Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 401 - 402
Among the citizens of Sheboygan County, there are few better known than this gentleman, who is a resident of
Sheboygan Falls Township. He makes a special business of raising and breeding fine horses and standard and
registered stock. He was born on the 4th of July, 1839, in Worcester County, Mass., and is the fourth of the five
children of John Holden.
The father of our subject was also a native of Massachusetts, and died about 1882, at the age of seventy-two years.
He learned the business of milling in early life, and also the manufacture of chairs, but later turned his
attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1855 he settled on one hundred and twenty acres of land, which had been
partially improved, and was situated in Sheboygan Falls Township. He cleared the entire farm, and was classed among
the old pioneers of the county. In politics, he was an old-line Whig, and later became an advocate of the
principles of the Republican party. He was a member of the Baptist Church. His wife died when our subject was a lad
of seven years.
Zebina Holden was a youth of seventeen years when he came to Wisconsin, prior to which time he had received a fair
common-school education by personal application to his studies and the exercise of those qualities which have made
him a practical man. He was always industrious, and many has been the day when he swung his cradle from morning
until night and cut four acres of grain at seventy-two cents, per day. He was fortunate in inheriting a strong
constitution, as he has suffered the hardships of pioneer life. He remained with his parents until he was of age,
and after that time earned his first money, with which he purchased a suit of clothes.
The first wife of our subject was Miss Cynthia Sloan, a native of New York. They had three children, two of whom
are living. Emory, who lives in Port Washington, is employed in a chair factory, but has passed a part of his life
as a farmer of Lima Township. He is married and is a good citizen. Alice lives at home. The mother of these
children died in 1875. In 1877, Mr. Holden wedded Miss Bessie Danforth, by whom he has had three children. Ethel,
aged fourteen years, is bright in her studies and is taking a musical course; Archie is eight years of age; and
Leonard has seen six summers.
In 1860, Mr. Holden made his first purchase of land, which was partially improved, and located in Sheboygan Falls
Township. He afterward bought an additional forty acres, finally selling the whole and investing the proceeds in
his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres of improved land. He has a number of fine standard bred trotting
horses and fine blooded animals, about twenty at the present time. "Richard," No. 7686, is eight years of age,
weighs one thousand and seventy-five pounds, is a dark bay in color, and was sired by "Swigart," No. 650. He has a
record of 2:45 as a two-year-old, this being the best record held in the State of Wisconsin. "Bismont, Jr.," sired
by "Bismont," and dam by "Lexington Wilkes," has a five year-old record of 2:18, is a bright bay in color, and
weighs eleven hundred pounds. Among the number is a fine colt by "Lexington Wilkes," dam by "Moody," which has a
record of 2:18. The value of the entire stud is placed at $8,000. Mr. Holden has been for eighteen years a first
class butter and cheese maker. The output of the dairy is about three hundred pounds per week, and he
has-constantly furnished his supplies to some of the most prominent families of Sheboygan.
During the late war, Mr. Holden enlisted in Company G, Wisconsin Heavy Artillery, under Capt. Kraus, and was at
once ordered to Ft. Lyons, a few miles from the city of Washington, D. C. Thence the regiment was sent to Ft.
Ellsworth, where they remained until the close of the war, being discharged June 26, 1865. The first Presidential
vote of our subject was cast for Abraham Lincoln, and he has always been a true Republican. He has been Clerk of
the School Board for about twelve years, and is a friend to good schools. Socially, he is a member of Fidelity
Lodge No. 34, I. O. O. F., of Sheboygan Falls, and has occupied all the chairs. He is known to all as a kind-
hearted and benevolent man. He is wonderfully temperate, and has never used tobacco or any kind of intoxicants
during his life, of which fact he may be justly proud. He and his worthy wife are members of the Baptist Church of
Sheboygan Falls, and have always been active in church and benevolent work.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer