Collections Carousel – W.P.A. Biographies

The foundation of the Morrison County Historical Society (MCHS) and its dedication to the history of Morrison County can be directly traced to the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) biographies that were gathered during the early years of the organization.  With well over one thousand biographies gathered, these documents have long formed the basis of the Family Files at the museum.  Even with the occasional error, sometimes due to the transcription process or to the fluctuating nature of memories, the biographies are excellent oral histories that record events and impressions that would often otherwise have been lost.  From 1936 until 1939, when W.P.A. funding was cut, approximately one-third of Morrison County families had been interviewed for the project.  Below is the biography of Mrs. Elizabeth Lambert Holmes (WPA #1107).  If you are interested in discovering whether MCHS has a W.P.A. biography related to your family, let us know (320/632-4007;  The biographies are available for photocopying and/or reading onsite.

Mrs. Elizabeth Lambert Holmes was born in Bellevue Township, Minnesota, March 1863. She is the daughter of James Lambert and Ruth Peters Lambert. For history of the Lambert family see the biography of Mrs. William L. Farnam. Elizabeth Lambert attended district school in Bellevue and married John Holmes, at her father’s farm home, in 1880.
John Holmes was born in Eastern Canada in 1855. He was the son of Henry Holmes and Susan Holmes. From Canada he came to live with his sister, Mrs. Thomas M. Young, whose husband was a Dr., in Two Rivers, Minn.
After their marriage in 1880 Mr. and Mrs. Holmes lived in Royalton for nine years.
Mr. Holmes was a builder and contractor. In 1889 they moved from Royalton to Seattle where Mr. Holmes followed the same business. Seattle was quite wild at that time. Mrs. Holmes said, “The first summer we lived in Seattle my small boys were out playing. Suddenly I saw a large cougar in the front yard, and feared he would eat the boys before I could find them. Fortunately they were quite safe behind the house. The cougar measured nine feet when killed.”
Mr. and Mrs. Holmes had five children.
1-Mac(x) Lambert Holmes; Born in Royalton; Married Charlotte Toothaker in Seattle; They have two children, Charles Lambert Holmes and Ralph J. Holmes;Reside in California (Seattle).
2-Lew Forest Holmes; Born in Royalton; Married Madeline Kelleher at Seattle; Was Sergeant in France during the World War; Has no children; Resides in Seattle.
3-Ralph Weldon Holmes; Born in Royalton; Married; Has no children; Served in Siberia during the World War; Came home disabled; (Resides in San Francisco Cal.).
4-Hazel Marion Holmes Roullard; Born in Seattle; Married Joel Roullard in Seattle; Has two children, Betty Marion and Richard Holmes; Resides in Seattle.
5-Dorothy Holmes Roullard; Born in Seattle; Married William Roullard in Seattle; They have no children; Reside in Seattle.
John Holmes died in Seattle in 1913. Mrs. Elizabeth Lambert Holmes is a member of the Eastern Star and the Methodist Church.
She resides at 1502 East Lake St., Seattle where she has lived for thirty-four years.

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