Bio of Erastus E. Holt
A Collection of Biographical Sketches.
Prepaired under the direction of Henry Chase
Portland, ME.
The Lakeside Press, Publisher

AMONG the sons and daughters of Oxford County are found individuals, with marked personal characteristics, who have become eminent and successful in the various callings of life. Doctor Holt was born in this county, in the town of Peru, June 1, 1849. He removed to Canton early in life, and became engaged in mercantile pursuits with such men as Albion Thorne, John P. Swasey, Dura Bradford, and Otis Hayford, the latter of whom furnishes this biographical sketch.

He began teaching and continued in it, in connection with other studies, at Hebron Academy, Westbrook and Gorham Seminaries. For the last year of his teaching, in the City Reform School in Boston, he was elected Principal, a position of great responsibility, and which he filled to the satisfaction of all concerned.

He prepared to take a college course, but having to depend upon his own resources, be finally decided to begin the study of medicine without it, and by so doing devote more time to the study of medicine. He graduated from the Medical School of Maine in 1874. Continuing his studies, he entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Medical Department of Columbia College, New York, and graduated in 1875. He was elected Demonstrator of Anatomy in the Medical School of Maine, and served in that capacity two years. He was the first regularly appointed House Surgeon of the Maine General Hospital, and served in that capacity one year. He was the originator of the Portland Medical Club.

Doctor Holt is a member of the Maine Medical Association and other medical societies of the State and Nation, among which might be mentioned American Ophthalmological and Otological Societies, New England Ophthalmological Society, and the Congress of American Physicians and Surgeons. While studying in Europe, he became a member of the Seventh International Medical Congress, held in London, in 1881. He has written a score or more of papers upon medical subjects, which have been published in the transactions of these societies and the medical journals of the country.

Doctor Holt has been a pioneer in the branch of medicine to which he is specially devoted. He founded, and by great personal effort has successfully carried forward to completion, one of the noblest charities of the State, the Maine Eye and Ear Infirmary. The arduous and important work performed by him in this great undertaking and its completion is recognized by all, and has placed him in the front rank of Maine’s noblest benefactors.

Doctor Holt was born amid the rugged hills of old Oxford, on a farm cleared from a wilderness by the strong arm of his father, and situated on a hillside in the most dense growth of forest in all that region, in a home surrounded on all sides but one by mountain and forest, but looking out on the other upon one of the most lovely and magnificent views of lake and wood that can be found in all New England. What inspiration young Holt must have drawn in his early years from all these surroundings to have so enabled and strengthened him for the battles and conflicts of life, which he has ever so successfully met, waged, and won.

Bereft of the guiding care of a devoted mother at the age of twelve years, going out into the world a few years later, largely unaided and alone, he has, step by step, won his way up the ladder of fame and fortune, against circumstances and adversities that would have appalled the heart and discouraged the effort of one less strong in all that makes a true and noble man.

Through all his busy life, though hard pressed with the cares and business of his profession, he is ever mindful of the friends of his youth, always in the kindness of his heart rendering them cause to rejoice that they thus have known him. Such an one is Doctor Holt, a man who not only confers honor upon himself, but upon his friends, his State, and his Nation; one who has not only won a national pride and fame, but whose eminence is known and acknowledged in other countries than our own.

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