2003 – Peter Holloway Family

From Lola (Vesey) Merrill’s book “A History of Holland, Ohio, 1829-1953” “Peter and Sophia Holloway with their five sons and three daughters came to Ohio from New York in 1834 and following a brief stay in Maumee, settled in Springfield Township. Mr. Holloway was an 1812 veteran from New York, a volunteer in the Cavalry, and he reached Buffalo when the town was in flames set by the British as they left the port. He died in September, 1865. One of his sons, Charles B., married Nancy Ann Gunn, daughter of Asman Gunn, a pioneer of this township. Charles was a State Representative and father to Abbie (Holloway) Martin and to Emmett. Abbie died in September, 1946, at 81 years. Emmett, now 90, still lives on the old farm which has been in family ownership for about 118 years. On New Year’s Eve, 1900, Emmett and Ora Demotte, daughter of Samuel, were married and had five daughters and one son. Mrs. Holloway died June 11, 1951. Their oldest daughter, Abbie, met tragic death in a train wreck at Attica, Indiana, on May 29, 1924. Mr. Holloway recalls as a lad of 13, accompanying his parents to the Centennial Exposition in 1876 at Philadelphia.” Peter Holloway was born in Dighton, Massachusetts on May 21, 1778, the son of Peter and Abigail (Gooding) Holloway. In 1786, the family moved northwest to Shelburne (closer to the New York state line). In 1796, they moved again to the frontier at Canandaigua in what is now Ontario County, New York (about 40-50 miles from Buffalo). Family records (William Holloway of Taunton, Mass., in 1637 and his Descendants, 1586-1949, by Everett Hall Pendleton) state that he became a blacksmith and worked much of the time for Indians since they were more numerous then the frontiersmen at the time. The first definite record the family has of him is when he bought property in the town of Bloomfield in 1804 where he started his own blacksmith shop. He later ran a hotel and also was engaged in farming at this time. He married Sophia (Abby) Seymour, a daughter of Ira and Ruth (Smith) Seymour around 1805. She was born around 1784 in Massachusetts. On December 23, 1813, he volunteered for cavalry service in Captain Isaac Hone’s Company, 12th Regimental Cavalry (Boughton’s), New York Militia. According to a history of the War of 1812, 129 mounted volunteers under Lt. Col. Boughton were reviewed in Buffalo on December 27 and they possibly “had a brush with the enemy when they landed on the outskirts of the town soon after midnight on the 30th.” He was discharged on January 21, 1814. Buffalo, New York was burned on December 30, 1813. Sophia and Peter sold their property in Bloomfield in 1814 and they bought land in Caledonia, Genesee County (later becoming a part of Livingston County), New York, in 1815. In 1824, he is shown in the tax rolls for York, Livingston County, and also purchased land there in 1825. They lived there until his father’s death in 1832, when the moved to Maumee, Lucas County, Ohio (then Wood County). They then moved to what was later Springfield Township in 1833-34 where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Peter was active in the early affairs of the Township, serving as clerk from 1836 until 1840, was a Justice of the Peace in 1850, and served as a delegate to the Congressional District Convention of the Whig Party in 1840. Peter died on September 1, 1865 and Sophia died on July 22, 1867. Both are buried in Springfield Township Cemetery. They had eight children; Abigail, Chester Seymour, Eliza Sophia, George Gooding, Mary Ann, Herbert, Peter and Charles Byron. Herbert, Peter and Charles Byron lived their entire lives in Springfield and Monclova Townships where they were active in the community as were their children. Charles Byron was born in York, New York, on June 14, 1826, and married Nancy Ann Gunn, the daughter of Osman (also Asman) Gunn, a pioneer of Springfield Township, on May 3, 1855. She was born on August 1, 1829, in Damascus Township, Henry County, Ohio. He volunteered for service in the Civil war, entering as a Captain in 1863 and was soon elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the 4th Regiment, Ohio Militia receiving his commission from Governor Todd on August 30, 1863. After the war he returned to the farm in Springfield Township and became active in local politics serving as Township Clerk in 1852-1855, 1858, and 1861, and a Township Trustee from 1863-1867. In 1879 he was elected to the Ohio Assembly where he served until 1881. He sponsored a telegraph bill that would prevent railroads from giving the exclusive right of way to any one telegraph company. It passed by a vote of 80 votes for and 0 votes against. He had the house built that presently stand on what was the family farm. Charles died on July 27, 1903 and Nancy Ann on August 19, 1909. Both are buried in Springfield Township Cemetery.