Akerley Holmes was born in Doaktown in 1894. After attending the Fredericton Business College, Akerley Holmes joined the J. H. Holmes Co., his father’s lumber business at Doaktown, which owned the former Henry Swim sawmill. When his father died prematurely in 1922 the management of the business fell to him. In 1928 he had twenty-five men employed at Doaktown sawing spoolwood.
Akerly Holmes served as a county councillor for a time and was appointed as an almshouse commissioner in 1924. Active in Conservative party politics, he won a seat in the Legislature Assembly in 1925 and sat until 1930. He was defeated in the elections of 1930 and 1939. He was a member, and later chairman for many years, of the Doaktown School Board and secretary-treasurer of St Thomas United Church.
Akerley Holmes was fifty-two when he died in hospital in Fredericton in 1946. He and his first wife, Elsie J. Murray, who died at age twenty-nine, had a son and a daughter, and he and his second wife, Grace I. Murray, had a daughter. His son, James M. Holmes, was a research chemist and a founding member of the chemistry department of Carleton University in Ottawa.
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