Jacob F. Callison

Submitted by
Valerie Crook
September 16, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 237-238
Clay County

JACOB F. CALLISON. Gradually and on the basis of the
soundest commercial principles Jacob F. Callison has de-
veloped one of the most prosperous hardware stores in the
state, at Charleston. It is known as the Farmers Hardware
Company, of which he is president and chief owner. His
success as a merchant is due not only to thorough training
but also to the faculty of hard work and closest application
to all the details.

This company was incorporated in 1913, with a capital
of $25,000. Three years before that, in 1910, Mr. Callison
and S. R. Pierson, both commercial salesmen, combined
their modest capital of $1,000 a piece and established the
firm of Callison & Pierson and made their start in the
hardware trade at Charleston: A year later Mr. Callison
became sole owner, and in 1913 incorporated. The vice
president of the company is C. P. Pickens, though he is not
active in the business. Mr. Callison’s company now operates
on a capital stock of $50,000. Sales for the first year were
only $5,000, and the annual volume of business is now
$150,000. Two assistants were required at the beginning
and there are now nine, and the business also comprises
a jobbing department. The company specializes in the
farming trade. They occupy a double store-room on the
ground floor, with a second floor over one and a large
warehouse on the railroad.

Mr. Callison was born at Clay Court House, West Vir-
ginia, in 1866, son of a farmer, and he lived in the atmos-
phere of a farm until he was about twenty-seven years of
age. He acquired only a common school education, and
he did a great deal of hard farm work and the labor of
lumber camps as a youth. When he left home he went on
the road as a commercial salesman, selling flour and feed
and later groceries, until he and Mr. Pierson left the road
and put their capital into the business that is now the Farm-
ers Hardware Company. Mr. Callison for years allowed the
profits from his business to be used as investment for
further expansion.

While a leading merchant and absorbed in the manage-
ment of his store, he is thoroughly public spirited and has
performed much public service in Charleston. He served
four years as a member of the council, four years as city
treasurer, and was deputy sheriff for four years in Clay
County. His father and other members of the family were
Confederate soldiers, and his early political training was as
a democrat, and in that party he has been very active as a
private and also as a delegate in conventions. Mr. Callison
is a Knight Templar Mason and Shriner, and is prominent
in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at Charleston,
having been chairman of the official board and a member of
the board of stewards.

He married in Clay County, Miss Dora Stephenson, and
they have a daughter, Mavis Stephenson Callison, who is
now in high school.