History Holden, Missouri
From: History of Johnson County, Missouri
By: Ewing Cockrell
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Cleveland 1918


Location. - Holden is on the Missouri Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroads fifty miles from Kansas City.

Holden was built in anticipation of the Pacific railroad. Up to 1857, the present site of Holden was a wild, unbroken prairie, much still owned by the government. During that year the Pacific railroad had reached Jefferson City from the east and the preliminary survey had been made through this section. Isaac Jacobs thought the present site of Holden would he a favorable location for a town on the new railroad line. He accordingly purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land from the original patentee. Sometime after this purchase he associated with him Sanford Cummings and they laid off and platted the original town of Holden. The town was laid out in lots 72 by 144 feet in dimensions and offered for sale at fifty dollars each. A plat of the town was recorded April 27, 1858. by Isaac Jacobs.

Mr. Jacobs was enterprising and pushed the new town vigorously, and had a public sale of the lots. It was said that each lot was sold with a condition that no spirituous liquors should be made or sold upon the premises except for medicinal purposes, upon violation of which the lot was to be forfeited to the trustees of the town, by them sold and the proceeds applied to the support of the schools. Mr. Jacobs also agreed to expend in the, building up and improvement of the town all proceeds derived from the sale of lots. Over thirty lots were sold in one day at public auction for prices ranging from twenty five to eighty dollars.

Holden was named in honor of Maj. N. B. Holden, who was prominent in the early day affairs of Johnson county. He was a member of the Legislature and a prominent factor in bringing the Pacific railroad through Johnson county, and was identified with the early day growth and development of Holden.

First Buildings. - In 1858 Jacobs and Cummings erected a small building on the corner of Second and Olive streets and here opened a general store, They next built a small store building on the corner of Lexington and Market streets. About the same time Dr. C. L. Carter bought two lots on Second and Olive streets and erected the first frame residence in Holden. The following winter, Joseph T. Mason and son built a hotel, which was destroyed by fire during the war. Horatio Cox built the first blacksmith shop the same year. In the spring of 1859 the first school house was built on First and Livingston streets. This school house was also used as a church for a number of years and William Coop, of the Protestant Methodist church, preached here. In the summer of 1859, H. W. and H. H. Mize erected a building and engaged in the general mercantile business. The first Masonic hall was over this store. W. C. Painter erected a blacksmith shop here in 1860, and Doctor Bolton erected an office in 1860 and began the practice of medicine here. However, Dr. C. L. Carter was the first practicing physician. James Bradley built the first brick building in the town, which was a one story structure, in 1860. This was burned in the early part of the Civil War.

When the Civil War broke out the town had sixteen families, a population of about one hundred. During the Civil War some of the best buildings were burned and the town made no progress. In 1865 the railroad reached Holden and this, with the return of peace, gave the town new life. Soon a number of important business houses were established here. Hubbard and Coventry established an extensive dry goods business. H. C. Bettes opened a hardware store. W. J. Lee engaged in the dry goods business and James S. Peel and W. B. Nichols also engaged in business here. I. Starkey and William Christian established a lumber yard here, which at this writing is conducted by the son, C. E. Starkey. All these businesses were established in 1866. From that time on, Holden has made substantial progress.

Organization. - The first town organization of Holden was perfected in 1868, with the following officers: J. M. Hubbard, mayor; George L. Wells, J. O. Parish, Abe Metzler and J. C. Richards, councilmen; Ed. Stearns, marshal; David Nation (husband of Carrie Nation), attorney, and J. W. Mack, clerk. The town was first incorporated in 1851 and the original charter was amended in 1873. Since the original town of Holden was platted several additions to the town have been officially recorded.

First Schools. - The first school building was erected shortly after the town was founded, in 1859. In 1867, the public school system of Holden was established on a firm basis. In 1870 a brick school house was erected containing four rooms but in a few years this was found too small and another building, a frame one, was erected. Since that time the school accommodations have kept pace with the requirements of the city and at present Holden has a modern high school building in addition to her grade schools and one school for the colored pupils.

