President
of the W. C. T. U., of Nebraska.
John E. Holmes, the father of our
subject, was born in Hartford, Conn., in the year
1809. When a young man he went to Western New York,
being alone in the world, and compelled to fight his
own way, both parents having been removed from his
side by the arch-Destroyer Death. He found means to
educate himself at Hamilton Academy, in the State of
New York, after which he studied for the ministry of
the Universalist Church. He supplied various pulpits
in the States of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
After his marriage he began the study of law, and upon
being admitted to the bar practiced at Lockport, Ill.,
removing thence after a short period to Jefferson,
Wis., in 1843.
Mr. Holmes was married, Aug. 30,
1836, to Ruth A. Hawley, of Milan, Erie Co., Ohio.
Four sons were born of this union, all of whom are
living. This lady is the daughter of Warren Hawley,
and was born on the 8th of October, 1816. She still
lives, making her home with our subject, and has
reached the ripe age of seventy-two years.