Nicholas Howell Holmes D.D., a former pastor of the Methodist Episcopal
church in this place, died in Washington, D.C. on Friday night, in the
74th year of his age. Readers of the Courier have been advised of the
long and painful illness through which Dr. Holmes passed before death
came as a welcome relief. Rev. Holmes was born in Denmark, Dec. 29th,
1841, and came to America in 1858 locating in Chautauqua county, New
York, where he was making his home when he answered Lincoln’s second
call for volunteers, enlisting in the New York Sharpshooters. He served
through the war and was with the army of General Grant at Lee’s
surrender at Appomattox. He was captured by rebels in 1864 and was
confined in Libby, Belle Isle and Salisbury prisons, making his escape
from the latter in a Confederate uniform and walking the entire distance
to the Union lines at the Ohio river, where he arrived in time to vote
for Lincoln in November. After the war he entered Allegheny college from
which he graduated. He entered the Erie Conference of the M.E. church in
1872 and was assigned to Conneautville as his first charge. From this
place, he was called to serve the best charges in the conference, as
pastor at North East, Franklin, New Castle and other cities. He was
transferred from the Erie to the Pittsburgh conference where he served
at President of the Pittsburgh Female College, and on charges in a
number of cities. A few years ago he was appointed a chaplain in the
U.S. Army and stationed at Washington, where he also served as associate
pastor of one of the largest churches in the city. He was a man of
strong character, broad education and genial disposition, and ranked
among the leading ministers of the M.E. church in the United States. As
Conneautville was his first pastorate and his first home was established
here, he always called our town his home, and until of late years was a
frequent visitor here. He preached the sermon at the open air services
opening Conneautville’s Centennial celebration in August 1914. And was
as interested participant in the exercises throughout the week. He was
married in 1873 to Miss Effie Gleason, of Conneautville, a sister of
Mrs. Sarah C. Sturtevant of this place. Mrs. Holmes died in 1902 leaving
two sons, Dr. Ralph W. Holmes of Chillicothe, Ohio, and William G.
Holmes of Cleveland, and two daughters, Mrs. Jacob Fredrick and Mrs.
John McFeeley, both of Pittsburgh. In 1904 Rev. Holmes was married to
Mrs. Lillian Crawford of New Castle, who survives him. The remains were
brought to Conneautville on Sunday and funeral services held in the M.E.
church in the afternoon, the pastor, Rev. R. B. Davids officiating, and
being assisted by Rev. A.M. Lockwood a former pastor, and internment in
Conneautville cemetery.. The funeral party was made up of Mrs. N. H.
Holmes, Dr. Ralph W. Holmes, Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Holmes, Mr. and Mrs.
Fredrick, Mr. and Mrs. McFeeley, Mrs. Sarah G. Sturtevant, and Mr. and
Mrs. Paul Sturtevant. All returned to Pittsburgh the same evening.
Conneautville Courier, December 15, 1915
Submitted by Janet