E.Z. CALLISON-WHITLOCK's, Mariposa County, 1849

E. Z. Callison was attracted to this coast in 1849 by the gold excitement, and after a few years of mining experience he entered the stock business, in which he has since been continuously engaged. A resume of his life will be found of interest to many, and is as follows:
Mr. Callison was born in Ohio, in 1831, son of Moses and Catharine (Bonnet) Callison, natives of Virginia. His parents emigrated to Ohio at an early day, and settled in Greene County, eigh miles from Springfield, where they followed an agricultural life. E. Z. Callison was educated in the private schools of Springfield, Ohio, and at Ebenezer College, Springfield, Missouri, spending his vacations at home until 1849, when he started for California in company with a large emigrant train. They left Council Bluffs March 13, 1849, traveling with ox teams, and making the journey via the Southern route. At Santa Fe, New Mexico, then the termination of the wagon trail, they left their wagons and resorted to pack-mules; and the difficulties of travel thus being increased, about two-thirds of the company returned home; still a party numbering about 300 pressed onward. They approached the Rocky Mountains, being guided by a Frenchman and Mexican, each of who was supposed to know parts of the trail; but as their pathway became more difficult, the guides lost all bearings and they were obliged to grope their way forward, guided somewhat by Fremont's maps. Progress was slow, difficult and dangerous, and it was some time before they reach the Utah valley, where they stopped to recuperate. Under the guidance of James Waters they again pressed forward to Los Angeles. From Los Angeles they went north and arrived at the mines in Mariposa County about October 1, 1849.

Mr. Callison engaged in mining at what was subsequently named Whitlock's creek, the name being derived from T. J. Whitlock, captain of the train referred to in this sketch. With steady success young Callison continued in the mines until 1853, making no large strikes, but an average gain of one ounce of gold each day during his mining experience. In the spring of 1853 he went to Big Dry creek, eight miles from Knight's Ferry, and there engaged in cutting wild-oats hay, which he hauled to Sonora and sold at from $80 to $300 per ton. This industry he continued until 1855. His next business enterprise was to buy cattle in Santa Clara County, and in the spring of 1856 drove them to Stanislaus County, then on to Tulare County. He located on the Tule river, about four miles northwest of Woodville, being one of the first stock men to settle in that vicinity.

December 4, 1856, Mr. Callison was married on Big Dry creek, two miles below Rock River ranch, to Miss Susan Caroline McGee, a native of Missouri. They resided on Tule river, near Woodville, until 1870, when Mr. Callison came to his present location, purchased 160 acres of land, pre-empted the same amount, and camped under a tree while he built his cabin. From this location as headquarters he continued his extensive stock interests, keeping a band of 2,000 cattle and fifty saddle horses. He gradually increased his landed possessions, and now owns 3,500 acres. Upon the enforcement of the trespass law in 1875, he reduced his cattle to the capacity of his ranch - about 500 head - and now he keeps only 200. One thousand three hundred acres he annually sows to grain.

Mr. and Mrs. Callison have one child, Louis Napoleon, who is married and settled near the old homestead, and is the father of four children. Mr. Callison built his present handsome home in 1886. It is a most beautiful and attractive place, being especially adapted to this sunny clime, with its broad balconies entirely around the house at each floor. The kitchen and dining-room are detached about fifty yards from the main building. Mr. Callison is a gentleman of strong and decided characteristics, just and honorable in all business transactions, and by his many acquaintances throughout the valley he is honored and respected.

SOURCE:Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kern, California
Chicago, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1892, Page 436, 437
transcribed by Bev Green