Merton Calvin Holman, clerk of the board of education of Topeka, Kan., is a native of New Hampshire, in which state he was born, at the town of Bristol, May 5, 1852, and is a son of Rev. Calvin Holman, a Methodist minister. The Holman family was founded in America in colonial times, and members of it were numbered among the New England patriots in the Revolutionary war. Rev. Calvin Holman, who had two brothers also in the Methodist ministry, was born in Hopkinton, N. H., and his wife, Lucy T. Underwood, was born in Vermont. These parents removed to Kansas in 1869 in search of better health for the father. The family then consisted of the father, mother, two sons, and three daughters, of whom the parents and one daughter, Harriet L., are now deceased, the latter having been over fifty years of age at the time of her death. The surviving children are: Merton Calvin, Edward Arthur, Clara, and Lura E., all of whom are residents of Topeka. Upon coming to Kansas the family located on the edge of the Fox Reserve, in Franklin county, where the father engaged in a mercantile business, but in 1871 the family removed to Ottawa; then in 1874 to Junction City; and two years later became residents of Blue Rapids. In the meantime the father, Rev. Calvin Holman, had completely recovered his health, and had reëntered the ministry, his first church in Kansas being the Methodist church at Junction City. He later became a presiding elder and served as such about ten years, at the conclusion of which service he retired from the active ministry, but was still identified with it for a period of twelve years, as secretary of the Kansas Methodist Episcopal Conference. He had made Topeka the city of his residence in 1883 and continued to reside there until the time of his death, in 1901.
Merton C. Holman was reared to the age of seventeen years in his native State of New Hampshire, where he finished his education at the New Hampshire Conference Seminary and Female College, at Tilton, N. H. He came to Kansas with his father's family in 1869, and when he began his own business career he did so as a merchant in Blue Rapids, Kan. In 1882 he removed to Topeka, where he continued his business career until 1902, as a furniture and carpet merchant. In 1901 he had become one of the organizers of the Western Woolen Mill Company, of Topeka, of which he was president five years, and for four years thereafter was treasurer. The business was sold in 1909 to other parties. In the spring of 1910 Mr. Holman was elected to be one of Topeka's four city commissioners and as such was in charge of the parks and board of health. He had previously served one term as a member of the city council from the first ward, and from 1900 to 1907 he was secretary of the board of park commissions.
The marriage of Mr. Holman occurred June 6, 1878, when he was united to Miss Mary Emma Wright, a daughter of J. S. Wright, of Blue Rapids. To Mr. and Mrs. Holman have been born three childrentwo daughters and a sonCelia Evelyn, Stella Geneive, and Leon Wright Holman, all of whom reside with their parents. Mr. Holman is a musician of much ability, and for twenty-five years has been musical director of the well known Modoc Club of Topeka. Fraternally, Mr. Holman is a member of the Modern Woodman of America.Pages 713-714 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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