The Beginning of Holland
On May 22, 1852, the first train ran between Toledo and Chicago on the tracks of the Michigan Southern and the Indiana Northern Railroads. Springfield township was along this route and a station was established there. The United States Geologic Survey shows that the crossroads were at various times called Springfield, Drakes, Hardy and Holland Station. Records of the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad shows a station in the area in 1860 with no name, but freight and passengers from that site. In their records of 1880, it shows Holland having a population of 230 people, with the tons of freight increasing almost 20 times since 1860, while the number of passengers increased by approximately 400%. In the early 1860s, Robert Clark began developing land north of the railroad and Franklin Hall built houses south of the railroad. Their names are still memorialized in those respective areas by Clark and Hall Streets. Around this time the crossroads called itself Hardy, which is probably taken from Samuel Hardy, who was one the signers of a document (along with Thomas Jefferson, Arthur Lee and James Monroe) that ceded the northwest territories of Virginia to the government of the United States. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1783-1785 and had been a lieutenant governor of Virginia.
The name of Holland is thought to have come ditches being dug in the 1850s to divert the swamp water reminding people of the canals of Holland (the Netherlands). There is also a theory that it was named because of the large number of “Dutch” or German people in the area. The most likely derivation of the name comes from a story about Franklin Hall. When he platted the land for the building of his houses, he asked that it be called Hall Land. Supposedly, a clerk or other official changed the first “a” to an “o” and eliminated one “l”, thus Holland. The name, Drakes, may have come from a family that lived in the area or it might be a reminder of the great flocks of geese that flew over the area and still do in smaller numbers. In 1923, the village was incorporated and the first mayor was Miss Mabel Hovey. She served as mayor until 1924 and was at the time only one of two women who were mayors in the state of Ohio.