Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 44
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
JAMES M. HOLLAND
Among the prominent farmers of Bell township, residing on section 19, is James M Holland who by industry and economy, combined with most excellent judgment, has become one of the substantial citizens of Kansas. His birth occurred in Sangamon county, Illinois, on May 27, 1857, and he is a grandson of Benjamin Holland, who at one time was a large slave owner and Kentucky planter. He was twice married, rearing two sons and three daughters by his first marriage and four children by the second marriage. The father of our subject was William T Holland and he was born in the Kentucky blue-grass region, on February 1, 1831, and died in Langdon, in December, 1899. One of his brothers, Monroe Holland, is a resident of Missouri. The mother of Mr Holland, of this sketch, was Julia Ann Hurt, a native of Menard county, Illinois, where she was married to William Holland in 1852. They had a family of five sons and two daughters, all of whom still survive with the exception of Homer, who died in Atchison county, Kansas, about 1878. William T Holland was a carpenter by trade and came to Kansas from Sangamon county, Illinois, when our subject was a lad. He preempted one hundred and sixty acres of land in Kingman county, selling the same one year later and then bought one hundred and sixty acres near Langdon, adjoining the property of his son-in-law, R C Miller, and remained on that farm for twelve years, moving then into Langdon, where for several years he was postmaster and a justice of the peace, and was identified with the growth and development of the town. To the Methodist church he was a liberal giver and both he and his wife were consistent members of the same. The honored mother of our subject still resides in Langdon.
James Monroe Holland enjoyed but limited school privileges during his youth in eastern Kansas, remaining with his father and assisting in the farm work until his majority, coming then to his homestead. This consisted of one hundred and sixty acres of wild prairie land, and to subdue this wilderness and make of it the beautiful, well cultivated and fruitful farm which now attracts the eye and consoles the owner, Mr Holland was obliged to set himself some hard tasks. He owned but little capital as far as money goes, but he was young, energetic and industrious, owned a pair of strong young horses, and during the first year he was able to break about forty acres of his land and sow it to wheat. He also built his log house, which was small, but snug and warm. He follows general farming and raises a considerable amount of stock, keeping from forty to sixty head of cattle and horses. He has been very successful in raising wheat and corn and in 1896 his land yielded three thousand bushels of that grain. Mr Holland wisely set out his orchards early and has one hundred and seventy-five bearing trees, thrifty and well cared for. He has never made the mistake of expecting his farm to do everything that land in other locations and climates might do, but he has studied its possibilities and has reaped most satisfactory results. The first little home is attached as an outbuilding to his present handsome residence. All his life he has worked hard and although he has not retired, takes pleasure in the honest toil which brings its sure reward.
The marriage of Mr Holland occurred on November 29, 1885, to Miss Ophelia Pry, who was a daughter of Rev John H Pry, a prominent minister of the Baptist church, and the children born to this union are as follows: Cora B, thirteen years of age; Franklin D, five years of age; Elma, seven years of age; Raymond; and Nellie, who is a babe of seven months, all of them bright, intelligent children who promise to become the excellent citizens of the future.
Mr Holland has been identified with the Republican party all his life, and has efficiently served as constable and road overseer, while socially he is connected with the order of Modern Woodmen. The religious connection of the family is with the Methodist church, where they are most highly esteemed.