The City was named for Colonel W.W. Hollister in 1868 by the Rancho San Justo Homestead Association of farmers. Colonel Hollister drove the first flock of sheep across the continent and acquired the San Justo grant, the location of the community. At the first town meeting, a dispute arose over its name.
It was suggested that it be called San Justo. However, one person protested so strongly against adding one more name to the growing list of saints’ names in California, that San Justo was rejected. Hollister was incorporated on March 26, 1872.
Hollister has more than tripled its population within the last quarter century. In 1980, the census figures put the population of Hollister at 11,488.