John Edward Hollenbeck (June 5, 1829 – September 2, 1885) was an American businessman and investor who was involved in the 19th century development of Nicaragua and the city of Los Angeles, California.
J. Edward Hollenbeck was born in Hudson, Ohio, and later moved with his parents to Winnebago County, Illinois. He had limited schooling and, in 1846, decided that he did not wish to be a farmer. With his father's permission, the young man left home to make his own way. After doing day labor for traveling funds, he returned to Ohio and apprenticed himself to learn the machinist's trade with Bell and Chamberlain in Cuyahoga Falls. He became a master of this trade in three years but declined to join his employers’ business as a partner.
Instead of establishing himself in business in Ohio, young Hollenbeck decided to travel to the California gold fields. He took passage on a sailing vessel from New Orleans to Aspinwall, now Colón, in Panama. Upon h