Elmer L. Holverson

From "History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountains," Vol. III, pg. 454. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago, 1920.

Elmer L. Holverson, of Emmett, is the proprietor of the Brunswick on Main street, one of the most popular amusement resorts in the state. He came to Idaho in 1895 and through the intervening period of a quarter of a century has lived within the borders of the state. He removed here from North Dakota but his birthplace was Wisconsin. He was born at Palmyra, Wisconsin, December 24, 1876, his parents being Zachariah and Agnes (Brown) Holverson, the former a veteran of the Union army, who served with a Wisconsin regiment during the Civil war. He died when his son Elmer L. was but two years of age and the mother passed away when he was a lad of nine, so that he was left an orphan when quite young and since that time has depended entirely upon his own resources and he is truly a self- made and self-educated man.

When a lad of but twelve years Mr. Holverson began working on a Dakota farm for six dollars per month. His youth was spent in Wisconsin, Dakota and Iowa, where he worked at farm labor, never having the opportunity to attend school after reaching the age of thirteen. During his first year's work he received as his pay the potato crop raised upon a half acre, and he had to plant and cultivate the tubers. The next year, when a lad of twelve, he was paid six dollars per month by the same man for his services. His potato crop he turned over to his employer in exchange for some clothes to wear to school the following winter. He continued to act as a farm hand in the three states until eighteen years of age, when in 1895 he came to Idaho. The fare to Caldwell, where he had an elder brother living, was sixty dollars and his cash capital consisted of but forty dollars. He decided not to pay out the entire sum for carfare but to keep the money in order to buy something to eat and he used every opportunity which he could secure to make his way westward. It was ten days before he had reached his destination and in that time he had expended six dollars for something to eat. He spent the summer of 1895 on a ranch near Falks Store, fifteen miles below Emmett, and upon that ranch worked during the suceeding summer also.

Mr. Holverson has made Emmett his headquarters practically all the time since 1900 and has followed various pursuits in the town and vicinity, working for wages. In 1904 he established business on his own account by opening a small cigar store in the rear of a room having two pool and billiard tables. He called his place the Brunswick. That was fifteen years ago. The history of the Brunswick from that date has been one of continued success and constant expansion of the business. At the present time the Brunswick is one of the best known amusement houses in this part of the state and Mr. Holverson is one of the substantial business men. In 1917 he erected the present Brunswick building at No. 116 Main street, a handsome two- story brick structure twenty-five by one hundred feet. The entire first floor and basement, which is under the whole building, are occupied by the business of which Mr. Holverson is sole owner. Today the Brunswick is the mecca of all the men of Emmett and vicinity who are seeking attractive pleasure and recreation. The front of the room is used as a retail cigar and tobacco store, with a soft drink counter, and Mr. Holverson's private office also occupies that end of the building. The rear half of the room is devoted to amusements of an attractive character, including pool and billiards, while the second floor of the Brunswick is rented to the Emmett Commercial Club, of which Mr. Holverson is a charter member, and as law offices.

On the 10th of July, 1907, Mr. Holverson was married to Miss Fay Bilderback, member of an old Idaho family that has been prominent and well known in Boise for many years. Mrs. Holverson was born in the capital city on the 19th of August, 1884. Her father, Charles Bilderback, located there in pioneer times and afterward removed to Emmett, where he passed away August 10, 1917. Mr. and Mrs. Holverson have become the parents of two children: Charles, who was born June 22, 1912; and Harriet, born October 5, 1915.

Fraternally Mr. Holverson is a thirty-second degree Mason and member of the Mystic Shrine and he also belongs to the Loyal Order of Moose. In politics he is a democrat but has never been a candidate for office. Both he and his wife were very active in war work, doing everything in their power to advance the interests of the government in its relation with the allies and in its support of the soldiers in camp and field. Mr. Holverson is fond of hunting and fishing and belongs to the Emmett Gun Club. Thrown upon his own resources when a little lad of but nine years, he has steadily worked his way upward and whatever success he. has achieved or enjoyed is attributable entirely to his individual labors.

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