Colusa County












SEYMOUR H. CALLEN.  As postmaster and editor of the Williams Farmer at Williams, Colusa county, Seymour H. Callen is named among the representative men of this section.  He is a native of Marshall county, Iowa, his birth having occurred at State Center, March 20, 1866.  His great-grandfather, Seymour Henry Callen, was a native of Scotland, who, upon his immigration to the United States, located in Auburn, N. Y., where he taught music for a livelihood.  He became a pioneer of De Kalb county, Ill., where he engaged in farming and stock-raising.  His family of children was practically grown when he left New York state, one son, John Callen, removing to Mills county, Iowa, where he was prominent in local politics until his death.  A son of this pioneer, John Alexander Callen, the father of Mr. Callen of Williams, was born in Auburn, N.Y., and finally located in the middle west.  During his residence in New York he served an apprenticeship as stair builder and architect, but later in life took up the study of medicine, graduating from the St. Louis Medical College in 1876, after which he practiced his profession, first in Oregon, Holt county, Mo., where he remained for six years, then in Las Vegas, N. Mex.  In 1884 he came to Sacramento, C al., and shortly afterward located in Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, where he followed his profession.  Removing to Cloverdale, same county, he made that city his home until 1891, when he located in Auburn, where he is now engaged in the practice of medicine.  In De Kalb county, Ill., he was united in marriage with Sarah Estabrook, a native of that locality and the descendant of New England ancestry.  Her father and two brothers participated in the Civil war, serving in an Illinois regiment.  Mrs. Callen is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  Of the six children born of this union three are living, namely:  S. H., of this review; John Herbert, a graduate of the St. Louis Medical College and at present a practicing physician of Oakland; and Moses D., a printer for the railway mail service of San Francisco.


S. H. Callen accompanied his parents to Holt county, Mo., and it was there that he received the greater part of his education, as there were no schools in Las Vegas.  In the latter place he entered a printing office of the Las Vegas Optic, where he learned the trade, after which he went on the Raton Daily Independent, under the management of his uncle, J. C. Holmes.  Following this he was for a time connected with the Sentinel, of Silver City, N.Mex., which he left to accept employment on a Deming paper, published in a tent.  May 1, 1884, he located in Sacramento, Cal., and shortly afterward secured employment as compositor on the Santa Rosa Democrat.  A year later he assisted in the organization of the Cloverdale Sentinel, his partner being A. H. Stevens, who is now superintendent of the railway mail service.  After the election of Governor Bartlett he entered the state printing office, where he remained until September, 1887, when the governor died.  He then came to Williams and established the Williams Farmer, which he has since successfully published with the exception of the time between the dates of December 26, 1890, and January 7, 1894, when the paper was in other hands.  In the meantime he was located in Santa Rosa, Dinuba and Willows, but returning on the last-named date he repurchased the paper and has since conducted its publication.  The paper consists of a twelve-page, four-column sheet, published on Saturday of each week, and gives to its readers the local news, current events and an intelligent discussion of all matters of interest.  In addition Mr. Callen conducts a job printing office, having two Gordon presses, besides a Potter pony press, run by a two-horse power gasoline engine.  December 4, 1895, he received the appointment to the postmastership of Williams, since which time he has held the office continuously.  In addition to his regular interests he has published various pamphlets of the county for the use of surveyors, and also a map of the western half of the county, which has proved very valuable.  He is public spirited and energetic and anxious to promote all movements that tend toward the advancement or upbuilding of the community in which he makes his home.


Mr. Callen has been twice married, the first union occurring in Cloverdale, September 12, 1887, and uniting him with Carrie Bell, who died in Williams September 20, 1894, leaving three children, Glenn, LeRoy and Lila.  June 3, 1896 in Williams, he was married to Lulu Williams, a daughter of William H. and Sarah (Cary) Williams, the founders of this place.  They have one son, Daryl Williams.  Fraternally Mr. Callen is quite prominent, being an Odd Fellow, of which organization he was made a member in Central Lodge No. 229, of Williams, in 1888, and in which he served as corresponding secretary for six and a half years.  In October, 1902, he became a charter member of the Arbuckle Encampment No. 55.




[Inserted by D. Toole.]


Seymour H. Callen



Name:    Seymour H Callen

Event Type:    Marriage

Event Date:    12 Sep 1887

Event Place:    Sonoma, California, United States

Gender:    Male

Age:        21

Birth Year (Estimated):    1866

Father's Name:   

Mother's Name:   

Spouse's Name:    Carrie V Bell

Spouse's Age:        20

Spouse's Gender:    Female

Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated):    1867

Spouse's Father's Name:   

Spouse's Mother's Name:   


GS Film number:    1031224

Digital Folder Number:    004666585

Image Number:    00452

Citing this Record: "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2014), Seymour H Callen and Carrie V Bell, 12 Sep 1887; citing Sonoma, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 1,031,224.


1891 Feb 21, Fresno Morning Republican, P2, Fresno, California

The Santa Rosa Leaf is a new paper which S. H. Callen has launched in the capital of Sonoma county. It is a handsome eight-page journal and should win its way on its merits.