A complete list of the early teachers who taught in the Holden schools from 1870 to 1881 are the following: Mr. S. H. Hatch, Mrs. E. J. Dudley, Miss M. H. Reed, Miss Kellogg, John A. Young, Sallie Brooks, Sallie Hubbard, M. H. Reeds, Jennie Wise, Kate Humphreys, John H. Lea, M. K. Beatty, P. R. Carroll, Bettie Lewis, Sallie Hubbard, W. A. Smith, A. L. Clothier, Carrie Gloyd, Saidie Hubbard. George W. Sindlinger, Ida C. Clothier, Mary Brown, Julia McGrew. M. E. Lewis, M. C. Halbert, E. W. Stowell, M. E. Brown, Alice B. Cline, Anna E. Sharp, E. W. Stowell, Lizzie Hanishaw, Anna S. Carroll, George B. Longan, M. Brown, R. M. Cook, Eva Hengy, Mary C. Hank, Tillie Stephens, Mary Bobbs, Lutie timstadt, W. D. Guttery, M. E. Hopkins, Anna P. Stark, A. C. Jones, Maggie Sparks and Clara Wise.

Holden College was an important educational institution located in Holden for a number of years. It was established here in 1881 by Prof. W. White, a native of Canada, and of wide experience in college work. This college was successfully conducted for a number of years when the building was sold to an order of Catholic nuns and by them conducted under the name of St. Celia Seminary. After being conducted by this order for a number of years as a successful educational institution, the property passed into the hands of private ownership. Recently it has been purchased by the Latter Day Saints church and after elaborate improvements, it is now used as a home for aged members of that denomination.

First Postoffice. - The first postoffice in the vicinity of Holden was established here before the town was laid out. It was on the Jefferson-Independence stage route and kept by Isaac Jacobs. After Mr. Jacobs laid the town out and built a store here, the postoffice was moved to his store. The office remained there during the Civil War and Mr. Jacobs continued to serve as postmaster although very little mail was handled here during the war. In the spring of 1866, William Coventry, who started a store here, became postmaster. Two years later he was succeeded by T. j. Tygivgart real estate man, and in 1869 W. J. Mack became postmaster, and continued at least as long as 1881.

Early Cemetery. - For a number of years after Holden was built there was no regular cemetery laid out and established by law. The inhabitants buried their dead in what was known as the old burying ground, which is now occupied by the public school in the southern part of town.

The Holden cemetery was regularly laid out and platted by Luther Wagner, a civil engineer, and the plat recorded May 17, 1869, and at that time about one hundred and twenty five graves were removed from the old burying ground to the new one. The new cemetery is under control and jurisdiction of the city of Holden and is located about one and one fourth miles southwest of the Missouri Pacific depot and originally contained ten acres, but additions have since been made and a concrete sidewalk was built to it.

Early Churches. - The Methodist Episcopal church was organized by Rev. G. H. Reed in 1867. The erection of a church building was begun in 1869 and was completed and dedicated in August, 1871, by Rev. Doctor Dant. This was known as "Coventry" chapel. The first Sunday school was organized in connection with this denomination by Mrs. J. E. Gardner at her residence in 1869.

The Evangelical Association was organized at Holden in 1879 by Rev. Koepsell Rev. Schaefer and a church edifice was erected the same year. The first members of this denomination here were William Kotch, Lizzie Kotch, Philip Ulrich. R. Ulrich. H. Hagemeyer. C. Hagemeyer, E. Henry Henry. Miller, Charles Hagemeyer, S. Hagemeyer, E. Scheer, F. and R. Witzell, F. Winkenhoeper. Rorman, M. SpaSpathe. Markley, J. Rorman. Among the early pastors of this denomination were Reverend Messrs. Falgeht, Emmell Harter, Koepsell and Schafer. This congregation has since disbanded.

The first Baptist church was organized March 23, 1878, by C. N. Webster, and erected a building at the corner of Sixth and Market streets in 1879.

The first Christian church was organized here in 1865 by Elder Stout and erected a building shortly after the organization was effected.

The first Presbyterian church was organized November 4, 1866, by Rev. S. G. Clark.

St. Patrick:s Catholic church was organized by Father M. G. Maskin in May, 1869, and a church erected the same year.

The Methodist Episcopal church (colored) was organized in 1874 by Rev. William Wheeler and reorganized in 1879 by Rev. R. Bush.

