Captain Holder Sisson- (September 27, 1790-April 26, 1878), Lockport founding father
Born in Rhode Island in 1790 to Philip Sisson, a shipbuilder, Holder Sisson was one of 14 children. When he was 18 his father moved the family to New York State. At 19 he married Polly Anderson. Polly and Holder had two children. Soon after his marriage, he served for six months in the War of 1812 and Polly died soon after this. After the death of Polly, Holder moved west to Evansville, Indiana. There he wed Clarissa Brunson with whom he had 8 children, of which five daughters and two sons lived to adulthood. Sisson was in the Evansville, Indiana area for 15 years. He then moved the family to Michigan and then to a farm in Chautauqua County, New York. Finding no luck with farming in New York, he moved his family to Illinois in 1831. He was one of the first settlers in Lockport Township, settling on the east side of the Des Plaines River in what was then known as Hanford Place. The spot is located on Division Street, just east of Grandview Avenue.
By May of 1832, the Black Hawk War was beginning and Holder, along with other pioneers, moved their families to Fort Dearborn in Chicago. On Mr. Sisson’s return to Lockport, he built a blockhouse on his property. He was elected Captain and ordered by General Scott to proceed with his company to Indian Creek in LaSalle County and bury the dead that had been massacred. After the war, he moved his family to the west side of the Des Plaines River, to an area near what is now Romeoville High School. Clarissa Brunson Sisson passed away in 1858 and Sisson remarried in 1859 to Mrs. Abigail Spicer.
Sisson was elected one of the first commissioners of Cook County (before Will County was established). When Will County was established, he was one of its first commissioners. He was selected by his neighbors to look after their claims and interests during the sale of government lands.
It should be noted that Lockport’s first school was located in the kitchen of his east Lockport home. Capt. Sisson had built the addition to his dwelling to be used as a kitchen, but it was surrendered for school purposes in the 1830’s. There is also a street off of Division Street named for Capt. Sisson.
Captain Sisson died April 26, 1878 and was buried in the Brunson-Sisson Cemetery on Sisson’s land on the west bluffs of the Des Plaines River in Lockport. Material Service Corp. eventually owned the Sisson property and in the late 1990’s they wanted to expand the quarry. This meant the cemetery on the land needed to be excavated and the graves moved. In 1998, the cemetery was excavated and the bodies and stones moved to their current location in Lockport City Cemetery.