Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 602-03.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  R. P. Holmes

R. P. Holmes, a prominent citizen and successful agriculturist residing on section 18, Washington township, owns and operates a valuable and well improved farm of one hundred and sixty acres within three and a half miles of Alta.  He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 12th of February, 1846, and in 1855 he accompanied his parents on their removal to Stark comity, Illinois, where they opened up a farm near Toulon.  On this place K. P. Holmes was reared from the age of nine years and acquired his education in the schools of Toulon.  In the year 1872, in Fulton county, Illinois, he was married to Miss Barbara Haackie, a native of the Prairie state.


Subsequently he there carried on agricultural pursuits for some years and in 1882 came to Buena Vista county Iowa and purchased his present farm.  As the years have passed he has brought the fields under a high state of cultivation and has placed many substantial improvements on the property, including an attractive two-story residence, a barn and all other necessary outbuildings.  He has likewise planted fruit and shade trees, has enclosed the farm with woven-wire fencing and altogether, in its neat and thrifty appearance, the property indicates the supervision of a practical and progressive owner. In addition to the work of general farming he is also engaged in raising and feeding stock, meeting with well merited success in all of his undertakings.  He is a stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator Company of Alta, and is well known and highly esteemed throughout the county as a substantial and public-spirited citizen.


Unto Mr. and Mrs. Holmes have been born seven sons and four daughters, namely:  Frank A., who is president of the Cooperative Coal Company of Chicago; Robert L., who is likewise connected with that company; Walter, who is engaged in farming at Morrison, Iowa; Samuel A., a resident of Storm Lake; Horace, living in Burlington, Washington; Harvey H.; Solon G.; Estella, the wife of J. A. Steele, of Salt Lake City; Anna B., the wife of Darwin E. Turner, of Salt Lake City; Barbara B., the wife of Edward H. Knuteson, of Burlington, Washington; and Ada, at home.


A stanch [sic] republican in his political views, Mr. Holmes has taken an active and helpful interest in the local work of the party.  For twelve years he capably served as justice of the peace and for fifteen years was township trustee, while at the present time he is acting as township committeeman.  He has been identified with the school board for a number of years and has been a delegate to numerous state and county conventions, having assisted in the nomination of several of the governors of Iowa.  He has likewise served on the petit and grand juries, was census enumerator in 1900 and for over twenty-five years has never missed a primary or general election.  Fraternally he is connected with the Blue Lodge of Masons at Alta, while his religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Methodist Episcopal church at that place, with which his wife is also identified.  Having now resided in Buena Vista county for more than a quarter of a century, he has been an interested witness of and also a participant in the steady and persistent work of development that has transformed this district from a wild tract into a thickly settled and prosperous region, in which all the evidences of our modern civilization abound.