Jonas H. Holden
1906 A Twentieth Century History of Berrien County Michigan
By Judge Orville W. Coolidge
Jonas H. Holden, who, as a member of the firm of Beeson & Holden, is extensively engaged in the cultivation of peppermint, having about three hundred acres devoted to the raising of that herb, was born in Cornwall, Ontario, on the 6th of February, i860. His father, George R. Holden, was a native of Rutland, Vermont, and remained in that locality until about twenty-five years of age. He was married at Fort Jackson in St. Lawrence county, New York, and afterward went to Canada, where he resided for a few months, during which time the birth of our subject occurred. He afterward returned to New York and thence went to Manteno, Illinois, in 1863. He moved to Three Oaks, Berrien County, in 1865, where he resided until 1870, going from there to Michigan City, Indiana, and afterward returning to Three Oaks. He owned a half interest in a featherbone factory in connection with E. K. Warren and-was thus identified with the productive industries of this part of the county. A jeweler by trade, he followed that business from the time he first left Three Oaks until he returned, having learned the trade in this place under the direction of Mr. Fred Warren, a brother of E. K. Warren. He died at Toronto, Ontario, September 4, 1904, at the age of sixty-eight years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Mary E. Trask, was born in St. Lawrence county, New York, and now resides in Jacksonville, Florida, at the age of sixty-five years. Jonas H. Holden is the eldest of their four children, the others being De Etta, the wife of H. W. Cook, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Ninah May, the wife of A. G. Cummer, of Jacksonville, Florida, and John P., of Toronto, Canada.
Jonas H. Holden was only about four weeks old when his parents removed from Cornwall, Ontario, to St. Lawrence county, New York, and three years later they arrived in Manteno, Illinois, reaching there in 1863. They spent two years in this city, and afterward went to Three Oaks, Michigan, where Mr. Holden continued to make his home for about seven years. He acquired a high school education and at the age of eighteen years took up the trade of a jeweler, which he followed until twenty-one years of age. He then came to Three Oaks, where he has made his home continuously since. His father became interested in a featherbone factory and Mr. Holden of this review accepted a position in the factory and became general superintendent, acting in that capacity continuously until about two years ago, when he severed his connection with manufacturing interests and turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, his specialty being the raising of peppermint, in connection with D. H. Beeson, under the firm style of Beeson & Holden. They have about three hundred acres in Galena and Weesaw townships devoted to the cultivation of that plant, which has become an important industry and is bringing to them a very gratifying financial return, for their product finds a ready sale on the market.
In 1885 Mr. Holden was married to Miss Matilda Caroline Haring, a native of Michigan City, Indiana, and a daughter of August Haring. This union has been blessed with four children: Leona H., who is now attending St. Mary's school at Notre Dame, Indiana; Mary E., a student in the same institution; Kenneth H. and Arthur J. H., who are students in the schools at Three Oaks. Mr. Holden has a fine home in the village, which he erected in 1876, and its hospitality is greatly enjoyed by the many friends of the family, who occupy an enviable position in social circles here. Mr. Holden has given his support to the Republican party since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He belongs to the Congregational Church, in the work of which he takes an active and helpful interest, and he is also a valued member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the blue lodge in Three Oaks and the commandery at Niles. In his life he exemplifies the beneficent spirit of the craft, being in thorough sympathy with its teachings and tenets. He has always been a busy man, giving unfaltering attention to the duties of an active business career, and as the years have gone by he has prospered in his undertakings, becoming one of the substantial residents of the village, in which he has made his home from early manhood.
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