John Hardy Milholland

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1841 - 1919


Rev. John H. Milholland died in Mede [sic: Mead] , Col., April 26, 1919, a little more than 78 years of age. From what I can learn, he was born in Vermillion county, near Georgetown, Ill. He entered the ministry in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in early life. His services for the church were mainly in central Illinois. He has lived a few months in Kentucky, shortly after the attempted merger. Brother Milholland, as a preacher, was earnest and impressive; as a teacher, he was clear and instructive; and as a Presbyterian, he was firm almost to a fault. I remember once he was called to the chair by the Moderator of the Synod, and while filling this place he made a ruling from which an appeal was taken to the house and carried against him. He declared recess and retired from the position rather than yield. I said to him, "Your name ought to be spelled Mule-holland." He took my criticism kindly and we remained the best of friends.

I have thought of him since the attempted merger like Mordecai thought, regarding Esther. See Esther 4:14. He was the only member of the Foster Presbytery that stood the storm against mergerism. His experience there was very similar to ours in the Decatur Presbytery at the same time.

He served as Stated Clerk of the Illinois Synod a long time and was Moderator of our General Assembly at Bowling Green, Ky., in May, 1913.

Before he entered the ministry, more than fifty years ago, he taught school at the Irish Grove and was, during the time, Superintendent of my Sunday school. He married Miss Nannie Rodgers, who as a teacher in the Sunday school at the time. She and the children survive him and are living at Mede, Col., where his remains were laid to rest.

As I turn back in thought over a distance of more than fifty years, I have only pleasant memories of Brother Milholland as my friend and brother.--Rev. J. H. Hughey.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, June 26, 1919, pages 15-16]


Rev. John Hardy Milholland was born at Grandview, Edgar County, Illinois, February 5, 1841, and was called to his reward April 26, 1919, age 78 years, 2 months and 21 days.

His youth was spent on his father's farm. At the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in the 25th Illinois Infantry, and served his country for the duration of the war. He was severely wounded at the battle of Stone River, but endured wounds and privations glady for his country's sake.

At the age of seventeen he professed faith in Christ and united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. After the close of the war he felt the call of the ministry and entered Lincoln University in 1867 for preparation. His first pastorate was at Colesburg, Iowa, directly after his marriage to Miss Nancy E. Rogers in 1874. After two years there he returned to his native state, and for the remainder of his life labored under the Illinois Synod.

The multitude brought to Christ under his ministry will testify of his faithful work during nearly thirty years of continuous service. When advancing age with its infirmities made a regular pastorate impossible, he served his Church in any capacity and wherever he might be called. Never seeking self-glorification, he counted no service too small, no place too humble, no labor too arduous, if only God were glorified and the Church he loved so dearly were benefitted.

For several years preceding his death he had spent his summers with his daughter in Colorado, coming always after the spring meeting of his Presbytery and of the General Assembly whenever he could attend, and returning to Illinois before the meeting of Synod in the fall. But in July, 1918, his increasing weakness warned him he could no longer labor, but only wait for the summons to his reward, and he came to Mead, Colorado, where he and his faithful wife lived until his death.

He left to mourn his passing his widow, two daughters and four sons, beside other relatives and a host of friends. His eldest son preceded him to the Better Land six years ago.

Comrades from the G.A.R. Post of Longmont, Colorado, bore the body of this soldier of the Cross to its resting place in the beautiful Longmont Cemetery, under the shadow of the majestic mountain peaks he had grown to love during his sojourn in this state. The flowers heaped upon his casket testified to the friends he had made during the last years of his life--a long life full of service and sacrifice, but of rich recompense at its close.

"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."--F. J. Gammill, Mead, Col.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, August 14, 1919, page 15]

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Updated September 17, 2007