Solano County

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This well remembered pioneer and prominent citizen of Solano county, who is now numbered "with them that sleepeth," was a native of the state of Illinois, from which state California has drawn largely for much of its progressive citizenship. Coming here when the country was wild and undeveloped, he secured raw land and added to it from time to time until eventually he became one of the large landowners of the northern part of Solano county. For many years he was one of our most prominent and influential citizens and his name is eminently deserving of a place in the permanent record of his county.

Amos Holt Holly was born at Franklin Grove, near Dixon, Illinois, and was there reared and educated. In 1859 he came to California, traveling by ox team, and for awhile after his arrival here devoted his energies to mining. He then located in the northern part of Solano county, taking up one hundred and sixty acres of government land about two and a half miles southwest of Dixon, and there he engaged in general farming and stock raising, in which he met with splendid success. He added to his land holdings from time to time, sowed much grain and raised more horses, cattle and hogs, until he came to be considered one of the big farmers of his end of the county. He was an enterprising and progressive man and made many permanent and substantial improvements on his land, including a comfortable and attractive home, substantial barns and other farm buildings, and he followed up to date methods in the operation of the farm. He also took a deep interest in the public affairs of his community, serving as a trustee of the Pitt school district and in other ways contributing to the welfare and prosperity of the locality. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen and of the Grange. His death, which occurred on October 5, 1904, was deeply regretted throughout his section of the county, where he was widely known and most highly respected, for he had long been regarded as one of the leading farmers and representative citizens of his community.

On March 4, 1869, Mr. Holly was united in marriage to Miss Valora Cornell, who was born and reared in Pennsylvania and who came to California on January 1, 1868, making the journey by the way of the Isthmus of Panama. Her two brothers were her companions on the trip and she remembers very clearly many interesting and thrilling events concerning the long journey. Mrs. Holly is one of the earliest living settlers of the Dixon district, having settled there before Dixon was founded. When the Southern Pacific Railroad was completed into Dixon in 1868 she and her sister were the first white women to ride on the train. She takes a keen interest in the events and activities of the community, being a member of the Woman's Improvement Club, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Ladies' Aid Society of the Presbyterian church. To Mr. and Mrs. Holly there were seven children born, two of whom died in infancy. Blanch, who also is deceased, was a teacher in the Vallejo schools for fifteen years. The four sons, Archie C, Ernest D., Earl and Jesse B. Holly, are living. There are twelve grandchildren, eight of whom are boys.

The late Amos H. Holly was a man who believed in carrying the Golden Rule into his everyday life and he commanded the respect of all because of his square dealing and his genuine worth. During the long years of his residence here he was true to every trust reposed in him, whether of a public or private nature, and his reputation in a business way was unassailable. He was one of the founders of Dixon and in the development of that town he was always deeply interested, as he was proud of its growth and prosperity.

History of Solano County, California By Marguerite Hunt and Napa County, California By Harry Lawrence Gunn. From Their Earliest Settlement To The Present Time. Chicago. S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. 1926. 883 pages.

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This page was last updated 26 Oct 2007

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