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David Hollister & the Hollister Family (2)

Part Two - Across the Midwest
If you missed Part 1 of the story, go here . . .

David Hollister was born in newly settled western New York in 1802. His parents might have been John Hollister and Elizabeth Van Scoter. He first married Celinda Giddings, the widow of his brother Abraham. They lived in Pennsylvania and Indiana but Celinda would die around 1841. In those days, death was common and almost expected. The living would carry on and as a matter of survival, most widowed spouses would remarry. David was in his 40's with a family in-tow, but as you will read below, there would be another beginning as he had not even reached the halfway point of his long life.

Wisconsin Territory about the time the Hollisters came to the state.
Settlement was limited to the south and along Lake Michigan.
Indian tribes still occupied areas north of the Wisconsin River.

On to Wisconsin

The Hollisters arrived in Wisconsin prior to 1847 and settled in the rolling hills of Iowa County. This was just before Wisconsin became a state. They lived in a place that for a time was called Adamsville, just a bit northeast of present-day Hollandale, Wisconsin. A large Grist Mill was first established in the early 1850's by John Adams, William Renshaw and David Hollister. The mill was always productive but also carried a lot of debt. William Renshaw left the business before the mill became operational and David quit the business by 1857.
Today, there is little sign that Adamsville ever existed but at one time it boasted a post office, hotel, general store and schoolhouse. About the time of the civil war, the post office moved to Middleburry, a couple of miles east but then returned to Adamsville a few years after the war. The village was located on the border of the Town of Moscow and the Town of Ridgeway with the mill being a bit farther north on a creek that flowed into the West Pecotonica River. Later this part of the Town of Ridgeway became the Town of Brigham. In the 1880's the Illinois Central Railroad came through a little farther south and that probably led to the ultimate decline of both Adamsville and Middleburry. It is interesting to note that Adamsville still shows up as late as the 1915 map of the Town of Moscow and there is even a plat map showing an orderly grid of streets. One of those is named Hollister but it is doubtful that any streets were ever constructed in this configuration. The plat map was probably an idea that never came to fruition.

The mill at Adamsville, probably around the 1880's
(photo added to the post on 11/2013)
John Adams quite the mill business a few years after David. He would go to Colorado and become a prominent citizen of that state. Two of his sons would serve as Governor and another as a U.S. Senator. Another prominent citizen of Adamsville was Richard Wade. The Wade and Hollister families must have been close because two Wade children would marry two Hollister children. Richard Wade originally settled in Pokerville. Located a few miles northeast of Adamsville, Pokerville was a bustling and raucous stage coach stop on the Military Road that cut across Wisconsin. Richard ran the Wade House and was credited with giving Pokerville its name. Later he and his son George (who married Laurissa Hollister) operated the same grist mill at Adamsville and seemed to have success at it. The Wade family is still listed as land owners at Adamsville on the 1915 map.
Adamsville, from the 1896 map of Iowa County. Note the mill at the top
of the map (along the river) and "Hollister Street." There is no evidence
that the town ever existing in this form but instead was probably never
more than a cluster of buildings at the intersection of two country roads.
Laurissa Hollister's gravesite at East Side Cemetery in
Dodgeville, Wisconsin (image added on 11/2013).
David made a number of land purchases in Wisconsin. The first was in 1847 and then in 1850. In 1858 he was recorded buying 80 acres of land on Section 9 of the Town of Ridgeway. The land, located on the Ridgeway (later Brigham) and Moscow border, was purchased from the federal land office in Mineral Point. His son, Hiram also purchased land in the town in that same year. David seemed to have may talents. In addition to his involvement in the mill and farming his land, he was also noted to be a blacksmith. In the 1870 census, David and sons John and Hiram are found on the same census page and all farming in the Town of Ridgeway.
Wilbur Hollister, who was the first born of David and Carolyn served with Company 'C' of the Wisconsin 37th Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. He enlisted in March of 1964 and served for about a year until the war ended. The regiment was formed that year and joined the Army of the Potomac, just as Ulysses S. Grant was taking command of the forces. They saw action at Petersburg during that summer, fall and winter of 1864 and into 1865. The siege of Petersburg went on for over nine months and included many small battles, skirmishes and the advent of trench warfare. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse shortly after he abandoned Petersburg. At the end of the war, the 37th marched in the Grand Review at Washington, D.C.
On to Iowa

In the 1870's and 1880's almost the entire Hollister clan packed-up and headed west to Monona County, Iowa. It is unclear why they made this move but it seems two sons, Hiram and Niles might have gone first, as early as the late 1860's. David and others most likely came after 1880 as he and some family members were still living in Wisconsin according to the 1880 census. Some Hollisters also stayed behind. John, who was married, raising a family and farming in southwest Wisconsin seems to have stayed. Laurissa, who married George Wade initially went to Iowa but returned and lived in the Town of Moscow. At least two other daughters who married local men also stayed in Wisconsin.

Caroline Wheaton is reported to have died in 1881, presumably at Adamsville. David would arrive in Iowa sometime after her death and before 1885. By 1882, he had sold his remaining land holdings in Wisconsin. At the age of 80, he may have decided to move west as the bulk of his children and grandchildren where heading in that direction. He was recorded in the 1885 Iowa state census living with his daughter, Laurissa (or Louisa) in Mapleton. She had married George Wade of Adamsville and they had three young children at that time. By the 1900 census, David is living with his youngest son, David Jr. and his large family, also in Mapleton. Other family members living in Monona County included Hiram, Wilbur, Niles, Thomas and Deraine. The family multiplied and spread out in western Iowa and some moved on, as far as California. The 1900 census lists a few dozen Hollister families.

Mapleton is a small village in Monona County, Iowa. Located in far western Iowa, bordering on Nebraska. Monona County was just opening up to greater western expansion in the 1870's and 1880's. Many came west to take advantage of the homestead act and it is likely that some of the Hollister children did the same. Old Mapleton, a frontier town, was established just before the civil war. In 1877 when the railroad came through, the town moved across the Maple River to its present location. David Hollister (assuming it was David Junior) established a blacksmith shop in town in the 1880's.

David Hollister is buried at Wellington Cemetery in Oto, Iowa
(his stone is in the foreground), along with three of his sons.
The Obituary of David Hollister from The Mapleton Press: "Death of a Centenarian - David Hollister Sr., Passes Away at the Age of 101" . . . David Hollister, Sr., one of the oldest settlers in this vicinity, died at his home on South Front Street Wednesday morning of this week, after an illness extending over several weeks. Mr. Hollister was born in Genesee County, N. Y., September 11, 1802, and was therefore past the 101st mile stone. He has been in excellent health up to within the past few weeks, and on several occasions, the past summer, the writer in passing his home has observed the old gentleman busily engaged in the care of his garden, with as much vigor as a man of half his years. He was a good man whose word was as good as government bond, and who was respected by all who had formed his acquaintance. Eleven children survive him besides a goodly number of grandchildren and great grandchildren, and as a result of his energy a valuable estate is to be divided. Funeral services were held this (Friday) forenoon at 10 o’clock from the M. P. church.
David Hollister lived a long live, about 100 years. During that time, he would witness, first hand, the growth of a new country, from its infancy, through the civil war period and to the beginnings of the modern era. He also saw a great deal of the frontier, in places like Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. Along the way, he build farms and mills and left behind children and grandchildren to raise families and carry-on.

Part 3 - The next generation of the family can be found here . . .

This post first appeared on My Other, please read the originial post: here

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David Hollister & the Hollister Family (2)


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