Thursday, April 16, 2015

N is for . . .

Credit: Anonymous photographer (Life time: Hollister (1818-1886))
Photo is in public domain. It was found at Wikipedia.

In 1868, the San Justo Homestead Association named the new town they established in Monterey County after the man who sold his property to the group. He was William Welles Hollister, who was originally from Hanover, Ohio.

About 14 years earlier, the 36-year old Hollister, called Colonel Hollister by some, which was an honorary title, probably to distinguish himself as gentleman of means, led a sheep drive of several thousand sheep from Ohio to California. His party included his brother and sister (Mrs. Lucy Brown) and over 50 other people. In Nevada, Hollister met Dr. Thomas Flint, Benjamin Flint, and Llewellyn Bixby, who were leading a sheep drive from Illinois. By 1855, the four men formed a partnership. That same year, the partnership purchased the Rancho San Justo land grant, which consisted of much of the land around present-day San Juan Bautista and Hollister.

In 1861, the partnership was dissolved and the rancho divided in half, with the San Benito River as the demarcation line. Hollister owned everything to the east and Dr. Flint, everything to the west. Colonel Hollister thought he got a bum deal and demanded $10,000. Flint offered to trade parcels if Hollister paid him $10,000.

So, they exchanged lands. And, Hollister built his mansion at the foot of Park Hill, which is where the new courthouse now stands.

After several years, Hollister decided to sell his property of nearly 21,000 acres. A group of men organized the San Justo Homestead Association on October 10, 1868, with a capital stock of $370,000, according to the San Benito Advance (January 15, 1876). The association agreed to pay $370,000 to Hollister, who received $100,000 upon signing the sales contract and the rest of the amount, plus 10 percent interest, within seven years. The association made the last payment to Hollister in January, 1876.

After selling his property, "Colonel" Hollister moved to Santa Barbara where he became known as the largest wool grower in the state, according to Wikipedia. He died in 1886 at the age of 68.

Hollister, California became an incorporated city on August 29, 1872. It became the county seat of the newly formed San Benito County two years later.

Interested in learning more about the history of Hollister, the man, and his namesake, the city of Hollister?  Check out these links:

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  1. Oh Very Well Written!!!!! Hi I'm Spacerguy trekking through on the A to Z challenge quest seeking out new blog friends.


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