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Thomas B Holmes


Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/10/2009 at 12:47:57

Thomas B Holmes, who is filling the office of deputy sheriff of Boone county, has always resided in this county and is widely and favorably known to its citizens. His birth occurred October 29, 1857, in Boonesboro. His father, William Holmes, was a native of Greene county, Ohio, born January 17, 1814. The grandfather, Samuel Holmes, was born in this country, March 2, 1772, but was of Irish parentage. He was left an orphan when only five years of age and was reared by German people in Pennsylvania. He joined the United States army at the time of the war of 1812 and took part in the battle known as St Clair’s defeat, where he received tow wounds. He afterward married Martha Miller, who was born January 15, 1781, and was of English lineage, Samuel Holmes died in Ohio in August 1830, at the age of fifty-eight years and his wife passed away in Iowa, October 11, 1852.
In early life William Holmes removed to Indiana, taking up his adobe near Thorntown, where he lived with his mother. Subsequently he removed to Illinois and after a year came to Iowa in 1838, long before the admission of the territory into the Union. He took up his abode at West Point in Lee county, where he was married September 22, 1838, to Elizabeth Abbott, who was born May 24, 1819, in Allegheny county, Pennsylvania, of German and Scotch parentage. When only eight years of age she accompanied her father and mother on their removal westward, the journey being made on a flat boat down the Ohio river to a point near Cairo, Illinois. There Mrs Holmes was reared to womanhood and later she became a resident of Iowa. The parents of our subject continued residents of Lee county, until 1842, when they removed to Wapello county, locating on a claim near Agency City. There the father engaged in farming until the fall of 1849, when he visited Boone county, locating on a claim west of the present city of Boone. In may 1851, however, attracted by the discover of gold in California, he started with Z S McCall and others for the Pacific slope. There were three months in making the trip and having abandoned their wagons, the last four hundred miles was accomplished on horseback.
Mr Holmes at first engaged in mining, but did not find that a very profitable venture and began packing provisions from the settlements to the mines. This proved to be much more lucrative and eventually he returned home by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York city. By sailing vessel he proceeded to New York, thence by rail to Buffalo, and from there to Chicago by way of the lakes, continuing his journey by stage to Agency City and then coming on horseback to Boonesboro. He arrived at his home after an absence of two and one half years and here again engaged in carpenter work, building many of the finest houses of Boonesboro. In 1856 he was elected sheriff of Boone county, taking charge of that office on the first Monday in January 1857. For four years he there remained and during his term the Pardee riot and the river land trouble occurred. It was also the period of the critical political arguments preceding the Rebellion. As an officer he showed neither fear nor favor, and it is said that he never went after a horse thief and failed to get him. Mr Holmes also acted as a member of the board of supervisors. On the expiration of his term as sheriff he again engaged in carpentering which he followed until 1865, when he purchased a farm in Marcy township, spending his remaining days thereon. His death occurred November 10, 1895, and his wife, who had shared with him in the pioneer trails of the west, died December 16, 1893. They left four children: Jasper W, now of St Joseph, Missouri, Miriam, the wife of Jacob Holcomb of Dallas county, Iowa, Sarah J, the wife of Henry Shockey, of Oregon, and Thomas B, of this review
In his youth Thomas B Holmes acquired a common school education and upon the home farm he remained until twenty years of age. He then went to Kansas where he engaged in teaching school in 1878-79, after which he returned to Iowa and was identified with educational work here from 1879 to 1885, proving himself a competent instructor by the readiness with which he imparted to others the knowledge that he had acquired. At the latter date, however, he turned his attention to farming which he followed continuously until 1898, when he was appointed deputy sheriff of Boone county for a term of four years and is now serving in that office. He has also been township assessor.
On November 1, 1885, Mr Holmes was united in marriage to Emma Hardcastle, a daughter of Thomas and Sybil Hardcastle, the former a native of Lancaster, England, and the latter of Mercer county, Pennsylvania. Mrs Hardcastle was of English and Scotch lineage. In 1859 they removed to Minnesota and after three years there came to Iowa, settling in Story county. The father of Mrs Holmes is still residing there, but the mother passed way in 1875 at the age of forty-two years. Their children were Anna, the wife of George Chapman, of Nevada, Iowa, Emma, the wife of our subject, William R, Mary, the wife of C H Elliott, and Daniel, who is living in Ames, Iowa. The marriage of Mr and Mrs Holmes has been blessed with three children: Bessie E, Jasper Leroy and William R. In the discharge of his official duties Mr Holmes has followed in the footsteps of his father and has been most loyal to the trust reposed in him. He has always resided in this county where he is widely known, and the fact that many who have been acquainted with him from boyhood are numbered among his stanchest friends, is an indication that his career has ever been upright and honorable one.

1902 Boone County History Book


Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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