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Edward Holl
1880 - 1938

Edward Holl 

Dorothy Holl Runge Collection

The loss of a parent while a child is young was a far more common event in earlier times. Edward H. Holl was born April 8, 1880 and was the youngest in the family. His late winter birth came only weeks after his father's accidental death on February 12, 1880. A milk oxen had fallen into the pit water well and was successfully brought out, but Jacob Holl had died of pneumonia 12 days after participating in the rescue. Edward's mother, Margaret Dollar Holl, had lost her own mother before she was one year old in Morsdorf, Rheinland, now Germany. His father, Jacob Holl,  was age 13 when his own mother passed away in Schauren, Rheinland. Like so many, Edward knew his father and sister Gertude, how died at age 12, only though those who had been born before him.

Witnesses to his baptism at Holy Martyrs of Gorcum Church in Preble, Brown County, Wisconsin, were Edward and Gobelena Guster. His earliest years were spent on the Holl family farm with his mother and several of his older brothers and sisters. By the time of his birth in 1880, older brother Jacob Holl Jr. was homesteading wilderness "up north" in town of How (when How township was subdivided in later years, Jacob Jr.'s farm was in town of Underhill), Oconto County, but was at the family farm in Brown County during the 1880 US Census in June.  Oldest brother John Holl was working in the city of Oconto in a railroad tie sawmill to earn his own Homestead land claim in town of How that year. Edward was surrounded by a large caring family as a young child. He was a good student and enjoyed learning. He had the help of older siblings, including sister Catherine who was hoping to become a rural school teacher. Edward also had plenty of help in learning the "in's and out's" of farming, so at a young age he was adept at many of the skills needed to succeed on the land.

Much changed for Edward as his older siblings lives were growing independent. Late in 1883, brother Jacob married. In April of 1885 both his brothers John and Peter were married, also living in town of How. In 1886 Edward's oldest sister, Margaret (Maggie) had left the farm to work as a domestic and nanny for a family in Marinette, Wisconsin. That year she met her bother's young neighbor in Oconto County. His name was Nick Ehlinger and Maggie stole his heart. By the winter of 1886 a wedding was planned for the following Spring. Also in 1886 was the birth of his oldest brother John's first child, named Margaret after his sister. Edward traveled back and forth with the family for frequent visits and celebrations.

Tragedy struck when Edward had just turned seven years old. Sister Maggie had returned to Marinette after a brief trip home to plan her wedding and have an engagement photograph taken. She intended to pack her belongings and pick up her wedding gown in Marinette, before returning home for the wedding. While there, in April of 1887, she contracted Typhoid Fever and perished. It was a hard thing for Edward to face, as Maggie had been his much loved "second momma" all his young life.

By 1889, Edward was 9 years old and there were more important changes that affected his life. Sister Catherine, who was not the oldest sister, left to become rural graded school teacher in the new town of How system. But the change of greatest impact to Edward was the remarriage of his mother, Margaret, to a widowed neighbor, Frank Hammes. Almost immediately his life filled with turmoil. Stepfather Frank Hammes was of the "old
school" who believed that women and children were property of the mail head of the household. He attempted to sell the Holl farm without success since the late Jacob Holl's probate settlement settled ownership of  the farmland, personal possessions and all the equipment to his widow, Maggie, and in the event of her death, it would go to their children. In response to being blocked from selling the Holl land for his own benefit, Frank had taken the youngest Holl sons, Matthew and Edward, out of school and used them as full time laborers on his farms from the ages 9 and 11. Edward's life consisted of hard farm labor such as "picking rocks" (fieldstone from the tilled land), hand weeding corn, hauling water to livestock. There was no school, there were no friends, there was no time to leave the farms.

Meanwhile middle brother Henry was working as a farm laborer nearby, where he also boarded. Late one night in 1891 or 92, Edward and Matthew showed up at his door, asking to be taken to Oconto County to live with older brothers. They had run away. Henry took them north by night, to oldest brother John Holl's home where they could safely stay. Henry related hearing Edward say "we are tired of picking 'his' rocks and digging 'his' potatoes, and working 'his' fields", referring to Frank Hammes. While there, Edward and Matthew reported the volatile behavior of stepfather Frank toward them and their Mother Margaret. Margaret soon joined the family living on John Holl's Sunny Hill Farm.

