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BIOGRAPHY: Elisha Wilson Holland born November 30, 1844 – photograph





Shelby County, Alabama


A well-known citizen of Shelby County was Elisha Wilson Holland, a member of the mercantile firm of Weldon & Holland of Wilsonville. He was a native of the place, born November 30, 1844. His father Sampson Holland, was a native of Tennessee, the son of Sampson, who with his family moved to North Carolina, where he died.

The son came to Alabama upon arriving at young manhood and settled in Shelby county. He married Rebecca Wilson, daughter of James Wilson and Patsey (Davis) Wilson, and lived the life of a farmer and mechanic. They were the parents of six children, three sons, and three daughters. One son and two daughters were living in 1904.

James Wilson was the son of Adam Wilson, who came to Shelby county very early. The town of Wilsonville was named for Adam Wilson. James Wilson was a farmer and physician.

Mr. E. W. Holland was reared to farm life and has spent a large part of his manhood days in that occupation, in connection with the mill business. In 1900 he formed a partnership with Weldon. He was always active in the affairs of the county and was the justice of the peace in 1904. He took a helpful part in the deliberations of the conventions of the Democratic party, and served on the county executive committee.

He was a Methodist; his wife a Presbyterian. He affiliated with the Masons. Mr. Holland married, in 1875, Nancy Clemmie Gilmore, the daughter of Samuel H. Gilmore and Elizabeth (Miller) Gilmore. Her parents were originally from South Carolina, settling first in Dallas county, where she was born, and then in Shelby county, where they died. They were Presbyterians.

To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Holland was born

Perdie Grisselda Holland, ( 1879 – 1036)a graduate of the Jacksonville Normal and a teacher by profession, who resided in 1904 with his parents.

Mr. Holland was a veteran of the Civil war, serving as a private in Company I, of the Eighteenth Alabama during the whole war  except a period of five months spent in a Yankee prison.

Elisha Wilson Holland passed away March 17, 1929, in Wilsonville, Shelby County, Alabama. He and his wife are buried in the Wilsonville, Cemetery. Elisha is a descendant of the Cottingham family of Bibb County, Alabama of which the Tapestry of love historical fiction series.

More details of his Cottingham ancestry can be found in the book Alabama Descendants of Elisha Cottingham 1755-1820. 


  1. Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, Volume 1 edited by Joel Campbell DuBose 1904
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 86810016 # 86809979# 86810846

RIBBON OF LOVE: 2nd edition – A Novel of Colonial America Inspired by actual people and historical events! Based on the Cottingham ancestors of Bibb County, Alabama.