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Dennis Holdren 1836-1919


Posted By: cheryl moonen (email)
Date: 10/20/2017 at 11:18:16

Dennis Holdren
Poultry Farmer & Business
Earlville Twp.

Dennis Holdren, a well known and valued resident of Earlville, was born in Delaware county, Indiana, on the 14th of October, 1836. He is now in the seventy eighth year of his age but he has not put aside all business cares and is still interested in poultry and active in conducting a business along that line. His parents were George Washington and Elsie Margaret (Shidler) Holdren, who were of French and Scotch descent. Both were born in Athens county, Ohio, and there were reared and married. They had a family of fourteen children, of whom but three are yet living: Dennis, of this review; Mathias, who is still a resident of Delaware county, Indiana; and Sarah, the wife of Edmund Turner, of Earlville.
In his youthful days Dennis Holdren attended one of the old-time schools of Indiana, the little temple of learning being a log building, in which the seats were made of split logs, while goose quill pens were used in writing. On leaving home Mr. Holdren walked from Hartford City, Indiana, across the state to Illinois and on to East Burlington, covering the distance in twenty one days. He then came to Iowa in 1856. For a time he engaged in chopping wood and the next spring he returned to his native county. This was in the year 1857. He had appreciation for the opportunities offered in Iowa and on the 21st of May, 1858, again arrived in this state, taking up his abode in North Fork township, Delaware county, where he engaged in raising sugar cane.

It was not long afterward that Mr. Holdren completed his arrangements for having a home of his own through his marriage on the 15th of December, 1859, to Miss Ellen Smither, a daughter of Joel and Martha (Bailey) Smither, and to them were born twelve children: Susan Frances, now the wife of L. W. Myers of Minnesota; Carrie L., living in Portland, Oregon; George D., who was born in 1863 and is now in North Dakota; Effie, who was born May 5, 1865, and is now in Portland; Ida, a resident of Earlville; Martha, the wife of Frank De Shaw; John Milton, a resident of Montana; one who died in infancy; William Thomas, who died at the age of three months; William August, of Rockford, Iowa: Samuel Tilden, of Manchester; and Dick, also of Manchester.

Following his marriage Mr. Holdren engaged in the cultivation of a rented farm for a time and in 1865 purchased a forty-two acre tract of land in Delhi township. He then sold that property and bought eighty acres in North Fork township, upon which he resided until 1887. He then left that place and for a year thereafter was employed at hauling cream. In 1889 he took up his abode in Earlville, purchasing a block of ground and building a home. The following year he began raising poultry and has since continued in that business, which he has carefully and successfully managed, gaining a good living thereby.

In 1911 Mr. Holdren was called upon to mourn the loss of his wife, who passed away on the 2d of May of that year, her death being deeply regretted by many friends. Mr. Holdren still makes his home in Earlville, where he is widely and favorably known. In politics he is a democrat and for twenty years filled the office of constable. He has done campaign work for his party and has taken an active and helpful interest in public affairs relating to the upbuilding and development of his section of the state. Working earnestly year after year, he has gained the success which is today his and at the same time an upright life has won for him the goodwill and confidence of those with whom he has been brought in contact.

~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 79-80. Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.
~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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