Bio- Sawyers

F. H. HOLMES.—A successful, influential business man and rancher is F. H. Holmes of Morrill Road, two miles to the northeast of Berryessa. He is a native son and was born in San Francisco, March 15, 1865. His father, A. Holmes, a native of Maine, came to California and married Emily C. Foye, also a native of Maine. A. Holmes was the first principal of the State Normal at San Francisco. Going to Rio Vista to farm when a boy, Frank H. Holmes started his big collection of birds and skins. In 1886, he moved to San Jose to farm his uncle's ranch which consisted of 160 acres which he developed to prunes and apricots.

 He was married to Hattie Lake in 1890 in San Jose, a native of the Golden State and the daughter of an Argonaut. His mother is still living in Palo Alto at the age of eighty-two. In 1899 Mr. Holmes owned his first automobile, a Stanley Steamer, one of the very first in the valley. It was in this machine he made the first trip into Yosemite Valley, the first machine in and out under its own power. In 1905 he started to manufacture Sunset automobiles in San Francisco. Being burnt out by the 1906 fire he moved his factory to San Jose, the latter being sold in 1912. In 1892 he started in the fruit packing business, increasing his business each year until in 1917 he packed out as many as 160 carloads of fruit from the packing house during a season. Though leading a busy life as a rancher, manufacturer and packer, he devoted much of his time to collecting birds and to fishing, being a great lover of outdoor sports.

His two sons, William Roy and Ellis Holmes were born in 1892 and 1894, respectively. William Roy went first to Berryessa grammar school, then to San Jose high school and was graduated from the University of California in 1906 with a degree in pomology. Ellis Holmes went first to Berryessa school, then to Lick Polytechnic in San Francisco and later spent a year in Santa Clara College, finishing off his course of study in the agricultural school of the University of California at Davis. Now he and his brother are the owners of a ranch of 160 acres near Fresno, 120 acres of which is being set to table and raisin grapes, while forty acres are in fig trees, all being sixteen years old. The brothers alternate in assuming the executive or superintendents offices. They also manage the orange grove at Terra Bella in Tulare County, owned by their uncle and father, consisting of fifty acres in Navel and Valencia oranges eight years old. They are also silent partners of the W. J. Benson Company auto distributors of the Stephens automobile for Northern California, Nevada and the Islands. Both are Elks, William Roy Holmes belonging to San Jose Lodge No. 522 and Ellis Holmes to Fresno Lodge No. 437. William Roy is also a Mason.

 Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1107


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight