J. S. Hollingsworth, one of the progressive and enterprising fruit men of the Mesa county, living in the vicinity of Grand Junction, is a Southerner by birth and training, and has all the independence of thought and action and the self- reliance characteristic of that section. He is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina, born in 1832, and the son of John and Araminta (Hobbs) Hollingsworth, the fifth of their twelve children. His boyhood and youth were spent in his native state and he received his education in its district schools. At the age of twenty-one he crossed the pains to Sacramento, California, driving ox teams for McCord & Company from St. Joseph, Missouri, to that city. Most of the intervening country was wholly unoccupied by white men, and the Indians, always crafty and treacherous, were at the time hostile too, and the expedition with which he was connected had a great deal of trouble with them, a number of the men in the outfit being killed and wounded. He remained in Lassen county, California, until 1860 engaged in mining and prospecting, then moved to Silver City, Idaho, where he passed a year after which he was occupied for four years prospecting in the British possessions. From there he came again to the United States, and purchasing a band of horses at The Dalles in Oregon, drove them to the Green river country in Wyoming, where he sold them at a good profit. He then went to Fort Laramie, in that state, and secured a contract to put up hay and wood for the United States government. At the conclusion of this engagement he made his way to the Black Hills in Dakota, and there spent some time mining and prospecting at Deadwood and Custer City. In the autumn of 1879 he took up his residence at Salida, this state, where he remained until 1882 when he came to Grand Junction. Here he followed farming on the plateau for three years, then moved down on Grand river and lived in the canyon until the railroad trains killed his cattle. This forced him to move again and he purchased the place he now occupies, comprising about fifteen acres of land and devoted to raising apples. He has been successful in this enterprise, the soil and other conditions being well adapted to the business, and has secured a good rank among the producers of choice fruit in this part of the country. He has also been active and serviceable in aiding the development and improvement of the section, serving as road master while living on the plateau and in other capacities then and since. He is a Democrat in politics, and gives the principles and candidates of his party loyal support at all times. In 1875 he was united in marriage with Miss Mary Conway, a native of Canada, who aids greatly in making his home attractive to his numerous friends and dispensing the generous hospitality for which it is widely known.
Source: Bowen, A. W. Progressive Men of Western Colorado. Chicago: A. W. Bowen & Co., Publishers. 1905.