Irving B. Holley collection of family papers, 1777-2008

Holley, I. B.,. Jr (Irving Brinton), 1919-2013


38.5 linear feet (37 boxes and cartons).
An extensive collection of family papers gathered by I.B. Holley, Jr. in preparation for writing a four-volume family history. Papers represent five generations of the family, most of whom lived in Salisbury or Torrington, Connecticut, and Lyon, New York. The bulk of the early documents include correspondence, deeds, legal documents, bills and accounts, wills and estate records, and writings such as essays and letters to the editor. Luther Holley's papers include licenses to sell liquor, and a record book for the Society for Promotion of Good Morals (1814). Luther's son Newman Holley was a lawyer and justice of the peace, and these roles are reflected in his papers that include writs, summonses, executions, and probate records. Orville Holley, another son of Luther, was a newspaper editor in New York for such papers as the Troy Sentinel and the Western Repository. He also served as New York State Surveyor General. Among his correspondents were abolitionist and social reformer Gerrit Smith of New York and Joseph Carew, a sculptor, about a memorial medal and statue for Orville's brother Myron, the founder of the LIberty Party, an anti-Masonic advocate, and an avid abolitionist. Orville also corresponded with a variety of publishers and politicians including Jared Sparks, Thurlow Weed, Amos Eaton, Emma Willard, Elkanah Watson, and Jonathan D. Dickinson. Myron Holley corresponded with his brothers and those letters will be found under each individual brother. Another son of Luther, Horace Holley was a minister and he is represented by several sermons. Although not directly related to this family, both Alexander H. Holley and Alexander L. Holley are represented by printed biographies. Newman Holley's son Francis Newman Holley, had interests in manufacturing as illustrated by records of the Union Manufacturing Co. and Wolcottville Brass. Also of note are legal records for the Swastika Gold Mining Company. Ransom Holley, a son of Newman Holley, is represented by mining and military papers, diaries, and correspondence. His brother Frederick's estate papers and an account book with labor costs are part of the collection. Irving B. Holley, son of Edward Hotchkiss Holley, courted Mary Sharp for a number of years and their correspondence is contained in the collection, along with letters about Irving's trip to Europe in 1909, and his involvement in politics. Both Mary and Irving kept diaries, and Mary also gathered genealogical data on the Sharp and Holley families. Irving was active in the real estate business and at one time was in a partnership called Mascetti & Holley, a general contracting company, whose financial and legal records can be found in the collection. A significant number of letters were exchanged by Lillian Holley and Cecil Baker before and after their marriage, particularly when he was at sea with the Navy. Horace H. Holley's papers include material related to the Baha'i faith. Irving and Mary Holley had son Irving B. who became a noted historian at Duke University. He kept the family history, including mementos from his own childhood including camp, school and university papers, military records from his service in World War II, samples of his own children's artwork, his diaries, and most importantly, his correspondence with his wife Janet Carlson Holley. Of particular note is his small collection of Nazi propaganda. A large portion of his papers include notes on various family members, and drafts for his unpublished family history. Other family members included in the collection are Maria Coffing Holley Rudd, Edward O. Holley, Amos Wheeler, Louise Hotchkiss, Etta Sharp, Robert Holley, and Sarah and Myron Holley, children of Frederick Holley.
Luther Holley (1751-1826) is the progenitor of the family. He was a merchant in Salisbury, Connecticut, and across the border in New York State and he sold bar iron. He married Sarah Dakin and together they had children John Milton (1777-1836); Myron (1779-1841) who was member of the New York State Assembly and served on the Canal Commission overseeing the construction of the Erie Canal; Horace (1781-1827), who was a minister and later president of Transylvania University; Edward Oramel (1783-1848) who was in the New York State militia; Newman (1785-1857), who was a merchant and also owned a blast furnace; and Orville Luther (1791-1861), publisher and politician. Newman Holley married Sally Stiles and they had children Francis Newman, Ransom (who was mining in Wisconsin and California), Mary, and Frederick. Francis Newman married Eliza Ann Hotchkiss and their children were Edward Hotchkiss Holley of Torrington, Connecticut, and Horace (1824-1874). Edward H. Holley married Nellie Wheeler and they had children Francis Newman, Horace, Irving B. (1883-1971), Lawrence H. and Lillie Wheeler Holley. The brothers enjoyed a lively correspondence and frequently went on fishing trips together. Francis (Frank) was a member of the League of American Wheelmen. Irving B. Holley married Mary Sharp and they had children Irving B. and Mary (known as Polly). Irving married Janet Carlson and they had son Irving and daughters Susan and Janet. Irving was a professor of history at Duke University, and was a graduate of Wilbraham Academy, Amherst College and Yale Univertsity.
Irving B. Holley Collection of Family Papers, 1777-2008, Ms 100894. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
available in the library.

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