Findagrave Memorial:

Carrie Bell Callen

Birth:     Dec. 30, 1866

Death: Sep. 22, 1894

Burial: Williams Cemetery, Williams, Colusa County, California, USA

Created by: GrammieK

Record added: Mar 03, 2016

Find A Grave Memorial# 158867221


1895 Apr 21, Riverside Independent Enterprise, P5, Riverside, California

The Editors

Members of the California Press Association Visit Riverside

The members of the California Press Association arrived in this city yesterday on the Southern Pacific noon train.  They at once went to the Glenwood where they took lunch, after which they took carriages and went for a drive down the valley.  Returning form the drive the party left for Los Angeles on the evening train.  The members of the party were as follows:  <snipped>  Mr. S. H. Callen, Williams Farmer; <snipped>


1895 Jul 29, San Francisco Chronicle, P6, San Francisco, California

S. H. Callen, editor of the Williams Farmer, in Colusa county, is visiting San Francisco.  His domicile here is the Grand Hotel.


1896 Jan 14, San Francisco Chronicle, P5, San Francisco, California


The following postmasters were today commissioned on the Pacific Coast:  S. H. Callen at Williams, Cal., Nathan Selig at Myrtle Creek, Or., and Clement L. McKenna at University Park, Or.



Name:    S.H. Callen

Event Type:    Marriage

Event Date:    03 Jun 1896

Event Place:    Colusa, California, United States

Gender:    Male

Age:        30

Birth Year (Estimated):    1866

Spouse's Name:    Lulu Williams

Spouse's Age:        25

Spouse's Gender:    Female

Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated):    1871

GS Film number:    1293947

Digital Folder Number:    004666511

Image Number:    00246

Citing this Record: "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 28 November 2014), S.H. Callen and Lulu Williams, 03 Jun 1896; citing Colusa, California, United States, county courthouses, California; FHL microfilm 1,293,947.


1901 May 9, San Francisco Chronicle, P6, San Francisco, California

S. H. Callen, a newspaper ma of Williams, is making a short stay at the Grand.


1909 May 27, The Los Angeles Times, P13, Los Angeles, California

Two Daughters Favored

W. H. Williams, Pioneer, Divided $190,000 Estate With Great Partiality, Provoking Contest

[By Direct Wire to the Times]

Colusa, May 26 – [Exclusive Dispatch.]  Out of his estate of $190,000, W. H. Williams, the pioneer, for whom the town of Williams was named, bequeaths only $1000 each to his daughters, Mrs. S. H. Callen, wife of Editor Callen of Williams; Mrs. Harry Manor and Mrs. H. J. Moody, and this is made payable $250 annually.  To his widow, who was his second wife, he gives the home place in Williams and two ranches containing 2620 acres.  To each of the following nieces, Mrs. W. T. Brown, Mrs. Walter Criss and Mrs. E. N. Kimball, he gave $100.  To his niece, Mrs. Mary Cranson of Sulphur Creek, he left $300; to his grandson, Daryl Callen, $500.  The remainder of his property, real and personal, amounting probably to $100,000, he gave, share and share alike, to his two daughters, Miss Belle and Miss Margaret A. Williams.  Belle Williams is named as administratrix.  She managed her father’s estate for years.  The will is dated in May, 1904.  It is expected a contest will develop.  The estate was supposed to be worth $500,000.


1909 Jul 4, San Francisco Chronicle, P29, San Francisco, California

Callen Denies Saying Anything About Contest

Williams, July 3 – S. H. Callen, editor of the Williams Farmer, declares he was misquoted in the published statement in which he was quoted as saying that the deed which was made in 1901 aby W. H. Williams, a pioneer of this section, was a forgery, or had been signed by Williams under the impression that it was some other document.  The deed came to light after the death of Williams in 1907 and transferred several city lots valued at several thousand dollars to his secretary, Miss Laura Miller, now Mrs. Floyd E. Kidd.  Callen, whose wife is a daughter of the dead pioneer, is contesting the validity of the paper.  Callen says he has made no statement regarding the case, but will take every means to prove it invalid.


1911 Jul 26, The Los Angeles Times, P3, Los Angeles, California

Found Dead in Bed

Postmaster Passes Away

[By Direct Wire to The Times]

Williams (Cal.) July 25 – [Exclusive Dispatch.]  Seymour Henry Callen, postmaster and editor, was found dead in his bed at his home in this city yesterday having expired of heart failure.  He was 45 years old and had been publishing the Williams Farmer for twenty-four years.  He had been postmaster nearly that length of time.  He took an active part in the politics of the county.  Mrs. Callen and her three youngest children were at Wilbur Springs for the summer, when he died, and one son and one daughter were at Auburn, and one son was on his way to Portland.


Findagrave Memorial:

Seymour Henry Callen

Birth:     Mar. 20, 1866

Iowa, USA

Death:    Jul. 24, 1911

California, USA

Appointed US Postmaster for Williams, Colusa County, CA Dec 14, 1895  

Family links:


 John A. Callen (1839 - 1911)

 Sarah E. Esterbrook Callen (1842 - 1928)

Spouse:  Lulu Williams Callen (1871 - 1954)*


 Glenn Seymour Callen (1889 - 1919)*

 Daryl W. Callen (1896 - 1969)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial: Williams Cemetery, Williams, Colusa County, California, USA

Created by: GrammieK

Record added: Mar 03, 2016

Find A Grave Memorial# 158867235


Findagrave Memorial:

Lulu Williams Callen

Birth:     May 16, 1871

Death: Sep. 4, 1954

Family links:

Spouse:   Seymour Henry Callen (1866 - 1911)


 Glenn Seymour Callen (1889 - 1919)*

 Daryl W. Callen (1896 - 1969)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial: Williams Cemetery, Williams, Colusa County, California, USA

Created by: GrammieK

Record added: Mar 03, 2016

Find A Grave Memorial# 158867231






Transcribed by Donna Toole.

­­­­Source: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 570-575. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

© 2017  Donna Toole.








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