Putnam County


a prominent representative of the farming interests of Granville township, Putnam county, is a native of the buckeye state, born in Butler county, April 30, 1845, but was only two years of age when brought to Illinois by his parents, Daniel and Helen (Bender) Holly, both natives of Hesse, Germany. At the age of sixteen years his father had come to the new world, locating in Ohio, where he met and married Miss Bender, and on coming to Rutnam county, Illinois, they settled in Granville township on section 33. There he owned several different farms, but about forty years ago purchased the place now occupied by our subject. Later he went to Peru, Illinois, and passed his remaining days at the home of a daughter in La Salle county, dying in 1888. There his wife is still living. All his property was the just reward of liis own hard work and good management. He owned the farm of one hundred sixty acres now occupied by our subject, a one hundred and seventy acre tract which he purchased soon after coming to the county, and one hundred acres in La Salle county, for some of which he paid ten dollars per acre, but part cost him as high as seventy-two dollars per acre. In his family were seven children, who grew to years of maturity: Mary, wife of Christian Brennemann, of La Salle county; John, who lives on a part of the home farm; William, of Peru, Illinois; Theodore, of this sketch; Gustav, of Republic county, Kansas; Eliza, wife of Oscar Brennemann, and George, living in La Salle county.

Until attaining his majority, Theodore Holly remained upon the home farm, and was then employed in a store at Peru for about five rears. He then rented his father's La Salle county farm, which he operated until returning to the old homestead on his father's removal to Peru. Together they had started a tile factory on the farm, which was conducted for about nine years, making about six thousand dollars worth of tile per year and having in their employ seven men. They continued this business until the surrounding country was pretty well supplied with that commodity, since which time our subject has devoted his attention exclusively to general farming and the breeding of Clydesdale horses. The latter business he has since carried on with satisfactory results for the past ten years. In his home farm he has one hundred and fifty-eight acres of valuable land, and in the vicinity also owns another good farm of one hundred and sixty acres, which he rents.

On the 30th of September, 1869, Mr. Holly led to the marriage altar Miss Bertha Brennemann, and they now have five children, Julius D., who took a course in a business college at Bloomington and is now engaged in the operation of the home farm ; Willie, who was also educated at the same place and is now located at Spring Valley, Illinois; Eliza, at home; Laura H., a graduate of the Normal university at Normal, this state, now engaged in teaching in Chicago, and Clara ^lay, who attended the Peru high school, and from there attended high school at Chicago. "Willie has collected and arranged a fine cabinet of Indian arrows, axes, etc. All of the children are more or less musicians, and they have a piano at their pleasant home.

Formerly Mr. Holly was a republican in politics, later for twelve years voted independent of party ties, but now supports the people's party. He has served as delegate from his congressional district at Omaha, was the fourteenth district delegate to the national convention at St. Louis, and has also attended many local conventions, in which he has taken an active and prominent part. In the fall of 1896 he was nominated for congress bv the people's party, but made no special canvass for the position. In his views upon the national questions at issue before the people, he is outspoken and makes no uncertain sound. His position is that the rights of the people have been invaded, and that the people must come forward and take the reins of government in their own hands, regardless of what the money power or the monopolists of the country may say or think. He is a fluent writer and has often served as a newspaper correspondent. He is a member of the Religious Confederation of central Illinois, belonging to the church at Peru. This is a liberal organization similar to that of Miss Bartlett of the People's church at Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has ever been a friend of education and has given his children excellent educational advantages, which have been improved by each. In all the relations of life he is upright and honorable, gaining the confidence of those with whom he comes in contact, and no man in Putnam county is held in higher esteem.

Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall and Putnam Counties, Illinois  published in 1896, page 542.

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