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Biography of Jennie F. Holmes

Holmes, Jennie F. - Mrs. Jennie Florella, temperance worker, born on a farm in Jersey county, Illinois, 26th February, 1842. Her maiden name was Hurd. Her early years were spent in her native place. In 1859 she commenced the collegiate course of study in Lombard University, Galesburg, Ill., one of the few educational institutions that then gave equal opportunities to both sexes. At the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 she, like many others, cast aside the student's mantle and entered active life, teaching and, being a staunch Unionist, giving good service to the Soldiers' Aid Society of Jerseyville. In 1866 she became the wife of Charles A. Holmes, of Jefferson, Wis., who had served three years as captain in the 29th Wisconsin Regiment. With her husband and two daughters she removed to Tecumseh, Neb., in September, 1871. Earnest and untiring in her advocacy of the temperance cause and of equal political rights for both sexes, she immediately allied herself with these elements in Nebraska, and in the winter of 1881 she became a member of the first woman's suffrage convention held in the State, and labored for the amendment submitted at that session of the legislature. She was chairman of the executive committee of the State Suffrage Society from 1881 to 1884. In 1884 she was elected president of the State Woman's Christian Temperance Union, which office she held for three years. She was elected delegate-at-large from Nebraska to the National Prohibition Party Convention, held in Indianapolis in 1888. In her ardent love for the cause she considered this the crowning honor of her laborious life. She was an active member of the Woman's Relief Corps, and was sent a delegate to the Woman's Relief Corps convention held in Milwaukee in 1889. She was warmly interested in educational affairs in her own little city, as well as abroad. She was made a member of the school board in 1891. Mrs. Holmes had a family of eight children, four of whom are living. She died in her home in Tecumseh, 20th March, 1892.

(Source: American Women, by Frances Elizabeth Willard, Mary Ashton Rice Livermore, Vol 1, 1897. Transcribed by Marla Snow)