Gazlay Family History

FamilyMary Celestia Gazlay


FatherDr. Henry Champion Gazlay (1 August 1818 - 19 March 1900)
MotherSabra Elvira Cornwall (5 April 1821 - 14 August 1859)

Personal Information

Record Created: 7 November 2009; Last Edited: 28 February 2015 
NameMary Celestia Gazlay
Born 10 January 1846 in New York1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Married 31 December 1873 in Cortlandville, New York to Alexander Hamlin Hollenbeck3, 4, 5, 6
Died 14 January 1919 in Creston, Iowa7, 8
Buried in Graceland Cemetery, Creston, Union County, Iowa7, 8


Mary’s obituary provides an interesting summary of her life:8


Death of Mrs. Hollenbeck

Mother of Miss A. M. Gazlay of Homer Has Passed Away

Mrs. Mary Celestia Gazlay Hollenbeck, wife of A. H. Hollenbeck who died at her home in Creston, Ia., on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and who was a former resident of Cortland county, was born in Fabius, N. Y., Jan. 19, 1846, and was the daughter of Henry Champion Gazlay and Sabra E. Cornwall. The family later moved to Truxton and afterwards to Homer, N. Y. Here she was graduated from the Cortland academy. Later still she moved with the family to Cortland, N. Y., and on Dec. 31, 1873, she was married to A. H. Hollenbeck of Belvidere, Ill.

After graduating at Homer and before her marriage, Mrs. Hollenbeck taught for two years. She was a proficient French scholar, a lover of all literature and kept in touch with the progress of the world.

Mr. and Mrs. Hollenbeck resided at Belvidere until 1892 when they moved to Creston, Ia., which has since been their home. Her illness began two years ago and from the first has tested the skill of the best physicians, and the tender care of her family was availing and on Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, 1919, her freed spirit passed into the “beautiful beyond.”

The funeral services were held at her home Thursday afternoon, Jan. 16, Rev. C. C. Harris of the Congregational church officiating. There was no formal discourse, but comforting passages of Scripture were read, followed by earnest remarks and a sincere prayer. Tenderly they carried out the casket covered with the flowers she had always loved so much and now she sleeps in the painless, aimless sleep that knows no waking in a quiet spot in Graceland. The bearers were Messrs. Scott Armstrong, James Gautt, H. L. Royce, J. M. Miller, J. W. Stratton and George Ide. Mrs. Hollenbeck is survived by her husband, one daughter Mrs. W. P. Tracy of St. Joseph, Mo., one sister, Miss Achsa M. Gazlay of Homer, one brother, W. H. Gazlay of Dayton, Texas, and one grandson, Walter C. Tracy. One son, a promising young man of 21 years preceeded the mother’s death sixteen years ago. Neither the brother nor the sister were able to be present at the funeral, but the son-in-law, W. A. Tracey, and the grandson, W. C. Tracey, were there in St. Joseph.

Mrs. Hollenbeck was a woman of rare culture and beautiful character. She became a Christian early in life and when she removed to Creston she aligned with the Congregational church and was a constant and faithful attendant until her fatal illness began.


Spouse 1FamilyAlexander Hamlin Hollenbeck (son of Isaac Hollenbeck and Lydia M. Bennett)
Born 8 August 1846 in Tully, New York
Married 31 December 1873 in Cortlandville, New York to Mary Celestia Gazlay
Died 28 March 1927 in Page County, Iowa
Children of Mary Celestia Gazlay and Alexander Hamlin Hollenbeck:
1.FamilyEva May Hollenbeck
Born 11 February 1876
Died 28 July 1876
2.FamilyRalph Gazlay Hollenbeck
Born 14 June 1879 in Delavan, Illinois
Died 9 February 1901 in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois
+3.FamilyGrace Mae Hollenbeck
Born 29 July 1880 in Illinois
Married 12 September 1905 in Creston, Iowa to Walter P. Tracy
Died before March 1948


  1. U.S. Federal Census, 1850, New York, Cortland County, Truxton, Page Nos. 131, 132, family of Elihu Cornwell (60, Conn., farmer); Lydia Cornwell (53, Conn.); H. C. Gazley (31, NY, b. physician); Sabury [sic] Gazley (29, NY); Ann Cornwell (13, NY); Achsey [sic] Gazley (6, NY); Mary Gazley (4, NY); Sarah Gazlay (1, NY).
  2. U.S. Federal Census, 1880, Illinois, Tazewell County, Delavan Village, Enumeration District 245, Page No. 7, family of A. H. Hollenbeck (33, New York, retired merchant); wife Mary C. Hollenbeck (32, New York); son Ralph G. Hollenbeck (11/12, Illinois, Jan.).
  3. U.S. Federal Census, 1900, Iowa, Union County, Creston, Enumeration District 131, Sheet No. 15A, family of Alexander Holenbeck (53, New York, Aug 1846, grain dealer); wife of 26 years Mary Holenbeck (53, New York, Jan 1847, 2 children, 2 living); son Ralph Holenbeck (20, Illinois, June 1879, artist); daughter Grace Holenbeck (19, Illinois, July 1880).
  4. U.S. Federal Census, 1910, Iowa, Union County, Creston City, Enumeration District 144, Sheet No. 15B, family of Alexander H. Hollenbeck (63, New York, merchant); wife of 36 years Mary C. Hollenbeck (63, New York, 3 children, 1 living).
  5. Genealogy, The Champion Genealogy: A History of the Descendants of Henry Champion, by Francis Bacon Trowbridge, New Haven, 1891. Library of Congress Local History and Genealogy Reading Room.
  6. Wedding announcement card, A. H. Hollenbeck and Mary C. Gazlay, Wednesday 31 December 1873 in Cortlandville, New York. Original in possession of Lee Gazlay.
  7. Find a Grave (website). Graceland Cemetery, Creston, Union County, Iowa, Mrs. A H Hollenbeck, born: unknown; died: January 1919 [from record].
  8. Obituary, Cortland Standard, Cortland, New York, available at, 22 January 1919, Death of Mrs. Hollenbeck, Mary Celestia Gazlay Hollenbeck. The article provides vital and lengthy biographical details and the names of her parents, husband, daughter, siblings, and a grandson.