Mrs. Sophia E. Holmes, who would have reached her 96th birthday had she lived until next October, passed away at the home of her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Carrie Holmes, in this city Wednesday of last week at 10 a.m. She had been in declining health in the home during the past four years.
Funeral services for Mrs. Holmes were held in the Methodist church in this city at 11 o'clock last Friday morning and were in charge of the pastor, Rev. Donald A. Kessler. Mrs. Martha Anderson and Mrs. Geneva Hewett sang "It Is Well with My Soul" and "Blessed Assurance" and Mrs. Anderson sang "I'm a Pilgrim," accompanied on the organ by Mrs. Rachel Booth.
A graveside service was held in the cemetery at Parker, Kansas, at 10 a.m. last saturday and burial was by the side of her husband in the family lot. The pallbearers were Fred Anderson, Donald Booth, Arlie Gray, Harold Ellis, Vernon Pepperd and Bill Brewer.
Sophia Elizabeth Armstrong was born to Sylvester and Elizabeth Armstrong on October 4, 1854, in Lafayette, Ill., and passed away in Coldwater, Kans., July 12, 1950.
At the age of three years she came with her parents to Linn county, Kansas where they homesteaded a claim two miles north of Cadmus. She was brought up in a Christian home and became acquainted with the valuable things of life at a very early age. While in Linn county she taught school for a period of time.
On October 4, 1878, she was united in marriage with Curtis B. Holmes and they moved to Rooks county to make their home. Mr. Holmes had previously filed on a homestead there. While living in Rooks county Mrs. Holmes taught two more terms of school. One son, Elza, was born while they were making their home there. They moved back to eastern Kansas where two sons, Lloyd and Orlo, were born. They engaged in farming in Linn county until 1901, when she was left a widow by the death of her husband on April 25.
Following the death of her husband she went to Meade county to file on a homestead. While they were proving on a claim she made her home at Meade and Coldwater. In 1904 she came to Coldwater to make her permanent home.
Mrs. Holmes lived a very active life in Coldwater, being very much interested in church work and civic affairs. She was especially interested in the young people, wanting them to have all the advantages the Christian faith could offer. In 1927, she organized the Klover Club, which was for the purpose of young mothers getting together to study the Sunday School lessons. Later, the name, "Holmes Bible Study Club" was adopted and an organized Bible course was studied. A room in the Comanche County Hospital was furnished and will be dedicated to her memory by the club.
She served as city librarian in Coldwater and enjoyed her work very much. She taught the young married people's class of the Methodist church for quite a number of years.
When Mrs. Holmes began to fail in health, her sister, Mrs. Susie Hughes, came here to make her home and care for her. She lived here until her own health began to fail and on July 12, 1946, Mrs. Holmes went to live with her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Carrie Holmes, who faithfully cared for her until she passed away at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 12, 1950. At the time of her death she was 95 years, 9 months and 8 days of age.
She leaves two sons, Elza, of Topeka and Orlo of Santa Monica, Calif., and two brothers, Willis and Horace Armstrong of Parker, Kans. Besides those already mentioned, she is survived by seven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, a number of nieces and nephews and a host of friends. Her son, Lloyd, three sisters and four brothers preceded her in death.
Also see: "Elza Orville and Carrie Holmes" and "Elza O. Holmes, Jr." in Comanche County History, pages 451 and 452. Both histories include family photos.
Thanks to Shirley Brier for finding, transcribing and contributing the above news article to this web site!
Photo at top of page: Mrs. Holmes of Coldwater, Kansas. Photo by John Edward Schrock, used with permission of Janet (Schrock) Hubbard.
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