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Mrs. David Holler

HOLLER, Mrs. David, a venerable and highly respected resident of Bardolph, McDonough County, Ill., the beginning of whose life in McDonough County dates back to the forties, was born in Pickaway County, Ohio, April 14, 1830, a daughter of Reuben and Christina (Kramer) Spangler, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Germany. Reuben Spangler, a farmer by occupation, was one of the most honorable, industrious and useful among the pioneer settlers of the Buckeye State. He was a son of George Spangler, a native of Pennsylvania, whose mother, Barbara (Patterly) Spangler, was also born in that State. At a very early period he went from Pennsylvania to Ohio, where he lived many years, following his wonted pursuit in Pickaway County. There he made the acquaintance of Christina Kramer, who came with her parents from Germany to the United States when she was but eight years of age. They were subsequently married in that county, and became the parents of twelve children, six of whom were boys. Six of this family survive, namely: Isaac, Reuben, George, Sarah, Mahala and Malinda. The father died in April, 1888, at the age of eighty-five years; and the mother passed away when she was ninety-three years old. In religion, Reuben Spangler was a Lutheran, and in politics, a Democrat.

In girlhood Mrs. Holler attended the public schools of Pickaway County, Ohio, and in 1847, she was united in marriage with David Holler, the year after her marriage accompanying her husband to Illinois. The journey was made in a big four-horse "prairie schooner," and the young couple settled on a tract of land situated two miles north of Macomb, McDonough County, where they lived during the winter following their arrival. Their first dwelling was a log house with a clapboard roof, through which the snow penetrated so freely that it was found necessary to put the wagon cover over that part of it which was above the bed on which they slept. In the spring they moved to a place called the "Walker farm," located on the present site of Scottsburg, Ill., where they lived three years. Then they bought a farm lying two miles west of Bardolph, in the vicinity of what is now known as the Clay Banks. This they made their home until 1890, when they purchased the property in Bardolph, where Mrs. Holler now resides. On their advent in the new settlement deer were abundant, and were often to be seen in droves. When Mrs. Holler first espied them at a distance she mistook them for sheep. Wolves in large numbers infested that region, and prowled about the thinly scattered dwellings, preying upon pigs and lambs. The family sheared sheep, spun the wool, carded it, and made their own cloth, blankets, etc. The pioneer house-wives made their husbands' and children's clothing. The price of calico was then thirty cents per yard, and there was but a single store in Macomb, at that time a small village.

Mrs. Holler retains vivid recollections of the hardships, privations and arduous toil of her early experience in McDonough County, and often ponders in amazement over the marvelous transformation wrought in that region since she, a bride of seventeen years, first made her home in what was almost a wilderness. Residing with her in her comfortable home is her sister-in-law, the widow of Jacob J. Spangler, and both of these most estimable ladies are regarded with unfeigned respect and cordial esteem. A sketch of the life of Jacob J. Spangler, Mrs. Holler's brother, appears elsewhere in this volume.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 908-909, extracted 09 Mar 2019 by Norma Hass.

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