Arriving in Georgetown in 1861 from Farmville, Virginia, Robert Holmes, distinguished himself as a businessman. The son of a slave and free women, and without a formal education, he managed to run two businesses and acquire considerable property. He first worked on the local river boats, then established a wholesale oyster business, located for eight years at 20th and O Street, NW. He later owned a thriving oil and gas business, located for twenty-five years at 2703 Dumbarton Avenue, NW. He was a charter member of the Widows’ Sons Lodge of Colored Mason and grand treasurer of the Order of Samaritans. He was a trustee at Mt. Zion and a Freedmen’s Bank depositor. Robert Holmes is also listed at 2916 O St., NW his home since he spent his final years there. He died in 1926 at the remarkable age of 104 with a $19,000 estate. He is buried in Mt Zion UMC/Female Union Band Society Cemetery.