Tuesday, March 13, 2007


March 16, 1847 - []

Americus Vespucius Holmes, capitalist banker, was born March 16, 1847 in the present downtown district of Pittsburgh, on Marberry Street which became Second Street. His parents were Dr. Shepley Ross Holmes and Mary Skelton. Mr. Holmes came from one of the oldest Pittsburgh pioneer families. His father was a distinguished physician who also stood high in Masonic circles.

Americus V. Holmes
as a boy attended the Second Ward public school where J. B. Meades was principal. In 1863 and 1864 he attended Col Hyatt’s Military Academy at West-Chester. For one year he was a student in the Iron City College.

In 1868 Mr. Holmes came of age and at once took charge of the Holmes family’s important real estate holdings in Pittsburgh including a business block at 226 Fifth Avenue.

Although young when taking full charge of business affairs, Mr. Holmes was unusually well prepared for this responsible position. His home training was of the best. Both father and mother from his earliest boyhood taught him habits of industry and honesty. On account of his high standing in the Masonic fraternity, Mr. Holmes as a youth associated much with men of affairs. Being naturally of a receptive and inquiring turn of mind he early familiarized himself with business matters and by training to be successful in business than many men double his age.

At the time Mr. Holmes took charge of the Holmes properties he opened an office at 226 Fifth Avenue and remained established there throughout his business career. Not content with looking after his personal property Mr. Holmes’ keen and active mind compelled him to seek other channels of endeavor. Soon he became interested in banking. He commanded the attention of the banking institutions of Pittsburgh and Mr. Holmes was elected vice president and first trustee of Dollar Savings Bank and a director in the Anchor Savings Bank.

His wife was the former Catherine “Cassie” A. Cain of Philadelphia PA
. They were married April 22, 1880.

Although the census enumerator was very poor in spelling, the family can be found in the 1880 census. The census must have been taken later in the year that they were married. Their household included:

Americus V. Holmes, age 33

Cassie Holmes, age 22

Francis B Nimick, age 39, brother-in-law (traveling salesman)

Caroline H. Childs, age 12, neice

William H. Childs, age 19, nephew (collegian)

George P. Balmaine, age 35, Nephew-in-law (purchaser for stationery house)

Margaret A. Balmaine, age 35, neice

Their home was in the 22nd ward, Pittsburgh. Near neighbors include newspaper editor Thomas Link, dry goods merchant Charles Arbuthnot, attorney William Frew, and members of the Holmes, Howe and Childs families Newspaper editor Eugene O'Neil is about six houses away.
SFF&HC member Aaron French a few doors beyond. As are the Woodwells and SFF&HC member Frank Laughlin.

Note about Franis B. Nimick, he was married to Eleanor Howard Howe, the daughter of Thomas Marshall Howe and Mary Ann Howe. Elenaor's sister Clara married James W. Brown of the SFF&HC. Eleanor's half-sister Mary Howard Howe married Col. James Henry Childs.
Thus Americus V. Holmes was the half-uncle of Adelaide Childs Frick.

A. V. Holmes looked somewhat like present-day film critic Gene Shallot, with big eyes and a larger handlebar moustache.

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