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GEORGE H. HOLMES. – Among the prominent and successful agriculturists an stockmen of the county, there are none that take rank above the gentleman, whose name is at the head of this article, and whose enterprising and capable efforts in the lines that he pursues have resulted not only in success for himself in his ventures of business but have aided materially in the advancement of interests of the county and in augmenting its wealth, while also he has always displayed commendable principles of uprightness and sound discretion, as well as unswerving integrity and intrinsic moral worth.
George H. Holmes was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on August 12, 1855, to L.R. and Jane (Gabriel) Holmes, the father being a leading merchant of that city. In 1862 the parents brought their family to Bannock City, Montana, where they remained for one year, being there at the time that the noted and desperate outlaw, Sheriff Henry Plummer, was hanged. From that place they came to Walla Walla and the father engaged in freighting to the Boise Basin mines until the fall of 1868, and then came to the Grande Ronde valley, where in 1870 he purchased a quarter section of land, and later added three-fourths of a section more, using one-half of the land for pasturage and one-half for crops. On June 8, 1901, the mother was called to the realities of another world, and the father on July 3, 1892. Returning to our subject, he was educated in the schools where his father resided in Walla Walla and the Grande Ronde valley, and when he had arrived to the years of manhood, he entered the stock business in Union and Wallowa counties, driving cattle and horses to the eastern markets, making two or three trips, one in which he took two hundred and fifty-nine head of horses. In 1885 he sold the horses and entered the bank at Enterprise as bookkeeper, where he remained until the death of his father, when he returned to the farm, which is two and one-half miles northwest from Cove. Mr. Holmes takes great interest in first-class stock and has imported some fine specimens of horses, sheep, and hogs. He has one excellent Clydesdale stallion, “Breadalbane,” weighing eighteen hundred pounds, which he imported direct from the Clyde stables. He has brought to the county some first-class Cotswold sheep and Berkshire hogs.
The marriage of Mr. Holmes and Miss Susie A., daughter of John and Helen Zurcher, old pioneers of Wallowa county, was solemnized on September 23, 1891, and to them have been born the following children: John L., nine years old; Jane M., five years old; Louise Ruth, three years old. Politically, Mr. Holmes takes the part of the good citizen, and ever stands for the faithful execution of salutary laws. He is one of the most alert business men of the county and handles his large interests in a manner becoming his capabilities and is progressive and a leader in the lines of improvement and advancement, having done much to aid in the promotion of the interests of agriculture and stock raising.