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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History
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William Holle

Source: "Portrait and Biographical Record - Published 1894 by Excelsior Publishing Co., Chicago" Pages 616 - 617

William Holle, of Sheboygan, was born in Hanover, Germany, September 17, 1821. He was reared and educated in his native land. When about six years old his father removed to Hamelm, a most beautiful place on the River Weser. There he grew to manhood, and developed a taste for the study of natural history, especially of insect life, which has been one of his characteristics ever since. There, accompanied by his teacher and other pupils, on Saturday afternoons he would range the woods and fields, chasing the butterflies, learning their habits, and studying the laws of their growth and development. His parents were Albrecht and Wilhelmine Holle. They continued to live at their home on the beautiful Weser until late in life, when they went to live with their daughter at Fuhlen, also on the Weser River. The father passed away in 1854, at the age of about seventy years. The mother died two years later. She was several years younger than her husband and was twice married, three children being born to her. The eldest, Frederick Wilms, was born of her first marriage, and was, consequently, a half-brother of our subject. The youngest of the three children was a daughter, Caroline. Frederick Wilms came to the United States in 1847, and resided near Sheboygan for a time, where he purchased land, but he was not a farmer. Finally he went to St. Louis, where he engaged in the drug business, and where he died in 1883.

Mr. Holle grew to manhood in his native land, and there married for his first wife Louisa Tiemann. That event took place in 1847, and immediately after marriage he left with his wife for America. He came direct to Sheboygan, expecting to engage in business with his brother. He bought a store in the city of Sheboygan and embarked in merchandising. His wife died in February, 1849, and on the 6th of December, 1849, he was married to Miss Wilhelmine Meyer, who was born in the kingdom of Hanover, January 15, 1821, a daughter of Henry and Marie (Brueggemann) Meyer. Her father died in 1835, and her mother seven years later, leaving three girls. Sophia, the eldest, married Diedrich Ohlmann. In May, 1848, the three sisters and the brother-in-law came to Sheboygan from their native land. Sophia died in 1855. Mrs. Holle is nine years younger than Mrs. Ohlmann, there having been a brother and sister in that interval who died in childhood. The youngest of the sisters, Caroline, married Henry Habighorst, and resides in the town of Sheboygan Falls. Her husband died in 1881.

In 1850 Mr. Holle purchased a lot on Eighth Street, near the present German Bank. He continued in the mercantile business until 1868, when he was succeeded by his son-in-law, Frederick Tiedemann.

Mr. and Mrs. Holle have had six children, three sons and three daughters. Two daughters are living. Minnie, the elder, is the wife of Mr. Tiedemann, and resides on Staten Island, doing business in New York City. The younger daughter, Caroline, is the wife of W. H. Houghton, of Milwaukee. Their other children died in infancy.

As already observed, Mr. Holle retired from business many years ago. He has improved much of his leisure time in pursuing his favorite studies of insect life, and has acquired a most valuable and interesting collection of butterflies, having specimens from various parts of the world, including Australia, Mexico, Panama, India, various parts of Europe, and nearly all specimens found in America. It would be impossible in this article to give a full description of this very interesting collection, but it would well repay all interested in this branch of natural history to examine this collection, as the writer has done through the courtesy of Mr. Holle. Mr. and Mrs. Holle have a pleasant home and are blessed with the comforts of life. They are numbered among the esteemed and respected citizens of Sheboygan.


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