Edward Holl 
Tin Type taken about 1892
at age 12.
Dorothy Holl Runge Collection

Edward was back in school and continued to help with the family farms. Other family enterprises were being developed by his older brothers and Edward learned from their experiences. Joseph started a stage line, and owned a general store and large land holding near Mosling, while living in nearby Underhill. Peter started a dray service from the rail line depot to nearly villages as well as running a successful dairy farm. Jacob ran a private sawmill and logging company along with his many acres of wooded and farm lands. Henry began homesteading his own property. Sister Catherine became a rural graded school teacher in the area. Oldest brother John now had 200 acres on the Sunny Hill farm and several scattered wooded acres. He bought a general store in Hayes and then built a larger one there. Edward was able to learn the various skills needed to begin and manage these businesses while growing up. Extending his education, Edward also went to business school after 12th grade graduation.

There were several family losses faced by Edward over the following few years. In 1898 Elizabeth Prinz Holl, wife of his brother Peter, died of Tuberculosis, an epidemic that took countless lives in the area over decades. The loss was nearly overwhelming to Peter, who also had two young sons in his care, and he went for treatment. Edward, at age 18, ran Peter's farm and other business interests in his absence. Minnie Guelke, first cousin of Elizabeth, came to run the household and care for the children during this time. Other members of the family also helped things along, until Peter returned to resume responsibility. In 1890 brother Jacob Holl's wife, Clara Prinz Holl who was the sister of Elizabeth, also died of Tuberculosis, leaving seven children. His mother, Margaret Dollar Holl Hammes, died in 1908 at the Sunny Hill Farm.

Work in the woods managing logging crews and sawmills were his first independent ventures. Local man R. Hintz owed Edward money and in 1908 signed over ownership of a sawmill.  While managing this mill, an employee was injured and sent home to recuperate. Edward made a courtesy call on his employee at home to see how he was doing. While there, he met the sister of his employee, Mary Tolzman, who would later become his wife.

Edward Holl  is seated at center 
with Violin
Dorothy Holl Runge Collection

Work in the woods managing logging crews and sawmills were his first independent ventures. Local man R. Hintz owed Edward money and in 1908 signed over ownership of a sawmill.  While managing this mill, an employee was injured and sent home to recuperate. Edward made a courtesy call on his employee at home to see how he was doing. While there, he met the sister of his employee, Mary Tolzman, who would later become his wife. It was at this time that Edward was made trustee for the childrens' property of his late brother, Joseph Holl, which he oversaw for many years after as the children grew up with their mother Louisa in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

The sawmill business was not to Edward's liking and he exchanged the ownership of the mill for the General Store in the settlement of Hintz in 1910. This is where he settled for the remainder of his life.

The death of his brother Joseph Holl, who was only 31 years of age when stricken by Tuberculosis in 1901, was also a great blow to Edward. Joseph had helped him as a partner in business in his early ventures as well as encouraging him to attend business school after 12th grade graduation. In 1912 Edward was appointed by the court to oversee the estate of Joseph that was inherited by his two children. until their adulthood.

Mary Tolzman

c: 1910
Dorothy Holl Runge Collection

Part of the Tolzman family collection, this family picture was taken in Germany. The people were not identified, but the clothing indicates  the 1870' s timeframe.

Brother Peter Holl died of Tuberculosis in 1911. Peter had married Minnie Guelker, leaving his widow with a large family to raise. Edward helped them along over the years, doing much of the farm labor in place of his brother Peter, and teaching the children skills neccessary to run the farm successfully. He also helped Minnie contract for the sale of her produce and dairy as well as getting it to market.

