Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bill Holmes of New Vienna Ohio

Many of us remember Bill Holmes (b. 1884) as the ultimate "it's a perfect fit" salesman at Huffman Clothing, downtown, Main Street, New Vienna Ohio.
Huffman Clothing, New Vienna Ohio c1960 (Sesquicentennial Display) - Image courtesy of Mike Whited

Here's pictures of him at two different stages of his life:
M.R. Harris Grocery, Iron Building c1915, New Vienna Ohio, later became Daye Hardware.  Pictured Harry Curtis, Bill Holmes and M.R. Harris - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited
Bill Holmes, Huffman Clothing c1970? - Image Courtesy of Mike Whited


The 1910 Census shows William H. Holmes (26), wife Norma E. (29), son Harold G. (8), Daughter Thelma J. (6), and son Burdette (3).  Bill is listed as a grocery clerk.  


In the 1920 Census W.H. "Bill" Holmes  was 36, clothing store clerk, wife Norma 39, daughter Thelma, "very brilliant" 15, son Burdette 13.  Thelma later became a teacher in Columbus.  [No mention of Harold, who would now be 18, in Ohio.]


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Further information on Huffman Clothing can be found here.  

4 comments:

  1. From Chuck Collier: Great job Catherine & we ALL love it!! Mike Whited....i have to look you up this summer & see all of those pics!! We have a bunch of NV historians on the [email] list. Help me out here gang.........but the pic of Bill Holmes has got to be in the 1970's. we didn't wear wide ties in the 60's & Bill looks very old in that photo. I'd heard that when he was in his 90's, a dog caused him to fall over at the Shell station & that was the beginning of the end. If you remember, he lived right across the street. The Huffman pic can't be from 1930. Bill didn't buy it until maybe the mid--late 1950's. Penny or Gretchen could tell you. it was Phillips Clothing before....remember gang...it was Harley Phillips who ran it. He was an old gentleman who'd had throat cancer & talked through the hole in his throat.

    [Editor's Note: I'll change the dates when we get a consensus.]

    From Mike Whited: Didn't Bill always call everyone Honey?! I remember when Dad bought my first suit; it was from Bill.
  2. THAT'S the Bill Holmes I remember with the coke bottle glasses!
  3. I adjusted the dates and am publishing a new post on Bill Huffman. Here are more comments I received by email:

    From Chuck: [slightly edited] Bill Holmes was something else!! I can still hear that gruff, staccoto type voice & as i remember, he was chewing gum quite often. A true "character" of NV. avon theater, post office, dr. fullerton's, faris implement, the bank, carey's/john earl's barber shop, streber's, phiilip's/huffman clothing, noble's drug store, master's/sweeney's/minzler's grocery & pete demas' restaurant/jim chaney's barber shop.....a great row of shops in NV. i have abouit 6 of the NV bank calendars. there are some great pics in there....mostly from jo williams, homer's wife. one of the pics is of gleason streber in the 1930's......yes, catherine, they were there a long time!! what fun this is!! mike, a get together would much fun this summer.....we'll be in touch!!

    From Nancy H: Yes, I remember Harley Phillips. I had forgotten all about him until Chuck talked about him. I remember Bill driving VERY slow around town as did Doyle Wright and you had to watch out for them. It drove Dorothy Wright Johnson Bernard and Thelma crazy. They didn't want to take their keys away from them! I remember Thelma wearing red lipstick and she didn't put it on right. She was a lot fun to be around. I know she was a great teacher. I remember Mom talking about her brother Burdett in Columbus, but I don't remember her mentioning Harold. I have such fond memories of NV, but when I go back now it makes me so sad, because it has changed so much. I love all the stories and pictures that all of you have sent thru the e-mails. They bring back fond memories!! I think all of us need to take a day and get with Mike Whited and look at his pictures of NV!! Keep the stories and pictures coming. I will help you anyway I can. I can alway ask my brother David. He remembers things about NV that I have forgotten.

    Catherine adds: What did happen to Harold Holmes??

    Chuck adds: great memories nancy....LOVE IT!!!! and bill as i remember drove a black & white 1956 ford at one time & went, like nancy said, no more than 12 miles an hour......tom greene pulled him over once & said "bill, speed it up a bit"!!(just teasing)...

