Nelson Holland, one of the prominent vessel owners and business men of Buffalo, N. Y. was born at Belchertown, Mass., June 24, 1829, of ancestry that traces their lineage back to England through an emigrant that came from that country to New England in 1630, ten years after the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock.
Mr. Holland is the son of George and Mary Ann (Graves) Holland, who moved when he was six years old (in 1835 or the spring of 1836) to Niagara Falls, and one year later to Springville, Erie Co., N. Y. When nine or ten years of age Mr. Holland began work on a farm, laboring in the summer time and attending the district school in the winter season; he afterward attended the famous Springville Academy until he was eighteen years of age, in this way receiving a good English education. The winter of 1850-51 he passed with his uncle, Selim Sears, in Buffalo, and in the spring of 1851 he entered the employ of Oliver Bugbee, then a prominent lumberman in Buffalo. This position he retained for three and one-half years, spending most of his time in Detroit as an agent for Mr. Bugbee. While thus engaged he became thoroughly familiar with all the details of the lumber business, and the knowledge thus acquired has been of great value to him ever since.
In 1855 Mr. Holland became a partner with William Oakes, under the firm name of Oakes & Holland, the firm carrying on the lumber business at St. Clair, Mich. It remained in existence until 1862 when it was dissolved, and in 1863 Mr. Holland removed to Buffalo, establishing a lumber yard in that city, at the same time carrying on the business in St. Clair. In 1865 he became a member of the firm of Eaton, Brown & Co., planing-mill proprietors, which firm in 1868 became Clarke, Holland & Co. It continued as Clarke, Holland & Co until 1880; was reorganized as Lee, Holland & Co., and continued under this name until 1898, when the firm was wound up. It carried on a very extensive business, employing as many as two hundred and fifty men. Mr. Holland has also been a member of the firms Holland & Stewart, lumber dealers, and Holland, Graves & Montgomery, also lumber dealers, both of which ranked high among the business concerns of Buffalo. In 1869 Mr. Holland became part owner of a large tract of land, extensive salt mills and salt works at East Saginaw, Mich., and in the spring of 1886 he increased his interests by purchasing a portion of another tract of timber land in the northern part of the State. He also owns timber land in Texas and other States, besides a large amount of real estate in Buffalo. As stated elsewhere in this history, Mr. Holland, in 1863, began to be interested in property on the lakes, which property has increased gradually in amount. Hence it will be readily inferred that his energies have been mainly directed to the care and development of his business affairs, and that he has been kept busy in the care and management for more than half a century. In 1886 he began the manufacture of direct and indirect radiation for heating purposes, his factory being located at Hacock, Mill and Roseville streets. Here during the busy season the Standard Radiator Company, as the establishment is named, the most of which is owned by Mr. Holland, melts down about sixty-five tons of iron per day and employs about three hundred men.
For many years Mr. Holland has been a member of the Merchants Exchange of Buffalo, of the Buffalo Business Men's Association, of the Academy of Fine Arts, of the Historical Society, of the Society of Natural Sciences; a trustee of the Buffalo Female Academy and of the North Presbyterian Church, and at one time a director of the Manufacturers and Traders Bank.
Mr. Holland was married, in 1857, at Silver Creek, Chautauqua Co., N. Y., to Miss Susan A. Clark, daughter of Dudley Clark, of that place. By this marriage Mr. Holland had four children, as follows: Jessie, who married Dr. C. R. Jewett of Buffalo; Helen L.; Grace; and Nelson C., who is a member of the class of '99 in Yale College.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.