William E. Holmes, Comanche County, Kansas Hosted by RootsWeb, the oldest & largest FREE genealogical site. Click here to visit RootsWeb.
Bibliography     Biography     Cemeteries     Churches    Cities & Towns     Clubs     Contributors     Diamond Jubilee    Events     FAQ     Genealogy     Guest Book - Sign     Guest Book - View     History     Links     Maps     News Articles     Newspapers     Opry     Photos     Poetry     Queries     Records     Resources    Satellite Images     Schools     Search     Veterans     HOME

The Wilmore News, March 23, 1928.

Funeral of W.E. Holmes

Funeral services for W. E. Holmes were held from the Christian church in Wilmore, Saturday afternoon. Rev. Harry Carr, local pastor, was in charge. The floral offerings were very beautiful. Owing the impassible conditions of the roads due to the recent snow storms, many friends were prevented from attending. Interment was made in the Wilmore cemetery.


William E. Holmes was born August 2, 1854 at Revenwood, Jackson county, West Virginia.

His parents moved to Racine, Ohio where he grew to manhood. While living in the East he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Lee. To this union were born five children: Merle, Ada, Clarence, Stella, and Orval.

They came to Kansas in 1886. Here his wife departed this life while living in Sun City, Kansas.

He was united in marriage to Dora Owens at Cedarville, Kansas, July 20, 1895. To this union were born four children: Iva, R. T., Zelma and Lucille.

He passed to his eternal rest March 13, 1928, after a brief illness of one week, age 73 years, 7 months, and 11 days.

Mr. Holmes was converted when about 35 years of age. He was a member of the Methodist church at Cedarville, Kansas, but after moving to Wilmore he united with the Christian church which was his parents belief. He was also a member of the Camp of Modern Woodmen of America at Cedarville, having held membership there for 35 years.

He leaves to mourn his loss, his wife and children, Stella, having preceded him at home in Missoula, Montana, February 3, 1925, twelve grandchildren and one great grandchild, and three brothers living in the East.

William E. Holmes, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

Photo courtesy of Kim Fowles.
William E. Holmes, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo courtesy of Kim Fowles.

Hattie Lee Owens, William E. Holmes, Mrs. Wm. E. Holmes

Photo courtesy of Kim Fowles.
Left to right: Hattie Lee Owens, William E. Holmes, Mrs. Wm. E. Holmes

Hattie Lee Owens (later wife of Frank Hoagland) buried in Sun City

Will E. Holmes (uncle of Hattie Lee Owens and then years later her brother in law) - Buried Wilmore

Mrs. Will E. Holmes (This was his first wife, Elizabeth Lee Holmes) Family legend has it that she died in Lake City Kansas. No stone.

This photo was taken in Wirt County West Virginia before they came West - so prior to 1885.

Photo and comments courtesy of Kim Fowles.

Marriage license: W.E. Holmes and Dora E. Owens.

Document courtesy of Kim Fowles.
Marriage license: William E. Holmes and Dora E. Owens
Document courtesy of Kim Fowles.

Biography: William E. Holmes

William E. Holmes was born on 8/2/1854, to Isaac M. Holmes and Sarah [Unknown], in Ravenswood, Jackson County Virginia [now WV]. Except for a brief foray in Jackson County, the Holmes family lived primarily in northeastern Ohio, eventually settling in Miegs County, not far from the West Virginia families Will married into. On 4/27/1879, he married Mary Elizabeth Lee, born 4/30/1854 in Wirt County Virginia [now WV]. She was the daughter of Capt. John Baker Lee, CSA, and Rebecca Knotts Lee. To this union four children were born: William A. Holmes, Jan 1880; Ada Mae Holmes (Mrs. Krause), 5/12/1881; Merle and Stella (d. 1925 Montana), both born after 1881.

Around 1885 the Holmes family moved to Kansas. Elizabeth died not long after arriving and is said to be buried in Lake City, Kansas [exact date and burial location unknown]. With four young children to raise, Will then married Elizabeth's sister, Ursula Ann Lee (born 9/19/1856), around 1883, location unknown. A son, Orville L., was born to the couple, birth date and location unknown. Ursula Ann Lee Holmes died sometime before 1895 and is said to be buried in Cedar Vale, Kansas.

Will was converted at the age of 35 and was a member of the Cedar Vale Methodist Church. It was at Cedar Vale that Will (then a resident of Cowley County, Kansas) married his third wife, Dora Owens, daughter of Rev. Charles Wesley Owens and Sarah C. Lee, on 7/23/1895. Dora’s mother, Sarah, was the sister of Will Holmes' first two wives. Dora was born 9/6/1874 in Palestine, WV, and came to Kansas with her father and two sisters around 1885/1886. As a young child in WV Dora and her sister, Hattie, were boarding a riverboat when Dora fell overboard. Neither girl knew how to swim and Dora went under twice and the third time Hattie grabbed Dora’s long hair and held on until help arrived. Her mother had died on 2/18/1883 in Palestine WV. Her father was a Baptist minister and held pastorates in Sun City and Belvidere.

Five children were born to Will and Dora: Iva Clarice (Mrs. C. Van Lott), 8/13/1897; Clarence, 8/12/1899; Raymond T., "Red," 4/2/1900; Zelma (Mrs. Paul Ungles), 7/13/1904; and Lucille, 9/16/1914. Dora frequently spent time in Sun City with her sisters, Hattie Lee Hoagland and Lillie Lee Bullock, and in Belvidere with her father and stepmother, Mary A. (Molie) Rathbone Owens. Molie's mother was a second cousin of Ulysses S. Grant.

Little is known about William E. Holmes, although census records indicate he was a farmer. He made his home in a number of places before settling in Wilmore. Some of those places were Sun City, Cedar Vale, unknown town in Cowley County and Granada, Colorado. Will died on 3/13/1928, and is buried in Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Kansas. Dora died on 2/6/1958, and is buried with him. Both Will & Dora were members of the Christian Church in Wilmore.

Submitted by Elaine W. Krause & Kim Hoagland Fowles.

Gravestone of Dora E. & William E. Holmes,

Wilmore Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. 

Photo by John Edward (Ed) Schrock, 
used with permission of Janet Schrock Hubbard.
Gravestone of Dora E. & William E. Holmes
Lot #189, Powell Township Cemetery, Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.
Photo by John Edward (Ed) Schrock.

Lt. Gerald Lee Lott, USNR, grandson of W.E. and Dora Holmes.

Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site and to Elaine W. Krause & Kim Hoagland Fowles for the above history!

This RootsWeb website is being created by HTML Guy Jerry Ferrin with the able assistance of many Contributors. Your comments, suggestions and contributions of historical information and photographs to this site are welcome. Please sign the Guest Book. This page was last updated 23 June 2005.