The African Methodist church (colored) was organized by the colored people in 1876 and two years later a church was built in the southern part of the town by Rev. P. D. Yocum.

For histories of each of the foregoing churches, refer to appropriate chapter on each denomination.

Banks. - The Bank of Holden was established May 15, 1872, by I. M. Smith and Louis Cheney. It is the oldest bank now in existence in the county.

The Farmers & Commercial Bank was organized March 17, 1881. William M. Steele was especially active in its early establishment. Refer to chapter on Banks for details of these banks.

Holden Today. - Today, Holden has six white and two negro churches, sixteen civic and fraternal organizations, city owned waterworks, and light plant, a mill, three banks, two newspapers, first class hotel. fine high school, good hospital and good streets, sidewalks and well improved homes.

The time was when Holden and Warrensburg sought to become big towns. This ambition has developed into the higher one of becoming good towns. In this Holden is achieving rapid and substantial success. For many years it held the largest and most successful country fair in Johnson county. and one of the best in the state. The old fair grounds still testify to the size and importance of these big gatherings. Today Holden in its place has the largest and best Chautauqua Association in the county. It not only has a fine high school building and equipment, but in that school is organized a cadet company, active and efficient, that is giving the students a practical and moral training they get nowhere else, and this company is supported wholly by the voluntary work of the superintendent - Professor Robeson - and school board and students. In many other ways, the strong and valuable community spirit of Holden has produced, and is today producing, in peace and in the great war, results that make the world a better place for the men and women who live in it.

City Officers. - The following is a complete list of the officers of Holden from its organization to the present time:

Mayors. - 1868, J. M. Hubbard; 1869, J. C. Richards, W. G. Finley; 1870, Geo. S. Walton; 1871, J. W. Mack; 1872, F. B. Hawes; 1873, W. B. Nichols; 1874-1877, W. C. Smith; 1878. M. A. Powell; 1879-1880, W. C. Smith; 1881, A. Van Matre; 1882, B. F. Metzler; 1883-1884, J. W. Kyger; 1885-1889, T. H. Hawes; 1890-1891, G. S. Young; 1892-1893, J. H. Hawes; 1893, F. C. Borden: 1894-95. J. H. Hawes; 1896-1899, T. J. Halsey; 1898-1899, J. Z. Brothers; 1901-1903. W. D. Gray: 1904-1909, O. G. Boissean; 1910-1913, W. G. Thompson; 1914-1917, Emery G. Thompson.

