Biographical History of Page County, Iowa, Lewis & Dunbar Publishers, 113 Adams Street, Chicago, Illinois, 1890
[page 848]

RALPH H. HOLLAND has been identified with the history of Page County since 1876, and is one of her substantial and progressive farmers. His remote ancestors came from England and settled near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Ralph Holland, his grandfather, was one of the pioneers of Wisconsin and Illinois; he lived a good many years in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, and was a farmer by occupation. He had but one son who lived to manhood, Thomas Holland, the father of our subject; he lived to be over ninety years of age, and died in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. Thomas Holland was born in the county in which his father ended his days, and was a miner in the mines near Galena, Illinois. He married Mary Hamilton, and they had born to them ten children: Ann, Elizabeth, Ralph H., Thomas, Edwin, John, [page 848] Mary, George, William and Enoch. Mr. Holland became a prosperous farmer, and was always very industrious and frugal in his habits. He was a man of a quiet nature, and although a strong Republican he took very little interest in active politics. He was careful and conscientious in the training of his children, teaching them strict principles of morality, and to lead true Christian lives.

Ralph H. Holland, son of Thomas and Mary (Hamilton) Holland, was born September 9, 1837, in Jo Daviess County, Illinois, near Galena. He received a common-school education and worked on a farm through his boyhood; he was accustomed to working in the lead mines near Galena. In the spring of 1861 he went to California via New York and the Isthmus of Panama, arriving at San Francisco in May. He engaged in prospecting and mining for gold at Virginia City, Nevada, and remained there nearly seven years, returning to his home the latter part of 1867, having been fairly successful. The following March he went to Omaha, and took the steamer up the Missouri River to Fort Benton, going thence by stage to Helena, Montana, where he resumed mining at Cove Gulch, twenty-two miles from Helena. He remained there until fall and came back to Jo Daviess County, Illinois. The next year he bought land in Minnesota, on the Red River, which he disposed of the following spring, coming to Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1870 he came, with his brother John, to Fremont, Iowa, where he resided till 1876. In 1871 he was united in marriage with Hattie Rawden, daughter of Richard and Aurelia Bawden, old settlers of Jo Daviess County, Illinois. To Mr. and Mrs. Holland have been born four children who have lived to maturity: Ralph, George W., Arthur B. and Samuel L. In 1876 Mr. Holland removed to his present farm, consisting of 250 acres of fine land situated near Essex, and considered one of the most desirable farms in the county.
Our worthy subject is a member of the Masonic fraternity and has taken several degrees. When a resident of Fremont Township he represented the people as trustee, discharging his duties with ability. Politically he is a stanch Republican. He has endeavored to live up to the high moral teachings and principles of his father, and enjoys the reputation of being a thoroughly upright and honorable citizen.