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Holmes, William

Father of William Canada Holmes, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, 1792.  When eight years of age he emigrated with his parents to Butler county, Ohio, where he remained until 1820, thence to Wayne county, near Richmond.  While in Ohio he was married to Miss Elizabeth Lyons, in the year 1821.  He removed to what was then called the New Purchase, now Marion county, and settled three miles west of Indianapolis, on Big Eagle creek, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1858.  His wife survived him several years.  Mr. Holmes was blessed with a goodly number of children, born in the order in which they are named:  John B., Marcia Ann, Jotham L., Martha Ann, William Canada, Ira N., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elizabeth, Uriah, Sarah and Noah P.  During the Black Hawk war of 1832, Mr. Holmes was among the first  to volunteer for that ever memorable campaign.

A younger brother of Mr. Holmes, John, came to the country with him and built the saw mill for many years known as the "Kunkle Mill."  John Holmes died but a few years after he became a resident.  William then built the saw mill just below the National road bridge on Big Eagle creek, known as "Billy Holmes' Mill."  The two brothers took the contract for and laid the brick in the old and first Court House, in 1824.  Mr. Holmes was a large man, full six feet in height, powerfully muscular, without any surplus flesh.  Although he did not live out the time generally allotted to man, he lived to a good old age, and to see the wilderness blossom as the rose.  No pioneer of the New Purchase lived more respected or died more regretted by his numerous friends than "Billy Holmes," as he was familiarly called.  His youngest son, Noah P. Holmes, is the owner of, and resides at, the old homestead, which will long be remembered as the Holmes farm.

Nowland, John H.B., "Sketches of Prominent Citizens of 1876, with a Few of the Pioneers of the City and County Who Have Passed Away", a sequel to "Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis." 1820-76, 1877,  pp. 148-149

Transcribed by Sherri Morem Bergman