Holley, John Erwing

JOHN ERWING HOLLEY

John was born in 1888 at Ostrander, Minnesota, to Hans and Anna Holley. His father passed away at the early age of forty. In 1911, lured by the promise of "free land" from neighbors who had settled in the Camrose district, John, his mother, sister Arvilla, and brother Walter, came to the Spring Park district. They shipped by rail a carload, including furniture, machinery, two cows and four horses, to Vermilion, then by horse-drawn wagons with hay racks. They stopped to rest at Joe Laboucane's home.

Mail was hauled to Elk Point once a week. Later a post office was opened at the home of Lester and Grace Smith in Spring Park.

In 1933 John married Mary Martha Jadishke, who was born at Bruderheim in 1915. They were blessed with four children -- three girls and a boy.

The house was built of logs, heated by wood. The interior was finished with whitewash, then kalsomine, wallpaper and, finally, paint.

John remembers wheat at 22 ½ cents per bushel, butterfat at 11 cents per pound, hogs $24.00 for eight and baby calves almost worthless. But wild fruit was plentiful -- blueberries, cranberries, gooseberries and saskatoons.

Spring Park had a community hall early in its history and activities there included ball games, picnics and dances.

John had purchased a 1924 Model T Ford. In 1950 he bought a tractor.

In 1962 John and Mary moved to Vermilion, where they still live.