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Holmes Street, Kansas City Journal, March 5, 1937 PDF  | Print |

Holmes street, which runs from 701 East Front street south to the city limits, was named after Nehemiah Holmes, founder of the street railway system in Kansas City.

The system was partly built and put into operation in 1869, following incorporation by William R. Bernard, Louis Vogel, Milton J. Payne, Nehemiah Holmes and Luther H. Wood. Later it was expanded into what Holmes originally intended—a 2-horse line between Kansas City and Westport.

It was a 2-horse line, because often two horses (or mules) were hitched tandem to the 4-wheel car. The fare was 15 cents one way and 25 cents round trip.

Whenever the car jumped the track, which was frequently, the passengers were expected to get off and help put the vehicle back into service. The women passengers were usually asked to take the back seats while the work was going forward, since it was usually the front wheels which were off, and the weight of the women passengers helped raise the front end.

Nehemiah Holmes was born in 1826 in New York City. He left school when 18 years old and went to Aberdeen, Miss., where he engaged in a general mercantile business when he was 20.

He sold his business interests in Mississippi and came to Kansas City in 1856. As a result of his business associations in Mississippi, Holmes brought considerable capital to Kansas City and invested it in real estate, insurance and other business. He died April 26, 1873.