Councilmen. - 1868, George L. Wells, J. O. Parish, Abe Metzler, J. C. Richards: 1869, I. Starkey. J. F. Regard, George Young, John Ellis; 1870. Charles Bluhm, J. Wallace. James McMullin, John Ellis; 1871, W. C. Smith, G. S. Young Edward Davis, William Hill; 1872, I. Nichols, J. C. Richards. I. Starkey, J. G. Cope: 1873, J. G. Cope, R. T. Leaverton, I. Starkey. W. C. Taylor: 1874. M. V. Johnson, T. M. Mills. I. Starkey, John Ormsby: 1875, M. V. Johnson. J. Ormsby. H. C. Conner, I. Starkey: 1876, M. V. Johnson, J. Ormsby, H. C. Conner, S. S. Metzler: 1877, M. V. Johnson, J. Ormsby, H. C. Conner, S. S. Metzler; 1878, M. V. Johnson, J. H. Ormsby, S. S. Metzler H. C. Conner: 1879, I. Starkey, J. H. Ormsby, John Gibson, H. C. Conner: 1880. I. Starkey, J. H. Ormsby; John Gibson, H. C. Conner; 1881, I. Starkey, J. H. Ormsby, H. C. Conner, John Gibson; 1882. I. Starkey, J. H. Ormsby, H. C. Conner, John Gibson; 1883. H. C. Conner, J. H. Ormsby, John Gibson. M. T. Robinson; 1884, J. W. Scott. J. H. Ormsby, John Gibson, M. T. Robinson; 1885, J. W. Scott, J. M. Taylor, J. H. Blewitt, W. P. Baker; 1886, E. P. Tompkins, J. M. Taylor, H. M. Garnett, W. P. Baker, Joseph Huber; 1887, Joseph Huber. J. M. Taylor, C. W. Etter, T. A. Hoffman; 1888, Joseph Huber, J. M. Taylor. T. J. Wolf, C. W. Etter, W. P. Baker; 1889. Joseph Huber, J. V. Murray, C. W. Etter, W. P. Baker; 1890 J. F. Rittner, J. V. Murray, C. W. Etter, T. J. Wolf; 1891, J. F. Rittner, J. V. Murray, W. P. Baker, T. J. Wolf; 1892, J. L. Burris, J. V. Murray, W. P. Baker, G. S. Young; 1893, O. A. Bettes, Lon Hank, J. F. Rittner, G. S. Young; 1894, O. A. Betters, Lon Hank. J. F. Rittner, J. C. Stalker; 1896, J. Z. Brothers, Lon Hank, J. F. Rittner, Marion Grubb, J. W. Page. W. F. Shields, C. H. Hartzell, J. H. Ormsby; 1897, J. Brothers, Lon Hank, J. F. Rittner, C. H. Hartzell, B. Stern. W. F. Shields, T. McMullen, J. W. Page: 1898, B. Stern, W. F. Shields, F. A. Desch, G. C. Scheer. J. H. Smith, Lon Hank, J. S. Arnold, J. W. Page; 1899, J. S. Phillips, Lon Hank, J. S. Arnold, G. C. Scheer, W. D. Gray, H. S. Gooch, Charles Bluhm, J. W. Page; 1900, J. S. Phillips, Lon Hank, Charles Bluhm, G. C. Scheer, W. D. Gray, H. S. Gooch, F. A. Tesch, I. Roby; 1901, J. S. Phillips, Lon Hank, Charles Blush, G. C. Scheer, W. D. Gray, H. S. Gooch, F. A. Desch, I. Roby; 1902, J. S. Phillips, Lon Hank, Charles Bluhm G. C. Scheer, W. D. Gray, H. S. Gooch, F. A. Tesch, R. D. Bailey; 1903, Harry Rebel, Lon Hank, F. A. Tesch, G. C. Scheer, Charles Gibson. C. M. Baldwin. Charles Bluhm, I. Roby; 1904, Harry Hebei. Lon Hank, F. A. Tesch, H. W. Higgins, J. W. Pierce. C. M. Baldwin, Charles Bluhm, W. A. Caldwell; 1905, Harry Hebei, Lon Hank, F. A. Tesch, Brad Harmon. J. W. Pierce, C. M. Baldwin, Charles Bluhm. W. A. Caldwell; 1906. Harry Hebel, Lon Hank, F. A. Tesch, W. A. Caldwell, W. D. Gravy, C. M. Baldwin, Charles Blush, Joseph Riley; 1907. Harry Hebei, Lon Hank, F. A. Tesch, W. A. Caldwell, W. D. Gray. C. M. Baldwin, Charles Blush, Joseph Riley. H. E. Tesch; 1908. Harry Hebel, Lon Hank, H. E. Tesch, Joseph Riley, Joseph Rowell, C. M. Baldwin, Charles Blush, E. H. Golladay: 1909, L. L. Bierly. Lon Hank, H. E. Tesch. J. W. Riley. G. B. Kirk, C. M. Baldwin, Charles Bluhm. E. H. Golladay; 1910, L. L. Overly, Lon Hank, F. R. Huber. J. W. Riley, G. B. Kirk. C. M. Baldwin, Charles Blush, E. H. Golladay: 1911, R. W. Conrad, Lon Hank, F. R. Huber, J. W. Riley. G. B. Kirk, Brad Harmon, O. W. White, E. H. Golladay; 1912, R. W. Conrad. Lon Hank, F. R. Huber, J. W. Riley, Dr. E. Thompson, Brad Harmon, O. W. White. E. H. Golladay; 1913, R. W. Conrad. Lon Hank, H. E. Tesch, E. H. Golladay, E. Thompson, E. K. Steele. A. G. Anderson, F. R. Huber: 1914, R. W. Conrad. Lon Hank, H. E. Tesch, E. H. Golladay, G. B. Raker, E. K. Steele. A. G. Anderson, J. F. Baker: 1915. R. W. Conrad, Lon Hank. H. E. Tesch, E. H. Golladay, G. B. Raker. E. K. Steele. A. G. Anderson, J. F. Baker, Dr. A. B. Newland to succeed Tesch; 1916, R. W. Conrad. Lon Hank, O. G. Boisseau, E. H. Golladay. W. A. Caldwell, E. K. Steele. O. W. White. J. F. Baker; 1917, W. A. Caldwell. Lon Hank, O. G. Boissean, E. H. Golladay, George Bleich, E. K. Steele, Dr. O. J. Phillips, J. F. Baker.

