Contra Costa County












     The family represented by this well-known pioneer of Byron descends from English ancestry and Mr. Holway himself is of English nativity, having been born in Somersetshire, May 12, 1856.  Such advantages as were permitted by the limited means of his father, John Holway, were given him in his boyhood, but the broad information he possesses may be attributed to self-culture and habits of close observation rather than to training in school.  When a lad of sixteen years, in 1872, he came to the United States to earn a livelihood among strangers and unfamiliar surroundings.  From New York he worked his way to Chicago, where he was given employment as a bellboy in one of the popular hotels of the city.  Gradually, by dint of persevering attention to duties, he rose to be a clerk in the hotel, and was employed in that capacity later in St. Louis, then back to Chicago, and from there to Denver, Colo.

     July 30, 1875, Mr. Holway came to California, where for one year he was engaged as hotel clerk in San Francisco and for two years in the barber business, then settled in Contra Costa county.  His first position was that of clerk in the old Red House at Point of Timber, the only hotel south of Antioch in the entire county.  At that time the town of Byron had not been founded, and he recalls having shot wild geese on the land where the hotel and other property now stand.  When the village was established and a hotel started he was employed as clerk, and was also for a time at Hot Springs, where he opened the first barber shop in the place.  The next enterprise in which he embarked was the renting of the Byron hotel, which he conducted until it was burned down.  Later he bought the ground and built a hotel of twenty-two rooms, which he sometimes conducted personally and at other times rented to other parties, but finally sold the hotel and lot.  He conducted the first barber shop in Byron and bought the building in which he had his shop.  In addition he built a barn and opened the livery and feed stable which he now conducts, and which is the only establishment of the kind in the town.  Another enterprise to which he gives attention is the renting of land and the raising of grain.  Active and energetic, he is always interested in projects promising financial returns and is keenly alive to profitable investments.

     The house which Mr. Holway built in Byron and which he still owns and occupies is presided over by Mrs. Holway, who is a native of San Francisco and bore the maiden name of Emma Luhrsen.  The children of their union are named as follows:  Eva, Percy, Raymond, Herman, Aurora (deceased), Viola, Irene, Geraldine, Martha and Alvira.  Fraternally Mr. Holway is identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has represented the local lodge in the Grand Lodge, besides being with his wife an active member of the Rebekahs.  The Knights of Pythias at Byron number him among their members, as do also the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which he is past master and representative to the Grand Lodge.




Transcribed 7-31-15 Marilyn R. Pankey.

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 674-677. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Marilyn R. Pankey.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library