Elmer W. Holmes papers
Finding aid prepared by Julianna Gil, 2017.
Special Collections & University Archives
The UCR Library
P.O. Box 5900
University of California
Riverside, California 92517-5900
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Title: Elmer W. Holmes papers
Date (inclusive): 1861-1986, undated
Date (bulk): 1861-1910
Collection Number: MS 254
Holmes, Elmer Wallace
0.42 Linear Feet
Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.
Abstract: The Elmer W. Holmes papers is a collection of documents about Elmer Wallace Holmes, a Civil War veteran and leading figure
in the history of Riverside, California. The papers consists of correspondence between Holmes and his family (noteably his
mother and his second wife), a scrapbook, and documents related to Riverside County history. All items contained in this collection
are reproductions of originals.
Languages: The collection is in English.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright Unknown: Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction,
and/or commercial use, of some materials may be restricted by gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and
publicity rights, licensing agreement(s), and/or trademark rights. Distribution or reproduction of materials protected by
copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. To the extent other restrictions
apply, permission for distribution or reproduction from the applicable rights holder is also required. Responsibility for
obtaining permissions, and for any use rests exclusively with the user.
[identification of item], [date if possible]. Elmer W. Holmes papers (MS 254). Special Collections & University Archives,
University of California, Riverside.
Gift of Alice H. Addicott.
Processed by Julianna Gil, 2017.
Processing of the Elmer W. Holmes papers was completed by undergraduate students from the University of California, Riverside
as part of the Special Collections & University Archives Backlog Processing Project started in 2017. This project was funded
by the UCR Library and administered by Jessica Geiser, Collections Management Librarian.
Elmer Wallace Holmes was born on December 8, 1841, in Brockton, Massachusetts. After his father’s death, he left school at
the age of thirteen in order to help support his family. At the beginning of the Civil War (1861-1865), Holmes enlisted in
the army and became part of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry, but was then discharged in 1863. He later returned as an army
recruit for the Second Massachusetts Battery, then transferred to the Sixth Battery in New Orleans.
At the age of twenty-two, he married his first wife, Ruth C. Nickerson, who passed away giving birth to their son, Elmer Elwood.
In 1869, Holmes held a foreman’s position for the Brockton Gazette’s paper trade. In 1871, he married Alice E. Odell and had
two daughters (Anna Lucia and Alice Bertha).
He then moved to Southern California, first to Los Angeles followed by Riverside. In Riverside he became part of a small committee
of horticultural students, was elected as a school official, held the position of executive office for the school board for
about fifteen years, organized the Riverside High School, authored the Union District High School law, was on the board of
city trustees, was the principal organizer of the Riverside Library Association, was managing editor of the
San Bernardino Weekly-Times Index, was assemblyman for San Bernardino County, and was appointed to the board of county supervisors. Holmes passed away on April
23, 1913 in Riverside, California.
Collection Scope and Contents
The collection contains documents pertaining to Elmer W. Holmes and Riverside County, including correspondence between Holmes
and his family concerning his time during the Civil War and exploring Southern California, his scrapbook filled with press
clippings and announcements focused on Riverside County, and proposed laws and historical articles from Riverside County.
The collection also includes a biography of Holmes written by his family. All items contained in this collection are reproductions
This collection is arranged topically into folders.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Holmes, Elmer Wallace
Riverside County (Calif.).
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865
Genres and Forms of Materials
Clippings (information artifacts).
Box 1, Folder 1
Correspondence with Lucia Morton Foster
Box 1, Folder 2
Correspondence with Alice E. Odell Holmes
Box 1, Folder 3
Correspondence with Children
Box 1, Folder 5
Box 1, Folder 6
Historical Documents of Riverside County
Box 1, Folder 7
First Congregational Church of Riverside