JOHN HOLDEN (MARCH 10, 1839-JUNE 4, 1929)

JOHN HOLDEN, SON OF WILLIAM AND SARAH HOLDEN, WAS BORN IN COUNTY ARMAGH, IRELAND, ON MARCH 10, 1839, AND DEPARTED THIS LIFE AT HIS HOME IN WEST MOUNT JUNE 4, 1929 AGED 90 YEARS, TWO MONTHS AND 25 DAYS.

MR. HOLDEN IMMIGRATED TO AMERICA WITH HIS FATHER AND TWO SISTERS WHEN HE WAS NINE YEARS OF AGE, THE FAMILY LOCATING IN NEWPORT, DE. AT THE AGE OF THIRTEEN YEARS HE ASSUMED THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF LIFE ON HIS OWN ACCOUNT FINDING EMPLOYMENT WITH A DAIRY. AT THE AGE OF FOURTEEN HE WENT TO COLUMBIANA COUNTY, OHIO, WHERE HE SPENT TWO AND A HALF YEARS WORKING ON A FARM. IN THE SPRING OF 2856 HE WITH AN OLDER MAN CAME OVERLAND IN A COVERED WAGON TO RINGGOLD COUNTY, AT SHICH TIME HE PURCHASED ON CONTRACT EIGHTY ACRES OF LAND THAT AFTERWARD BECAME THE OLD HOMESTEAD. HE FOUND WORK SCARCE IN THE NEW COUNTRY, AND EARLY IN THE SPRING OF  1857 HE WENT EAST AS FAR AS DAVENPORT, IA., AND LATER INTO ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, IL., WHERE HE MET HIS FUTURE WIFE. THERE HE ENGAGED IN FARM WORK UNTIL AUGUST 1862 WHEN AT THE CALL OF HIS COUNTRY HE ENLISTED IN COMPANY H OF THE 84TH REGIMENT, IL., VOLUNTEER INFANTRY AND SERVED AS A PRIVATE UNTIL THE CLOSE OF THE WAR AND WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED JULY OF 1865. HE IMMEDIATELY RETURNED TO ILLINOIS WHERE HE WAS UNITED IN MARRIAGE WITH MARGARET BLAKELY, OF ROCK ISLAND, ON SEPTEMBER 5, 1865.

IN THE SPRING OF 1866 THE YOUNG COUPLE CAME TO RINGGOLD COUNTY AND BUILT A LOG HOUSE ON THE FARM IN MIDDLE FORK TOWNSHIP WHICH SERVED AS THE HOME FOR TWENTY YEARS. TO THIS UNION THERE WERE BORN TEN CHILDREN, NINE SONS AND ONE DAUGHTER, FOUR OF WHOM DIED EARLY IN LIFE; THEY WERE LEWIS SHERMAN, CHARLES WESLEY, WALTER LEONARD AND AN INFANT SON, UNNAMED. THE SECOND SON ALSO PASSED AWAY ON NOVEMBER 25, 1902 AND THE ELDEST , JAMES B., ON NOVEMBER 22, 1922. THOSE REMAINING ARE JOHN C. AND ROBERT C. OF RINGGOLD COUNTY AND JOSEPH E. OF INDEPENDENCE, IOWA, AND THE DAUGHTER, MRS. R. W. ARMSTRONG, OF RINGGOLD COUNTY, ALSO NINE GRANDCHILDREN AND THREE GREAT GRANDCHILDREN.

ABOUT 1873 HE WAS CONVERTED AND UNITED WITH THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH UNDER THE LABORS OF REV. J.W. BOTT AT THE ROSE HILL CLASS ON WHAT LATER BECAME THE REDDING CIRCUIT. IN JANUARY 1887, HE WITH HIS COMPANION BECAME CHARTER MEMBERS OF THE FRY CHAPEL CLASS, AND HE WAS ON OF THE FAITHFUL FEW WHO ERECTED THE CHURCH THE SAME YEAR. IN AUGUST, 1901, HE AND HIS DEVOTED WIFE CAME TO MOUNT AYR WHICH WAS HIS HOME UNTIL THE SUMMONS CAME. ON APRIL 17, 1904 HE WAS BEREFT OF HIS LIFE COMPANION, A SORROW HE CARRIED TO HIS LAST HOUR.

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