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Josiah Franklin Hollister

Josiah Franklin Hollister was born October 27, 1832 in Pawlet, Vermont of Innis Hollister and Martha (Page) Hollister. He moved to Illinois with his parents, who bought 80 acres in Cuba Township for $1.25 an acre on August 29, 1844. This farmstead is gently rolling hills with a stand of black walnut trees located today on the northeast side of the intersection of Illinois Route 59 and Cuba Road. Innis and Martha built the original house at "four corners" of walnut wood milled in DesPlaines; according to family oral history, it was the first house built of milled lumber in the township. Innis was a Justice of the Peace for ten years, being "greatly respected for his excellent character" (Case, 1883). The house was torn down after being sold out of the family around 1923 when a curve in the road around the house was straightened out in the process of becoming route 59.

He married Callista Anna Schofield on June 5, 1861 at Bristol, Wisconsin. She was born in Medina, Ohio May 4, 1839. According to Hollister Family in America (Case 1883), he was listed as a farmer. Their first son, Innis Walter, was born May 23, 1862, and their second son, John Franklin, was born August 21, 1864. John was my grandfather, who died in 1937, 4 years before I was born.

Josiah enlisted as "Frank Hollister" as an Illinois Volunteer, USA, in Captain James Flood's Battery C, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery on October 3, 1864, and according to The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois, Illustrated (1877) was detailed as a nurse. He was discharged at Springfield August 3, 1865. He stood 5'3", of fair complexion, blue eyes, and gave his occupation as a carpenter. While he was away in the Army, his first son, Innis Walter, died December 17, 1864 2 years and 7 months old.

He and Callista had two more children: Dora Alzada was born October 1, 1868, married George Pedley, and died in childbirth February 28, 1897. I met 57 year old Clarence Pedley in Grovernordale, Connecticut in 1954 on vacation with my parents - before I was interested in anything genealogical. Wish I had ten minutes to talk with him now!

Arthur Golden Hollister was born February 8, 1876 and died unmarried at 24 years, 3 months on May 16, 1900.

Josiah died May 12, 1894, and Callista died January 6, 1918 in the great influenza epidemic. My father remembered his grandmother marching around the black walnut kitchen table (which I have today) singing "Marching Through Georgia" which suggests that possibly Josiah/Frank was along on Sherman's march? Or did lots of Yankees learn that song during or after the war?

The Secretary of State's archives do not have a unit history of the Battery C, 2nd Light Artillery. Dad was in France when his grandmother died.

While I have a collection of old family photo film negatives, I'm unaware of any individual pictures of Josiah. There is one picture of the old house, with several people standing and sitting around the yard. My guess is the bearded man on the left is Josiah; the lady seated in the chair is his mother, Martha; the boy at the front is Arthur, the lady leaning on the tree is Dora, and the lady seated on the chair is Callista. Of these people Josiah/Frank died first, in 1894; so I would think the picture probably dates from the late 1880s or early 1890s . . . and may have been taken by John, my grandfather. Earliest possible date would be when film cameras came out for popular use. I haven't ever heard anyone tell of glass plate negatives of any of the family pictures. And of course film negatives aren't labelled.

The house is in three sections; oldest is the middle portion with a door between two windows on each side; this is a very typical Vermont style house, appearing to be a one story house on the front to avoid higher taxes on a two story house. A chimney at each end reveals fireplaces for heating and possibly, at one time, cooking. To the left of the downspout is the "kitchen addition" according to family oral history, with its own chimney. The small extension on the right was Innis' JP office. Note the cobblestone foundations and the very straight ridgeline of the roof.


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