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Biography of Herbert Emerson Holden

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HERBERT EMERSON HOLDEN, manufacturer of window frames and house finishings in North Amherst, Massachusetts, was born June 29, 1880, in Shutesbury, Massachusetts. The name he bears, Holden, Holdin, Holding, or Houlding, is of ancient and distinguished quality in England. It was a place name doubtless. Coats-of-arms are borne by various branches of the family.

Richard Holden, immigrant ancestor of the family in America, was born in England in 1609, and came to this country in the ship “Francis,” sailing from Ipswich, England, April 30, 1634, and settling first at Ipswich, Massachusetts, where he owned land. Justinian, his brother, born in 1611, crossed the ocean a year later and settled in Watertown, whither Richard removed soon after. A family record in manuscript, written about 1800, says that the immigrants had brothers, named Adam and William; and an uncle, James Holden, “one of the Lords of England,” who secured their release by the sheriff who had arrested them for attending a “dissenting meeting,” on condition that they would not repeat the offense in that country. Richard Holden lived in Cambridge, adjoining Watertown, for a time; and Justinian also settled there. Richard Holden was a proprietor of the adjacent town of Woburn as early as 1658. He sold his property in Watertown in 1655 to J. Sherman. He was admitted a freeman, May 6, 1657; and in that year he removed to Groton, where he owned nine hundred and seventy acres of land in the northeasterly part of the town, now in Shirley, part of which was occupied in recent years by Porter Kittredge. His land extended on the west bank of the Nashua River from a point near Beaver Pond to the northward. He passed his last years with his son, Stephen, to whom he gave his real estate on March 23, 1691, calling himself “aged, infirm and a widower.” He died at Groton, March 1, 1696.

Richard Holden married, in 1640, Martha Fosdick, who died at Watertown, December 6, 1681, daughter of Stephen Fosdick, of Charlestown. Mr. Fosdick bequeathed to Holden a forty-acre lot in Woburn. Children: 1. Justinian, born 1644; resided in Billerica. 2.

Martha, born January 15, 1645-46; married Thomas Boyden. 3. Stephen, born July 19, 1648, killed by a fall from a tree in Groton, in 1658. 4. Samuel, settled in Groton and Stoneham. 5. Mary, married Thomas Williams. 6. Sarah, married, December 20, 1677, Gershom Swan. 7. Elizabeth. 8. Thomas. 9. John, who died young. 10. Stephen, born about 1658.

(I) Lyman Holden, grandfather of Herbert Emerson Holden, served in the Civil War, entering the service when he was more than fifty-five years old. He was a farmer in civil life. He died in New Salem, Massachusetts. He married Lucy Sylvester, and they were the parents of two children: Benjamin Franklin, of further mention, and Harriet.

(II) Benjamin Franklin Holden, son of Lyman and Lucy (Sylvester) Holden, was born in Wendell, Massachusetts, in 1840, died in Amherst, in July, 1907. He lived in Willington, Shutesbury, Ware, and Amherst, Massachusetts. He followed farming most of his life; he also operated a grist mill in Willington. He married, in 1861, Hannah Augusta Joslyn, born in Dana, Massachusetts, living in Cushman, Massachusetts (1925), at the age of eighty years. She was the daughter of Peter and Hannah (Newcomb) Joslyn. They were the parents of eight children: Edmund; Harriet, married a Mr. Blair; Effie, married Jeremiah Stickwell; Eva, since dead; Henry; Herbert Emerson, of further mention; Grace, married Arthur Hatt; Edith, since dead, who married Lee Weaver, of Pelham.

(III) Herbert Emerson Holden, son of Benjamin Franklin and Hannah Augusta (Joslyn) Holden, was educated in the schools of Ware and Amherst. When fourteen years old he went to work in a box factory in Amherst. He passed three years learning the woodworking business. He became proficient and engaged in the business for himself. He established a woodworking plant in North Amherst; and a lumber yard in Northampton, on North King Street He manufactures window frames and house furnishings ; and handles large quantities of asbestos shingles. He has operated steam mills in cutting lumber for his trade. His activities cover a wide range, including Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin counties. In the course of his varied activities, Mr. Holden employs many persons. He is a member of the Sons of Veterans.

Mr. Holden married, in 1905, Mary Ella Warren, of Philipston, Massachusetts, daughter of Levi and Emma (Joslyn) Warren. Mr. and Mrs. Holden are the parents of seven children: Hazel, Elmer, Robert, Florence,. Marguerite, Helen, and Nelson Holden, all born in Amherst. Mr. Holden’s address is North Amherst, Massachusetts.


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