PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
pg 578, 579
ROBERT L. HOLMAN. A traveler in Clark County would not fail to have his eyes attracted by Cedar Lawn farm, which occupies a portion of section 34, Moorefield Township, and is one of the finest estates in the entire county. It consists of one hundred and seventy-three and a half acres of well-improved land, every part of the estate indicating that its proprietor is a man of taste as well as a thrifty agriculturist. This beautiful home is owned and occupied by the subject of this sketch, who is a native of Worcester County, Mass., where his eyes opened to the light April 7, 1828. He is a son of Parley and Nancy (YOUNG) HOLMAN, both of whom were born in the old Bay State, and belonged to old families there. The HOLMAN family is of Scotch-Irish descent, and the YOUNGS of English lineage. Parley HOLMAN was a soldier in the War of 1812, and one of his sons, living in Massachusetts, still has a musket carried by him in that war.
Robert L. HOLMAN was reared to manhood in his native county, remaining on the parental farm until he was about seven or eight years of age, when he began to work in a woolen factory. After working there about three years he was employed at various kinds of farm work until about seventeen, when he began the trade of a carpenter and joiner, at which he served an apprenticeship of three years. For a time he worked as a journeyman, subsequently becoming a contractor and builder in Worcester, in which city he was employed for several years. In 1854 he came to Ohio and spent about a twelve month in the employ of DODGE & Co., at Springfield, in manufacturing DODGE’S Spring Bed. He afterward became a partner in the firm, which continued under the old style some two years. Mr. HOLMAN then became interested in the sale of Andrew WELSH’S Hominy Mill, which was manufactured in Xenia. While engaged in the sale of this article he saw the necessity of changes in the construction, the mill being too complicated, and with Warren WRIGHT, of Xenia, he studied and experimented about a year, when they produced what is now well known as the celebrated Buckeye Hominy Mill.
Messrs. HOLMAN & WRIGHT, as soon as they were assured of the success of their invention, began its manufacture. In 1861 they sent samples of the hominy made by their mill to Washington, and by the last act passed by Congress that year hominy was added to the army rations. They immediately secured contracts for supplying the middle and western divisions of the army, and the business soon assumed such immense proportions that they could not supply the demand. After furnishing the armies with their supply for nearly a year, Mr. HOLMAN sold his interest to his partner and engaged in model and pattern making and the work of a millwright. For a number of years he was thus employed, his labors being especially in the hominy mill interests. In 1875 he located on the farm where he has since resided, and which is one of the landmarks throughout the county.
In Miss Martha M. HILDRETH, a native of Massachusetts and a daughter of Sylvester and Mary HILDRETH, Mr. HOLMAN found the qualities of mind and character which won his deep esteem, and after a successful wooing she became his wife, May 3, 1853. To this union four children have been born—Arthur D., now lives in Union County, was born September 1, 1855; Walter H., August 27, 1857; Herbert W., February 8, 1860; Edward P., March 6, 1866.
Mr. HOLMAN first became identified with the Grange in 1884, and for three years was Master of Tremont Lodge, No. 90, at Tremont City. He is now officiating as Master of the Pomona Grange, which comprises all the lodges in Clark County, and he is also serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the Ohio State Grange. He was formerly a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but is not now identified with that fraternity. In politics he is independent, generally giving his vote to the best man irrespective of party prejudice. He and his new wife are members of the Church of God at Springfield. A public-spirited and reliable citizen, an industrious and successful business man, and an individual of intelligent mind, cordial manners and good principles, Mr. HOLMAN stands well in the community and wherever he is known.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago. Copyright 1890.