Biography of Oscar Holland

Oscar Holland, the originator of potato-growing in the vicinity of Carbondale, and since he started it one of the most extensive and successful promoters of the industry, is a self-made man, whose fortunes have been builded by himself without outside aid or favoring circumstances. He is made of a fiber that would have found a vigorous growth anywhere, whatever the conditions, for he has eyes to see and energy to take hold of and properly use his opportunities, and even in adversities can find a means of grace to better his estate. He was born near Platte City, Missouri, on July 16, 1863, and is the son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth E. Holland, the former a native of Missouri and the latter of West Virginia. The father, who is still living in Platte county of his native state, is a farmer and also engaged in general stock-growing on a large scale. He has been successful in his business and is comfortably fixed in the way of worldly wealth. The mother died in 1881. Of their five children three are living, William, Nora, now Mrs. John Cozine, and Oscar. The school advantages of the last named were very limited, being compassed within an irregular attendance at the common schools for a few months in the winter of two or three years. He assisted his parents on the home farm until 1883, when he became a resident of Colorado, coming hither without money or other capital except his natural abilities and determined spirit. He located in the Crystal river valley on his arrival, and for a time worked for wages there. He was industrious and frugal, and in a little while had accumulated enough money to venture upon a ranch of his own, which he took up by pre-emption, and which is a part of the one he now possesses and works. He has added by purchase to his original tract until he owns eight hundred and sixty acres of land in the vicinity of Carbondale in Garfield county, four hundred of which are easy to cultivate by natural and artificial irrigation for which he has sufficient water. Early in his experience here he introduced into the region the extensive cultivation of potatoes, and this has been his crowning success in farming and is now his most profitable source of revenue. He also raises some grain and hay and has a good-sized herd of fine cattle. He has his land all well fenced, and the dwelling and other buildings he has erected on it are commodious and comfortable in scope and convenient and tasteful in arrangement. He is in the first rank of Garfield county ranchmen and owes his position to his own energy, enterprise and breadth of view. In political affairs he supports the Democratic party, and in fraternal life he is a Freemason of the Royal Arch degree. He was married on June 29, 1887, to Miss Hattie Thompson, a native of Missouri. Energetic, capable and successful in his business, earnestly and intelligently active in public affairs, thoroughly devoted to the welfare of his home neighborhood and county, and mingling freely, according to his opportunities, in the social life around him, Mr. Holland occupies a high place in the regard of his fellow citizens, and is easily one of the best and most representative men in his section.

Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.

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