Edwin Stetson Holland was born in Barre Plains, Massachusetts, on September 26, 1906, the son of Frederic B. and Katie Stetson Holland. He joined the United States Army as a private before June 1943, and attended training at Fort Devens, Massachusetts; Camp Davis, North Carolina; and Camp Stewart, Georgia, before being transferred to Oahu in November 1944. He served with the 43rd Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion in Hawaii until June or July 1945, and in the Ryukyu Islands and on Okinawa, Japan, until his return to Massachusetts in November 1945. He attained the rank of corporal during the war.
Holland worked as a banker both before and after the war, and was employed by the Worcester Five Cents Savings Bank and the State Mutual Life Insurance Company. He proposed to Jane C. Anderson, also of Worcester, before he left for the army, and they married on September 21, 1946. Edwin S. Holland died on October 2, 1990.