Contra Costa County












CHARLES HIRAM HOLLIDAY.  Among the business men of Pinole mention must be made of Charles Hiram Holliday, who is successfully conducting a meat market in this place.  He is the son of Beverly R. Holliday, whose sketch appears in another part of this volume.  He was born in Martinez, Cal., May 31, 1858, and was reared and educated in that location.  When only fifteen years old he took up the responsibilities of life by accepting work on the ranches in the neighborhood, in which work he continued until his twenty-fifty year.  He then began renting land, being located on a ranch at San Miguel, San Luis Obispo county, where he also carried on a market.  Two years later he sold out and returned to Martinez, where he worked as a butcher for three years.  Purchasing then a half interest with George Kilpatrick, he worked in this association for the ensuing two years, when he also disposed of that interest and located in Pinole, which has since remained his home.  In 1896 he bought out Manuel Lema and established a market which he has since conducted with marked success.  In addition to his business interests he has served acceptably as town recorder for two terms.


The marriage of Mr. Holliday united him with Emma Christian, born in California, the daughter of George W. Christian, now deceased.  Born of this union were five children, namely: Violet K., bookkeeper for the Oakland Gas & Electric Light Company; Charles H., Jr., a delivery clerk in the employ of his father; Percy, a student; and Jennie and Albert, who died in youth.  In fraternal organizations Mr. Holliday is a member of the Knights of the Maccabees, the U.P.E.C. and Pinole Lodge No. 335, F. & A. M., having served officially in the last named organization.  Both himself and wife are also connected with the Eastern Star.





[Inserted by D. Toole]



Charles H. Holliday


1917 Sep 3, Berkeley Daily Gazette, P4, Berkeley, California

List of 150 Men Included in Fourth Call in District One

Notice of Call and to Appear for Physical Examination

Local Board for Division No. 1, City of Berkeley, State of California, 3004 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, Cal.

The following named persons are hereby notified that, pursuant to the Act of Congress approved May 18, 1917, they are called for military service of the United States by this Local Board.  The Serial number and the order number of each of such person is shown below.  They will report at the office of this Local Board for physical examination on the 6th day of September, 1917, at 8 o’clock a.m. 


Order No.        Serial No.        Name                                       Address on Registration Card


735                  1760                Charles Hiram Holliday          2310 Sixth Street [Berkeley]


1931 Dec 22, Berkeley Daily Gazette, P18, Berkeley, California

Pacific Grove Man Dies on Visit Here

Charles Hiram Holliday, 73, of Pacific Grove passed away yesterday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Clarence G. Betz, 1535 Delaware Street.  He had been ill since coming to Berkeley two weeks ago to visit his daughter.  Mr. Holliday was a native of Martinez and lived there for many years, going to Pacific Grove 10 years ago.  At one time he lived in Berkeley and has been a visitor here frequently.  He was a retired business man.  Surviving are his widow, Mrs. Emma M. Holliday; a daughter, Mrs. Betz, and two sons, Charles H. Holliday of Berkeley and Eugene P. Holliday of Calistoga.  Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon at 2 o’clock at Curry’s Chapel, Martinez.  Interment will be in Sunset View Cemetery.


1953 Jan 25, Oakland Tribune, P90, Oakland, California

Mrs. Holliday, Bay Resident 92 Years, Dies

Berkeley, Jan. 24 – Mrs. Emma Mary Holliday died here today after living her lifetime of 92 years in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  The only girl in a family with seven brothers, she was born near San Pablo where her father, George Christian, was a pioneer settler.  He operated a blacksmith shop when the town was a tiny Spanish settlement.  She was married 70 years ago in Martinez to Charles Hiram Holliday, who died 21 years ago.  Their married life was spent in Martinez, Pinole and Berkeley.  Since his death she has lived with a daughter, Mrs. Violet Betz, of 1535 Delaware Street.  She also leaves a son, Charles Holliday of Richmond, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  Ben Christian of Pinole is her only surviving brother.  A charter member of the Pinole chapter of Eastern Star, she would have celebrated a half century of membership next month.  Services will be held Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Ellis-Olsen Chapel, 727 San Pablo Avenue, Albany.