Lon Hank has served twenty five years consecutively on the city council, from April, 1893. This is the longest service of any elected city or county officers, and he was elected by the people more times than any other city or county officer. City elections in Bolden are non-partisan.

Attorneys. - 1868, D. Nation; 1869, D. Nation: 1870, D. Nation: 1871-72, A. Van Matre; 1873, J. P. Orr; 1874, J. E. Johnston; 1875-78, J. P. Orr: 1879, A. Van Mature; 1881, A. H. Carpenter; 1884, S. T. Allen; 1886. Joseph January; 1887, R. O. McLin; 1888, A. Van Matre; 1889-1890, R. O. McLin; 1891-94, J. H. January; 1895, C. C. Christian; 1896. F. B. Fulkerson and D. T. Boissean; 1897-98, D. T. Boissean; 1900. T. C. Hornbuckle; 1902, J. P. Orr; 1904,M. D. Aber; 1905-08, W. L. Chaney; 1909. H. A. Schoenwetter; 1910. J. P. Orr; 1912, H. A. Sclioenwetter; 1914. S. T. White.

Clerks. - 1868, J. W. Mack: 1869. David Nation; 1870, A. P. Espenscheid; 1871, H. Martin Williams; 1872. J. H. Hawes; 1873, George N. Richards; 1874, J. H. Hawes; 1875-76, George Patton; 1877-79, John W. Matting; 1880. James Steele: 1881, J. H. Hawes; 1882, R. L. Narron; 1883-84. John M. Taylor; 1885-87. P. C. Van Mature: 1889, W. G. Braddy; 1890, G. R. Johnson: 1893. J. B. Tevis; 1894-1917, Jesse Bower.

Marshals.-1868, Edward Stearns; 1869. B. F. Metzler: 1870, J. F. Power; 1871. T. Sharp: 1872. T. Dudley: 1873. A. B. Sparks; 1874, H. Smithson: 1875, J. M. Duke: 1876. E. A. Lucas: 1877-1881, H. H. Still; 1882, T. H. Moore; 1883-85, H. H. Still: 1886, Joe Hessler; 1887, H. H. Still; 1888-1890, D. S. Child: 1891-94, W. S. Dunham: 1895, James H. Nay; 1896 H. H. Still: 1898-1909, H. H. Roop; 1910, L. W. Grimes: 1912, H. E. Burton: 1914-16. L. W.Grimes.

Treasurers. - 1871-72. D. Golladay 1873, E. R. Stevens; 1874-1881, George V. Hall: 1881, George V. Hall, died April 26, 1881. and David Golladay elected to fill vacancy; 1883-1891. Z. T. Miller; 1896, G. R. Johnson; 1898-1902, D. L. Eves; 1904-1906. G. C. Batsell; 1908-1916, C. E. Starkey.

Street Commissioners. - 1880. R. A. Snead: 1881-1884, D. J. Harlan: 1886-1890, John Wallace; 1892, Richard Watson; 1893, J. Wallace: 1894, R. Watson; 1899, A. C. Hartman; 1900-1903, B. F. Elliott; 1904-1909, J. M. Haggard; 1910-1911, L. W. Grimes; 1912-1913, H. E. Burton 1914-1917, L. W. Grimes.

Police Judges. - 1896-1909, J. W. Greenwood; 1910, E. B. White; 1912-1917, J. W. Greenwood.

Assessors.-1896, W. L. Christian; 1898-1904. O. C. Byler; 1905-1906, J. A. Wilkerson; 1908, O. C. Baler; 1910-1912, Thomas N. Cribbins; 1916, O. C. Byler; 1917, George F. Mullen.

Collectors. - 1896, G. W. Estes; 1897, A. M. Sankey; 1898-1902, C. E. Starkey; 1904-1917, Jesse Bower.

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