    From Marvin W: Oh the memories.....I don't remember the car he (Bill Holmes) was driving at the time, but I do remember watching him drive up and double park in front of the clothing store. The strange part about the situation was he didn't have to open the drivers door to get out. You see, there wasn't any door. I was told Bill lost the door in an accident and chose not to replace it. It just made it a lot easier for him to get in and out I guess. I have to admit it was a strange sight to see him drive through town.
  4. And more comments received by email:

    John U adds: I will guess the last picture of Bill Holmes was closer to 1970 as I remember him well from delivering the New Journal to the store in the late 60's and early 70's. And I do not recall him loooking as old as he does in that photo. This brought back some great memories for me. The paper route was some solid good business experience from an early age for us.

    From Jim S: I remember getting my first pair of regular basketball shoes at Huffmans and Bill took care of me they were the RED BALL JET SHOES I think KEDS made them. I also used to buy a lot of shirts from the store after I got out of High School. Like Marvin said I also remember Bill driving that car with the drivers door off. Bill sure was a salesman he sure could talk.

    John L adds: Did Bill Huffman buy the store from Harley Phillips and then later sell it to Bob Johnson or was it the other way around? I kind of think Bill still had the store for a while after he moved to Hillsboro. I can remember being up town well after Bill Holmes would have closed the store only to see him drive up, double park and go to the door of the store to make sure he had locked up. I guess that was rather common.

    Chuck adds: Bill bought it from harley...pretty sure. Does anyone other than me really remember harley & the esophageal speech he used due to his laryngectomy?? It's been a very long time ago. Also, no one seems to remember agin's furniture. Carl Agin had a furniture store next to the locker (where don mill's restaurant was later). As a kid, I spent much time in the locker with my aunt blanche. The furniture store wasn't there very long. They had a couople of kids.. skip & pam, I believe...we're talking 1955 or so. The store was not very clean...you wouldn't buy a sofa there. On the downward side of the locker was thorne's & later our store, if I remember correctly.

    Mike W - found an historical article from a 1960 WNJ, with the history of Huffman Clothing which is being posted soon. [To summarize – Bill Huffman bought it from the Phillips in 1958, the store originally opened in 1896 and Bill Holmes started working there in 1917.]

    Chuck: thanks mike.....mystery solved & a great piece of NV history. for more stuff like this, i ask you all to some time go to the CC library on n. south st. & go thru the WNJ micro films......they'll help you run the machines. it's really simple. if i can do it, any one can. i've spent many hours in there on my summer vacations in the past years. the films go back into the late 1800's. thanks again mike....it'll be great to see you this summer...it's been way too many years!! i have fond memories of you & your dad!!

4 comments:

Catherine said...

From Chuck Collier: Great job Catherine & we ALL love it!! Mike Whited....i have to look you up this summer & see all of those pics!! We have a bunch of NV historians on the [email] list. Help me out here gang.........but the pic of Bill Holmes has got to be in the 1970's. we didn't wear wide ties in the 60's & Bill looks very old in that photo. I'd heard that when he was in his 90's, a dog caused him to fall over at the Shell station & that was the beginning of the end. If you remember, he lived right across the street. The Huffman pic can't be from 1930. Bill didn't buy it until maybe the mid--late 1950's. Penny or Gretchen could tell you. it was Phillips Clothing before....remember gang...it was Harley Phillips who ran it. He was an old gentleman who'd had throat cancer & talked through the hole in his throat.

[Editor's Note: I'll change the dates when we get a consensus.]

From Mike Whited: Didn't Bill always call everyone Honey?! I remember when Dad bought my first suit; it was from Bill.

Mary Uible Crowson said...

THAT'S the Bill Holmes I remember with the coke bottle glasses!

Catherine said...

I adjusted the dates and am publishing a new post on Bill Huffman. Here are more comments I received by email:

From Chuck: [slightly edited] Bill Holmes was something else!! I can still hear that gruff, staccoto type voice & as i remember, he was chewing gum quite often. A true "character" of NV. avon theater, post office, dr. fullerton's, faris implement, the bank, carey's/john earl's barber shop, streber's, phiilip's/huffman clothing, noble's drug store, master's/sweeney's/minzler's grocery & pete demas' restaurant/jim chaney's barber shop.....a great row of shops in NV. i have abouit 6 of the NV bank calendars. there are some great pics in there....mostly from jo williams, homer's wife. one of the pics is of gleason streber in the 1930's......yes, catherine, they were there a long time!! what fun this is!! mike, a get together would much fun this summer.....we'll be in touch!!

