Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Clara H. Holmes

Clara H. Holmes (b. Ohio, 1838; d. Colorado Springs, Colorado, 14 July 1927)

Updated* (3/20/18): Very little seems to be able to be discovered with any certainty about  the early life of Clara H. Holmes.  She was born in Ohio in 1838.  She married James L. Holmes, a carpenter six years her senior, around 1857.  They lived in Iowa and Chicago, and had two daughters, born around 1859 and 1861. James L. Holmes died in Chicago c. 1876.

Clara H. Holmes moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado, in the summer of 1892. She contributed to Midland Monthly beginning in 1896. Other articles include "The Ice Cave, Cripple Creek, Colorado," in the September 1897 issue of Travel. Various stories published in newspapers up to around 1910 include "Uncle Eben's Mistake,""It Only Came After He Recovered from His Bashfulness," and "Trifling Telephone Tangles." But her most significant publication was a volume of eleven short stories, Floating Fancies among the Weird and the Occult (New York: F. Tennyson Neely, 1898). The author's name is misprinted as "Howard" on the spine, but is correct on the title and copyright pages.  The eleven short stories are amateurishly written, but some of the content is still interesting, as in the first story, "Nordhung Nordjansen," a hollow-earth tale, where a sailor finds himself in this dimly-lit world of mist beings in human form. In "A Nineteenth Century Ghost" a woman is haunted by the ghost of the woman who took her husband away from her. "A Tale of the X-Ray" tells of a man who experiments with X-rays, resulting in a physiological change.

Clara H. Holmes moved to Colorado Springs perhaps as early as 1908. In 1926 Holmes published a second book, a collection of verse entitled Scattered Autumn Leaves. She died the next year at the age of 89.

*Thanks to Steven Rowe for contributing updates to this entry.

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