This biography was transcribed from a copy made from presumably the 1926 edition of "The History of Snohomish County", vol. II. (Published by the Pioneer Historical Publishing Co.)


The Holmstad family has long been identified with the development of Snohomish county and its members have been numbered among the progressive citizens and enterprising farmers -of the Arlington district. Edward E. Holmstad was born at Namsos, Norway, on the 16th of April, 1864, and is a son of Elias and Olava (Olsen) Holmstad. The father was born in Norway in 1837, and was there reared and married. In 1883 the family came to the United States, settling in Jackson county, Minnesota, where the father engaged in farming for about five years. In the spring of 1888 he and his family came to Stanwood, Washington, and three weeks later he and three sons went up the Stillaguamish river as far as Jordan, near which place all of them took up homesteads. On the voyage up the river their boat was swamped near the mouth of Jim creek and they lost part of their supplies. It was during the wet season and on their arrival at their land they erected a temporary shelter of boughs, which sufficed until they could build a small split-cedar shack. This was destroyed by fire about two months later and then they erected a larger log house. They began clearing the land and lived there until 1906, by which time a goodly part of the tract had been cleared. They then sold the land and bought ten acres near Arlington, tile most of which they cleared, but sold it three years later. They also cleared ten acres of a twenty acre tract which the father owned near by. In 1910 they went back to Jordan and farmed there about a year at the end of which time they came to Arlington and bought a home for the parents, in which they lived about six years. They next purchased nine acres of land adjoining the city limits of Arlington, which is the present family home, and there the father's death occurred January 22, 1922, when lie was eighty-five years of age. He is survived by the mother, who is now eighty-seven years old, but remarkably well preserved and active for her years. To Elias and Olava Holmstad were born thirteen children, namely: Mrs. Nellie Wick, who lives at Jordan; Petra, deceased; Ole, also a resident of Jordan; Edward E.; Oluf, who now lives with his mother; Josephine, Ida, Elizabeth and Mrs. Nettie Furland, all deceased; Mrs. Mattie Funk, who makes her home Arlington; Fred, a resident of California: Anton, who lives in Everett, Washington; and one who died in infancy. They also adopted two children, Mrs. Clara Fay, who lives at Carnation, Washington, and Charles Guyett, of Stanwood, this county.

Edward E. Holmstad was educated in the public schools of Norway and was confirmed in the Lutheran church when fourteen years of age. After leaving school he engaged in fishing, following that occupation until coming to the United States in April, 1880. He went direct to Windom, Minnesota, where lib joined an uncle, John Olson, for whom he worked in a livery stable until 1888. In 1889 he arrived in Stanwood and soon afterward went up the river to Norman by stage, walking from there to the Forks, which was later called Haller City. On July 6, 1889, he filed on a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres on Jim creek, all of which was virgin timber land. There were at that time no roads in this section of the county, so Mr. Holmstad loaded his household goods in a canoe at Stanwood, by which means he transported them to the nearest point to his homestead, and from there he carried the stuff, including a cook stove and sewing machine, over the hard trail and up a steep hill to his place. He built a neat cedar log house, one of the best on the river at that time, and then began clearing the land. He now has fourteen acres cleared, the remainder being in timber and pasture. He keeps eight good dairy cows, and his principal field crops are hay, oats and potatoes. He has devoted himself closely to his farm and has been successful to a gratifying degree.

On May 25, 1889, Mr. Holmstad was married to Miss Rachel Pederson, who was born at Madelia, Minnesota, a daughter of Hans and Martha Pederson, both natives of Norway. After the death of the father the mother married again and is still living in Minnesota. To Hans and Martha Pederson were born five children: Butler E., Rachel, George, Martin, deceased, and Henry.

Mr and Mrs. Holmstad have four children, as follows: Harry, who lives at Potlatch, Washington; Mrs. Mable Clark, who resides in Arlington and is the mother of two children, Herbert and Kenneth; Walter, an excellent violin player, who is married and has a son, William Densel; Ralph, a proficient player on the trombone, who is married and lives in Seattle. All of the children were born on the homestead on Jim creek.

Mr. Holmstad has always taken a keen interest in all. enterprises for the benefit of the community. He is a member of the Cooperative Creamery at Arlington, served as a school director for fifteen years and organized the Lower Jim Creek school in 1900. He served as road supervisor two. years; has been serving as deputy assessor for three years, and has also served on election boards. He is a stanch republican in his political views, aligning with the progressive branch of the party, and he served as committeeman from his district for ten years. He has advocated good roads and schools consistently and with good results and in all things has shown a fine public spirit. In the early days on Jim creek Mr; Holmstad's house was the favorite stopping place for nearly all the surveying crews, timber cruisers and others who happened to be in the vicinity. In 1906 the old house was replaced by a fine modern twelve room residence. The place is well improved and is a very comfortable and attractive farm home.

Submitted by: Michael Woody

Transcriber's notes: "Edward Holmstad was my grandmother Josephine (Holstad) Wold's brother. A grandson of Edward Holmstad made a donation to Providence Hospital (Everett) in 1982. Here is an article about that donation, from the Everett Herald newspaper."

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