William Holgate was formerly active in various lines of
business, and as all of his undertakings proved profitable he gained financial
independence and is now living retired in Wyoming. His birth occurred in Penn
township, Stark county, April 15, 1844, and he is a son of James Holgate, a
sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work. Our subject was reared upon the
family homestead and entered the district schools at the usual age, attending
for six months a year until he was twelve years old and for three months a year
until he was seventeen years of age.
On the 12th of August, 1862, when little more than
eighteen years old, Mr. Holgate enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Twelfth
Illinois Volunteer Infantry, under T. J. Henderson, and went to the front with
that command. He was wounded in the shoulder at Atlanta and was in a hospital
for four months. He was also held a prisoner at Belle Island for five months,
but during the rest of the time was with his company and participated in the
battles in which his regiment engaged. He was mustered out on the 15th of July,
1865, and was honorably discharged at Chicago and then returned to Stark county,
where he engaged in farming on his own account, owning two hundred and
seventy-five acres in Penn township. In 1876 he bought out a private bank in old
Wyoming, nationalized the institution and served as its president until the
charter was given up. He has been president of five different banks and has
never held any other position in any of them. For seventeen years he conducted a
furniture and undertaking business in Wyoming and proved as successful as a
merchant as he had as a farmer and financier. Although he has now retired from
active life he still owns nine hundred and sixty acres of land in Kansas and
derives a handsome income from that investment.
Mr. Holgate was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte A.
Kissinger, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1845 and is a daughter of Alexander
and Nancy (Snare) Kissinger, natives of Martinsburg, Pennsylvania.
Her father followed the tailorís trade in early manhood, but in 1847 came to
Stark county, Illinois, and acquired title to two hundred and forty acres of
land in Penn township, which he cultivated until called by death. His wife is
also deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Holgate have two daughters: Carrie, the wife of
Charles A. Smith, a merchant of Wyoming; and Cora, who married Lyman Graves,
also a resident of Wyoming. There was a third daughter, Katie, who married M. A.
Sparr, but who has passed away.
Mr. Holgate has always been a stalwart republican and
has done all in his power to advance the interests of that party although all
the rest of the family have been democrats and he was reared in that political
belief. He is well known throughout the county, and all who have had dealings
with him recognize his ability and sound judgment. He is one of the leading
citizens of Wyoming, and his home is one of the fine residences of the town.