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Ovando James Hollister
1834-1892

OVANDO JAMES HOLLISTER

Ovando "Vando" James Hollister, son of Loren Hollister and Sarah Center, was born 7 October 1834 in Colrain, Franklin County, Massachusetts. In childhood he was committed to the care of a society of Shakers in eastern New York. He had in boyhood only limited educational opportunities, working as a farm laborer. He moved westward to Kansas, where he took up a farm, sometime in the 1850s, where he worked for a few years, then moved westward to Colorado.

Ovando Hollister arrived in Black Hawk, a Colorado mining town, on June 7, 1860. In the 1860 Territory of Kansas, Arapahoe County (Colorado) Census, Mr. Hollister, was living in Missouri City, a mining town southeast of Central City with two other young miners.

Mr. O. J. Hollister enlisted in the First Colorado Cavalry in 1861 and was retired in 1863 because of injuries received in the service. His command was in several engagements in southern Colorado and New Mexico, and for his part Colonel Hollister earned a promotion.

Returning from the army he established a newspaper called the Daily Mining Journal with General Frank Hall in Black Hawk, Gilpin County, Colorado.  Ovando J. Hollister was the chief editor and proprietor of the Daily Mining Journal which he published from November 1863 through December 1865.  Mr. Hollister sold the Daily Mining Journal to Central City Times and joined the Register as associate editor in January of 1866.  By 1868 Ovando was editing the Rocky Mountain News.

Ovando J. Hollister moved to the Territory of Utah, in December of 1868. Four months thereafter Mr. Hollister was nominated to be a collector of Internal Revenue for the district of Utah on April 5, 1969 by Ulysses S. Grant. The nomination was reviewed and approved by the U. S. Senate on April 7, 1869. 

He married Caroline "Carrie" Vroom Matthews, December 1, 1869.  Carrie, daughter of George Washington Matthews and Hannah Stryker was born April 4, 1838, in New Carlisle, St. Joseph, Indiana. Vice-president Schuyler Colfax was a half-brother to Caroline - her mother Hannah Stryker, first married Schuyler Colfax Sr (1792-1822) in 1820. Schuyler Colfax Sr. died in 1822 shortly before their son Schuyler Colfax, was born in 1823 (the half-brother). Hannah Stryker secondly married George Washington Matthews in 1834.

Ovando and Carrie first made their residence in Corinne, Box Elder County, Utah, located sixty miles from  Salt Lake City.  By 1880 Ovando and Carrie moved to Salt Lake City, where Ovando was part-owner in the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper. Carrie's brother Elias G. Matthews, lived with the Hollister's from at least 1880 to the time of his death in 1907, and was also employed as a  U. S. Collector.

Ovando J. Hollister represented the 1st Precinct at the Republican Convention in Salt Lake City.  He was also active in promoting free schools, and brought about changes in the school system in the Territory of Utah.  At the time of his death, February 12, 1892, Ovando was chairman of the committee, that designed, and built the First Congregational Church in Salt Lake City. 

The First Congregational Church erected a stain-glass memorial dedicated to Colonel O. J. Hollister, standing 20 feet high by 7 feet wide, made of English antique and opalescent glass, depicting Jesus walking on the day of Resurrection day, under the skilled management of Messrs J. & R. Lamb. Dedication of the memorial window took place December 18, 1892 with speeches by Reverend J. Brainerd Thrall, Mr. L. E. Hall, and Hon. C. E. Allen Speaks.  Colonel Hollister was eulogized for his work on planning and building of the First Congregational Church; improvement of the school systems, and his magnificent voice, which was always heard in the choir, that first met in Independence Hall before the First Congregational Church was built.

The memorial window inscription reads:

                            In memory of Ovando James Hollister.
                            Erected by friends & fellow townsmen in the year of our Lord 1892,
                            as a  loving tribute to his private virtues and a lasting tribute to his
                            private virtues and a lasting memorial to his long & loyal devotion to
                            the interests of the church, state & school in this community & Commonwealth.

Books written by Ovando include  "Colorado Volunteers in New Mexico, 1862," "Life of Schuyler Colfax," "The Mines of Colorado," and "The History of the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers."

Widow Carrie V. Hollister continued to live in Salt Lake City, Utah with her brother Elias G. Matthews, who died September 2, 1907. His funeral was held at Carrie's house, 1423 South 17th East Street in Salt Lake City. Carrie accompanied her brother's body back to New Carlisle, Indiana for burial. Carrie Hollister died ten years later on December 2, 1917. 

Ovando and Carrie had no children.

 

 

           

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