CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HOLDEN, LIBERTY EMERY

HOLDEN, LIBERTY EMERY

HOLDEN, LIBERTY EMERY (20 June 1833-26 Aug. 1913), owner of the PLAIN DEALER and real estate investor, was born in Raymond, Maine, son of Liberty and Sally Cox Stearns Holden. He began teaching at 16, and completed 2 years at Waterville College before moving, in 1856, to finish his education at the University of Michigan. While professor of literature at Kalamazoo College, he married Delia Elizabeth Bulkley on 14 Aug. 1860. After 2 years as superintendent of schools in Tiffin, Ohio, Holden moved to Cleveland in 1862 to study law and invest in real estate. In 1873 he began investing in mining properties, iron in the Lake Superior region and silver in Utah, and became a leading spokesman in Washington for western silver interests. Soon after Holden purchased the Plain Dealer from WM. W. ARMSTRONG in 1885, he launched the morning Plain Dealer after buying out the Herald in association with the Leader. The Plain Dealer supported Bryan for president while under Holden's personal direction from 1893-98, but when he subsequently leased it to CHAS. E. KENNEDY and ELBERT H. BAKER, the Plain Dealer withheld its support from Bryan. Holden also owned the HOLLENDEN HOTEL; and was largely responsible, as president of the building committee, for the construction of the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART and its adjacent setting of WADE and ROCKEFELLER PARKS. Holden was president of the UNION CLUB, and mayor of BRATENAHL Village. Holden and his wife had 1 surviving son, Guerdon Stearns, and daughters Roberta Bole, Delia White, Emery Greenough, and Gertrude McGinley. Two sons, Albert Fairchild and L. Dean, predeceased him. Holden died in Mentor, Ohio and was buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.