Author Archives: James D. Holland

About James D. Holland

I'm a former local government planner turned real estate agent turned safety manager turned Chamber of Commerce Director, turned marketing sales representative... phew. I enjoy writing about Abilene's history, businesses, events, politics, and anything else that interests me.

Franklin Bradford Bearce (1847-1906) – Clothing, Shoes, and Home Furnishing Merchant

Franklin Bradford Bearce, son of Zebulon Harlow Bearce and Harriet B. Bradford was born in Turner, Maine on March 4, 1847.  Frank grew up on Turner and by 1881 he was working in Chicago as a wholesale clothing dealer.  In … Continue reading

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Francis M. Whitlaw (1852-1908), Grocer

Francis M. Whitlaw was born in Ireland in March of 1852 and married Medora M. Ames.  Medora was a native of Ohio.  Francis was a farmer and by 1881 owned a farm south of Enterprise, Kansas on Carrie Creek.  He … Continue reading

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Charles Christian Shaler (1852-1926) – Druggist

On May 31, 1852, David Shaler and Martha Dwyer of Ankenytown, Ohio, were blessed with the birth of their son, Charles Christian Shaler.  Charles’ mother died when he was six years and at an early age assisted his father with … Continue reading

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James Clinton Holland (1853-1919), Architect

James Clinton Holland was born in a log cabin in Lima, Ohio on April 2, 1853 to Barton Andrew Holland and Lydia Osmon.  He attended public school in Lima, Ohio and as a young man enrolled in the Northern Ohio … Continue reading

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Martin Thomas Hildinger (1862-1932), The Merchant

Martin Thomas Hildinger, merchant and real estate broker, arrived in Abilene in the fall of 1911 and lived in the Central Hotel.  Prior to his arrival, he had been a dry goods merchant in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas for over a … Continue reading

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