John Edwin Holmes

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John Edwin Holmes
1st Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
In office
June 7, 1848 – January 7, 1850
Governor Nelson Dewey
Succeeded by Samuel W. Beall
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born John Edwin Holmes
(1809-12-28)December 28, 1809
Glastonbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Died May 8, 1863(1863-05-08) (aged 53)
Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.
Resting place Greenwood Cemetery
Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ruth A. Hawley Holmes
Children Edwin F. Holmes
Military service
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch Union Army
Rank Quartermaster
Unit 22nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Edwin Holmes (December 28, 1809 – May 8, 1863) was an American politician and the first Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin.

Early life[edit]

Born in Glastonbury, Connecticut, Holmees moved with his parents to New York when he was four; and both parents died when he was eight. He then lived with his grandfather until he was twelve. He moved to Hamilton, Madison County, and studied while working to support himself, and was able to teach in a common school. He attended an academy and prepared himself and was ordained a Universalist minister in 1833.[1] He preached for a short time in Michigan and Ohio. He soon began to study law in Illinois and was admitted to the bar in Illinois. He joined the Democratic Party and moved to what is now Jefferson, Wisconsin to practice law.


When Wisconsin became a State, in 1848, Mr. Holmes was chosen lieutenant governor, and served in that capacity for two years. In 1832 he was in the State legislature.

In 1846, Holmes became a member of Wisconsin Territory's Territorial Council; and in 1848, he was elected the lieutenant governor of Nelson Dewey, and served until 1850. In 1853, Holmes served in the Wisconsin State Assembly.[2]

In August 1862 when the American Civil War begin, Holmes went into the United States Army joining the 22nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment and was a quartermaster. He remained with the regiment until March 25, 1863, when he was taken prisoner, at Brentwood, Tennessee. He was sent to Libby prison and confined until the 5th of the following May, when he was returned to the Union in 1863 as part of a prisoner exchange.


Two days later Holmes was sent to Annapolis, Maryland, where he died the next day on May 8, 1863. His remains were brought to Jefferson, and were interred with Masonic rites at Greenwood Cemetery Jefferson, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.[3]

Family life[edit]

Son of Solomon and Ann (McKee) Holmes, Holmes married Miss Ruth A. Hawley, of Milan, Ohio, in 1836 and they had four sons.[4]


  1. ^ Proceedings of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin. State Bar Association of Wisconsin The Association, 1905. p. 204. 
  2. ^ The United States Biographical Dictionary and Portrait Gallery of Eminent and Self-made Men: Wisconsin Volume, Volume 1. American Biographical Publishing Company, 1877 - Wisconsin. pp. 218–219. 
  3. ^ 'Proceedings of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin,' State Bar of Association of Wisconsin: 1905, pg. 204-207
  4. ^ "John Edwin Holmes". Genealogy Trails. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
New creation Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
Succeeded by
Samuel Beall