On October 30, 1912 Edward Holl and Mary Tolzman were married. The following year their daughter Dorothy joined them at their home near the Oconto River in Hintz, which still stands next to the place where the general store once was. Edward's life was filled with family and community involvement and his store was the welcoming local gathering place for the next 40 years. In the mid 1930's Edward's health began to fail, but he did not decide to seek medical help until 1938. He was diagnoses with cancer and passed away shortly afterward on September 01, 1938. His wife Mary lived on until May 22, 1974. The are buried together within the Holl Mausoleum at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery Town of Hintz, Oconto County, WI.

Dorothy Holl Runge, Father Edward, Mother Mary
Late 1930's
Dorothy Holl Runge Collection

Newspaper Obituary
September 5, 1938


Edward and Mary Holl Crypt
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery
Town of Hintz, Oconto County, WI
Rita Neustifter Collection


Edward Holl, aged 58, passed away peacefully last Thursday, Sept. 1st. (1938). He had been in ill health for some time, and on Aug. 24 he was taken to Belin hospital to undergo an operation with the hope of prolonging his life. But medical skill proved of no avail. Mr. Holl was born in Green Bay on April 8, 1880, and at the age of 11 years he came to the Town of How to live with his three brothers. In the year 1912 he was united in marriage to- Miss Mary Tolzman, and this union was blessed with one daughter, Dorothy.

The deceased was successful in a number of business ventures, starting in the logging and sawmill business in 1908. In 1910 he took over the management of the general store at Hintz, which he successfully operated up to the time of his death.

Funeral services were held last Monday, Aug 3, conducted by the Rev, Otto Schreiber of Suring, in the absence of the local pastor Rev. T. Going. Burial was in Christ's Lutheran cemetery.

He leaves to mourn his loss: his wife, one daughter, Mrs. Clarence Runge, one granddaughter, Darlene Runge, 3 brothers and 2 sisters.

Pallbearers were: Chas. Natzke, Fred Runge, Wm. Jeske, Warner Larson, Paul Dicke, Albert Luebke. Honorary pallbearers were: Henry Dieke, Martin Koeppen, Aug. Schuettpelz, Emil Patzer, Frank Runge, Fred Rusch.

Flower bearers were: Mrs. R. Firgens, Mrs. W. Arson, Mrs. Erv. Dittman, Mr. Tom Wilson, Mrs. Paula Fisher, Mrs. A. Schuettpelz, Mrs. E Moser, and Mrs. Fred Rusch.

 Dorothy Holl Runge

Dorothy Holl


Dorothy Holl

Dorothy Holl
at 18 years old..

Dorothy Holl 
High School Graduation

Dorothy Holl Runge
at age 90 years

Dorothy Holl Runge
at age 100 years

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Jan. 22, 2017

Dorothy Holl Runge Dies At 103
Runge, Dorothy M.

Dorothy M. W. Runge was born on February 1, 1913 in Hintz Wisconsin to Edward and Mary (Tolzmann) Holl. She was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church on March 23, 1913 and was confirmed there on October 31, 1926. She graduated from Shawano High School in 1931 as valedictorian of her class. On January 2, 1932 she married Clarence Runge by Rev. H. F. Braun at the parsonage of Immanuel Lutheran Church, White Clay Lake.

Dorothy worked for the Gillett Public School system as a cook for 30 years and Mueller's Supermarket until they closed.

She is survived by her children (living), along with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great great-grandchildren.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her mother Mary and her father Edward Holl, by her husband Clarence Runge, a daughter Betty Runge, and by her two sons Edward (Mike) Runge, and Curtis Runge.

The family of Dorothy would also like to offer a special thank you to Cathy Wocking and Jeannie Farley for all their visits and to be there for our mother while at Woodlands in Gillett. Also, a special thank you to Woodlands Nursing Home for all their care and compassion, and to Dr. Maltinski for his care to our mother. Lastly, we would like to thank Pastor Paholke for his many visits over the years to our mother and for bringing her the Word of God and the Lord's Supper which was greatly appreciated by Dorothy.

A memorial service will be held on January 28th, 2017 at Christ Lutheran Church Hintz Wisconsin. Visitation will start at 10:00 a.m., with the service starting at 11:00 a.m. Final rest will be in the church cemetery.

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