From Nancy Henderson Hamilton: Yes, I remember Harley Phillips. I had forgotten all about him until Chuck talked about him. I remember Bill driving VERY slow around town as did Doyle Wright and you had to watch out for them. It drove Dorothy Wright Johnson Bernard and Thelma crazy. They didn't want to take their keys away from them! I remember Thelma wearing red lipstick and she didn't put it on right. She was a lot fun to be around. I know she was a great teacher. I remember Mom talking about her brother Burdett in Columbus, but I don't remember her mentioning Harold. I have such fond memories of NV, but when I go back now it makes me so sad, because it has changed so much. I love all the stories and pictures that all of you have sent thru the e-mails. They bring back fond memories!! I think all of us need to take a day and get with Mike Whited and look at his pictures of NV!! Keep the stories and pictures coming. I will help you anyway I can. I can alway ask my brother David. He remembers things about NV that I have forgotten.

Catherine adds: What did happen to Harold Holmes??

Chuck adds: great memories nancy....LOVE IT!!!! and bill as i remember drove a black & white 1956 ford at one time & went, like nancy said, no more than 12 miles an hour......tom greene pulled him over once & said "bill, speed it up a bit"!!(just teasing)...

From Marvin Walls: Oh the memories.....I don't remember the car he (Bill Holmes) was driving at the time, but I do remember watching him drive up and double park in front of the clothing store. The strange part about the situation was he didn't have to open the drivers door to get out. You see, there wasn't any door. I was told Bill lost the door in an accident and chose not to replace it. It just made it a lot easier for him to get in and out I guess. I have to admit it was a strange sight to see him drive through town.

Catherine said...

And more comments received by email:

John Uible adds: I will guess the last picture of Bill Holmes was closer to 1970 as I remember him well from delivering the New Journal to the store in the late 60's and early 70's. And I do not recall him loooking as old as he does in that photo. This brought back some great memories for me. The paper route was some solid good business experience from an early age for us.

From Jim Shaper: I remember getting my first pair of regular basketball shoes at Huffmans and Bill took care of me they were the RED BALL JET SHOES I think KEDS made them. I also used to buy a lot of shirts from the store after I got out of High School. Like Marvin said I also remember Bill driving that car with the drivers door off. Bill sure was a salesman he sure could talk.

John Levo adds: Did Bill Huffman buy the store from Harley Phillips and then later sell it to Bob Johnson or was it the other way around? I kind of think Bill still had the store for a while after he moved to Hillsboro. I can remember being up town well after Bill Holmes would have closed the store only to see him drive up, double park and go to the door of the store to make sure he had locked up. I guess that was rather common.

Chuck adds: Bill bought it from harley...pretty sure. Does anyone other than me really remember harley & the esophageal speech he used due to his laryngectomy?? It's been a very long time ago. Also, no one seems to remember agin's furniture. Carl Agin had a furniture store next to the locker (where don mill's restaurant was later). As a kid, I spent much time in the locker with my aunt blanche. The furniture store wasn't there very long. They had a couople of kids.. skip & pam, I believe...we're talking 1955 or so. The store was not very clean...you wouldn't buy a sofa there. On the downward side of the locker was thorne's & later our store, if I remember correctly.

Mike Whited - found an historical article from a 1960 WNJ, with the history of Huffman Clothing which is being posted soon. [To summarize – Bill Huffman bought it from the Phillips in 1958, the store originally opened in 1896 and Bill Holmes started working there in 1917.]

Chuck: thanks mike.....mystery solved & a great piece of NV history. for more stuff like this, i ask you all to some time go to the CC library on n. south st. & go thru the WNJ micro films......they'll help you run the machines. it's really simple. if i can do it, any one can. i've spent many hours in there on my summer vacations in the past years. the films go back into the late 1800's. thanks again mike....it'll be great to see you this summer...it's been way too many years!! i have fond memories of you & your dad!!

Items from Uible photo album