The present Prairie Style appearance of the Holtan House dates from its 1911 remodeling by well-known Beloit architect Frank H. Kemp. The horizontal emphasis, grouped windows, and large trellis supported by round columns sets it apart from its neighbors. Kemp was the designer of Stoughton City Hall.
John H. Holtan was manager of the Stoughton branch of the American Cigar Company and President of the First National Bank. He also served as Stoughton mayor. A native of Dane County, he grew up on a farm and first became involved in the cigar business in 1891 with his brother Austin. Holtan then joined the American Cigar company. The firm employed over 250 people in Stoughton, and owned a large complex of buildings.
Hattie Belle Severson was a native of Stoughton and the daughter of Sever H. and Gurina Severson (921 E. Main St.). The Holtans had four children. From left, Theodora, Clarise, Gurina, and Harold Holtan about 1912. In 1910, the U. S.census taker recorded eight people in the Holtan household. In addition to the Holtans, cousin Daisy Lewis (28), and a domestic servant named Anna (30) lived here.