Well known in Ottawa and within a radius of twenty-five miles of this place, Henry Holmes ranks as a representative citizen of LaSalle county. As an honored veteran of the civil war, as an active worker in the Republican party, and as a conscientious, upright business man, he enjoys the respect of a multitude of friends, and is justly entitled to be remembered as an old settler of Illinois.
For three years Mr. Holmes has given his attention to the management of his livery, feed and sale stable at No. 417 LaSalle street, Ottawa. The establishment is located near the new bridge and is thoroughly equipped with carriages and vehicles of different kinds and a good stock of driving horses. The barn, forty by eighty feet in dimensions and three stories in height, was originally built for a grain elevator, and was used as such for some time, but has been found to be equally well adapted to the purpose for which it is now utilized. In 1896 Mr. Holmes sold out to Mr. C. Campbell, but in October, 1898, he resumed the control of the business, and has since carried it on successfully.
A son of John Holmes, a hotel-keeper, Henry Holmes was born in Wayne county, Ohio, November 16, 1840, the year of the famous "Tippecanoe" Harrison campaign. In his youth he attended the common schools of Indiana, and in 1856, when the excitement over gold discoveries in Colorado was intense, he went to Pike's Peak, but returned home at the end of some three months. In 1861 he offered his services to the United States, enlisting in Company A, Fifty-third Illinois Infantry. For three years and eight months he endured the hardships and perils of a soldier's life, striving to preserve the Union, and among the numerous battles and encounters in which he was engaged against the enemy were those at Shiloh, Jackson (Mississippi), and the siege of Vicksburg, besides the famous march to the sea with Sherman. Since he received the right of franchise he has given his allegiance to the Republican party.
About the time he arrived at his majority Mr. Holmes was united in marriage to Miss Nellie Cummings, who died February 26, 1880, leaving three children, namely: George. Harry and Mary. The daughter is now the wife of Henry Arnold of Chicago, Illinois. In April, 1881, Mr. Holmes was married to Miss Emma Walter. Three children bless this union, - Flora, Willie and Lucy. The family reside in a pleasant home and have many sincere friends among the citizens of Ottawa and vicinity.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 125-126.