Jonathan Fairbanks and Clyde Edwin Tuck

Past and Present of Greene County, Missouri • ca. 1914

Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens

T. BLONDVILLE HOLLAND. True biography has a more noble purpose than mere fulsome eulogy. The historic spirit, faithful to the record; the discerning judgment, unmoved by prejudice and uncolored by enthusiasm, are as essential in giving the life of the individual as in writing the history of a people. Indeed, the ingenuousness of the former picture is even more vital, because the individual is the national unit, and if the unit be justly estimated the complex organism will become correspondingly intelligible. The world today is what the leading men of the past generation have made it, and this rule must ever hold good. From the past comes the legacy of the present. Art, science, statesmanship and government are accumulations. They constitute an inheritance upon which the present generation have entered, and the advantages secured from so vast a bequeathment depend entirely upon the fidelity with which is conducted the study of the lives of the principal actors who have transmitted the legacy. This is especially true of those whose influence has passed beyond the confines of locality and permeated the larger life of the state. To such a careful study are the life, character and service of the late T. Blondville Holland pre-eminently entitled, not only on the part of the student of biography, but also of every citizen who, guided by example, would in the present build wisely for the future. In studying a clean-cut, sane, distinct character like that of the subject, interpretation follows fact in a straight line of derivation. There is small use for indirection or puzzling. His character is the positive expression of a strong nature. As has been said of him, "he was distinctively one of the notable man of his day and generation, and as such is entitled to a conspicuous place in the annals of his city, county and state." Mr. Holland was a member of one of the oldest, best-known and most influential families of Greene county, Missouri, and in his lifetime had engaged widely in various business pursuits, and as head of the great banking company which has long borne his name, he wielded a potent influence in financial circles of the Southwest. Despite the fact that his father was a wealthy man, he began early to make his own way. He traveled by horse long distance in his youth in live stock deals and by exceptional ability in his efforts became wealthy in his own right. His name had become a household synonym of conservativeness, as trustworthy as a gold bond.

Mr. Holland was a son of Gen. C. B. and Emiline H. (Bigbee) Holland, the latter a daughter of Capt. John S. Bigbee. T. Blondville Holland born in Robertson county, Tennessee, January 1,1836. .He immigrated Springfield, Missouri, with his, parents in the spring of 1841, and here the rest of his life. The family made the tedious journey from across Tennessee plains and the rugged range of -the Ozark mountains. At time Springfield had only a few small log huts, one of which the father of our subject rented. As no furniture could be bought, the elder Holland made his own furniture out of walnut rails from a fence nearby which he purchased from John P. Campbell, who donated the original townsite where now stands. With General Holland and family also came John L. Holland, his brother, who still lives in Springfield at the advanced age of ninety-five years. He and the General were among the first merchants in this city. The two brothers married sisters. Lee Holland, a. son of J. L. Holland, was a double cousin to T. B. Holland.

In the beginning of the Civil war our subject enlisted in the Union Army under his father, Gen. C. B. Holland, and served with distinction throughout the war. He was at one time offered and refused an officer's commission. He took much pride in the military history of his ancestors and was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. His father being a self-made man, he believed in boys assuming responsibilities in early life and at the age of eighteen years, T. B. Holland started in a small mercantile business for himself at a point which at that time was in Taney now near the town of Rome, Douglas county, Missouri. Although the business proved successful, after two years he disposed of same and returned to Springfield where he later entered into a partnership business with his father under the firm name of C. B.- Holland & Son, which proved successful. Both dealt in live stock also, and later added the banking business. The partnership was continued until the death of the father in 1901. During the early partnership before the war our subject several times drove horses and-mules overland clear through from Springfield to New Orleans. After the war a general mercantile business was conducted in Springfield by C. B. Holland & Son which was continued until 1870. In the year 1875 the banking business was established as a private bank, which was likewise conducted under the firm name of C. B. Holland & Son and continued until 1896, when it was incorporated as the Holland Banking Company and has been conducted under that name ever since. Our subject was associated with the bank until his death and was president of the same the latter years of his life. Mr. Holland was a strong character of sterling worth whose integrity and honor was his religion, and it was largely these characteristics injected into the business that won the Holland Banking Company the high standing in the community which it enjoys today. Mr. Holland was the first president of the Springfield Clearing House Association.

The domestic life of T. B. Holland began in 186o when he was united in marriage with Matilda Dade, a young lady of St. Louis and a sister to the late Dabne C. Dade,. of Springfield, and a daughter of Judge John Dade. She died in 1875. This union resulted in the birth of five children two of whom died in infancy, and two sons, T. D. and W. C., died after reaching manhood. The eldest daughter, Cora B., died in 1901. She was the wife of William B. Sanford, now president of the Holland Banking Company. To Mr. and Mrs. Sanford one child was born, Grady H. Sanford. T. B. Holland was remarried in 1877 to Miss B. A. Hamilton, who survives him, with four children, all living and married; they are: Charles proprietor of the Holland Stock and Dairy Farm near Springfield; Mrs. Will Darby, who resides with her mother in Springfield; Mrs. Manney Simmons, and Mrs. Clifford Jarrett.

In 1911 Mr. Holland sold a controlling interest of stock of the Holland Banking Company to William B. Sanford.

Mr. Holland was prominently identified with the making of Springfield, doing as much as any other man for the material upbuilding of the city in which he always had implicit faith and took so great a delight. He was a large contributor to all public enterprises and charities but avoided publicity therewith. He was a member of the first board of trustees of Drury College and remained a close friend of this institution throughout his life, especially through its early struggles until it was well on the road to success. In the big fire that visited the heart of the business district of Springfield in the spring of 1913, Mr. Holland was the heaviest property loser, he having accumulated considerable property in this section of the city.

After a period of ill health T. Blondville Holland was summoned to close his earthly career at the Holland home on St. Louis street, Springfield, on July 30, 1913, in his seventy-eighth year, after a long, useful, successful and honorable life, fraught with much good to his county, city, himself, family and the world, and the young man of today might well emulate his example, not only in a business way but in all walks of life, for his career presents to the contemplative mind many lessons of value.


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