IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co.

De Villo A. Holmes


De Villo A. Holmes has been since 1896 prominently connected with business interests of Lansing as the proprietor of a harness manufacturing and selling establishment, his progressive methods, his industry, honesty and ability bringing him a substantial measure of success. He carries also a fine stock of gentlemen’s furnishings and he has made both branches of his business important and profitable.

Mr. Holmes is numbered among Allamakee county’s native sons, his birth having occurred in La Fayette township, June 9, 1869, and he is a son of Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was born in Oneida county, New York, May 5, 1835. The father was reared on a farm in his native community and after acquiring a fair education in the public schools came west to Iowa in 1853, settling in Dubuque where he engaged in teaming. He married in that city Miss Catherine Treanor, a native of Dubuque, born in 1845. They moved to Allamakee county in 1861 and in La Fayette township the father purchased a tract of raw land which he cleared, broke and fenced, opening up and developing a new farm. He was successful in his agricultural operations and from time to time bought more land owning finally a farm of two hundred and forty acres upon which was a fine residence and barn and all the necessary outbuildings. Failing health obliged him eventually to leave the farm and go west to Denver, Colorado, where he died February 6, 1891. He is buried in the Catholic cemetery at Lansing.

De Villo A. Holmes was reared on his father’s farm and from his early childhood aided in the operation of the homestead becoming thoroughly familiar with the best agricultural methods. After reaching maturity he took charge of the farm and continued to manage it even after he moved into Lansing where he learned the harness making trade. He abandoned farming, however, when he purchased an established harness business in the city, conducting it first upon a small scale and gradually expanding his enterprise to meet the demands of his growing trade. He now carries a complete stock of factory-made harness and he also made fine goods to order. He sells also robes, horse blankets and all the other articles to be found in a first-class harness establishment. Since 1908 he has also dealt in gentlemen’s furnishings and has secured a profitable trade in this line, his patronage coming to him in recognition of the excellent qualities of his goods, his reasonable prices and his progressive and honorable business standards. His entire stock is valued at five thousand dollars and his business house is one of the finest in the city, a substantial brick structure which he bought in 1897.

In Allamakee county on the 12th of November, 1895, Mr. Holmes was united in marriage to Miss Mary Regan who was born in Lycurgus, a daughter of Dan Regan, one of the well known pioneers of this part of Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Holmes have four children, Cornelius D., Daniel O., Mary K. and Joseph G. The family are members of the Lansing Catholic church.

Mr. Holmes gives his political allegiance to the democratic party but he is not active as an office-seeker although he takes a deep and intelligent interest in public affairs. He is one of the progressive and representative business men of the community, adhering always to high standards of commercial ethics and managing his interests in a careful and conservative manner, and his success rewards many years of honest, capable and well directed labor.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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