Father, Beverly Richmond Holliday


History of Contra Costa County, California with Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified with Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present; Illustrated; Complete in One Volume; Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, 1926. 

Page 225.

On August 15, 1908, in the Alhambra Valley, Beverly R. Holliday passed over the Great Divide.  He was a pioneer of 1849 and the first educator in Martinez, where he opened the first seminary in 1850.  He was born in Warren County, Ky., December 22, 1823.  From 1840 to 1849 he taught school in Illinois.  In March, 1849, he set out across the plains with ox-teams, and in January of 1850 he came to Contra Costa County.  He was elected justice of the peace in 1850 and was chosen as one of the associate judges of the Court of Sessions in 1854.  In 1853 he engaged in farming, and he was a pioneer in fruit culture.  In 1858 he subscribed funds to help found the Gazette.  He married Jane A. Holliday August 19, 1855, and left six children.

Page 285

Chapter XVIII, Educational, Early Martinez Schools

The first school in Martinez, in the early part of 1850, was taught by Beverly R. Holliday.  Holliday had his first experience in school-teaching in Illinois, at the early age of fifteen years.  After coming to Martinez, he passed an examination and was declared qualified to teach.  His school at first consisted of five or six pupils from two or three families.  These pupils gathered in the Blossom house, later known as the Gift house, near Thomas Hill, at the entrance of Bay View Park.  During the two terms that Holliday taught the number of pupils increased from six to twenty-six.  In the fall of 1850 Holliday was succeeded by M. Laughlin. <snipped>

Page 578

December 22, 1823. When but two years of age he was taken by his parents to White Hall, Greene county, Illinois, and there resided until 1832, when they removed to Morgan county, in the same State, where our subject received his education in the common schools, learned the trade of wool carder (at which he worked until 1840), and dwelt until coming to the Pacific Coast.  Was engaged in teaching from 1840 to 1849, in Scott county, Illinois. In March, 1849, Mr. Holliday joined a company bound for the Land of Gold, and traveling, with ox-teams, by the Old Emigrant Route, arrived at Johnson's ranch, Placer county, October 1st, of the same year. Thence he proceeded to the mines on the American river, where, however, he remained only a short time. We next find him engaged in getting out lumber, in the San Antonio redwoods — lumber being, at that time, worth four hundred and fifty dollars per thousand lineal feet. In January, 1850, he came to Martinez, where he was employed, at seventy-five dollars per month, to take charge of the school at that place — it being the first seminary opened in Contra Costa county, with an average attendance of six pupils, which increased in six months to twenty-six pupils. Here Mr. Holliday continued "to teach the young idea how to shoot" until the Fall of 1850. In December, 1850, he opened a dry-goods and grocery store — firm name, Hunsaker & Co. — and continued in that business three years, during which time he also acted as Deputy Treasurer of the County, under Judge D. Hunsaker.  In 1850 he was also elected Justice of the Peace, an office he filled until 1854, and was chosen one of the Associate Justices of the Court of Sessions, which was abolished in 1855. Our subject now turned his attention to farming, and first located on the property now owned by Mr. Blum, near the farm of N. B. Smith, where he resided until 1867, and then moved into Franklin canon, one mile from Martinez, and located on public land, where he resided until 1875, when he purchased his present place of sixty-four acres, three miles from Martinez, where he is now engaged chiefly in fruit culture. He married, in Lafayette, August 19, 1855, Jane A. Holliday, a native of Pennsylvania, and has six surviving children — Mary J. (now Mrs. Thomas Scott), Charles H., William B., Minerva L, Eliza E., George Edwin.






Transcribed by Donna Toole.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Page 1026. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2016  Donna Toole.







Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library