The following data is extracted from Racine, Belle City of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement.
James Callen, who is conducting a mercantile establishment and saloon in Caledonia, was born September 15, 1862, in the Township where he now resides, his parents being James and Mary (Duffy) Callen. The paternal grandfather was Nicholas Callen. who in 1849 arrived in Caledonia Township, Racine County, and died at the home of his son. The maternal grandfather, Patrick Duffy, died in Ireland. James Callen, Sr., was born in County Louth, Ireland, in 1833, and came to America in 1849, when a youth of sixteen years. He worked on different farms for a time, during which period he carefully saved his earnings, and at length he purchased eighty acres of land. He afterward sold his farm and purchased a saloon and store on the Kilbourn road. His business there proved profitable and he gained there from a substantial income. He died in February, 1916, having long survived his wife, who was born in County Meath, Ireland, in 1836 and died at the comparatively early age of forty-two years, in 1878. In their family were twelve children, of whom ten are living: Thomas, who is engaged in the real estate and insurance business in Milwaukee; Mary, a dressmaker residing in Milwaukee; William, of Chicago, who is in the employ of the Illinois Central Railroad Company; James; Lizzie, who is keeping house for her brother in Milwaukee; Kate, living in that city; George, of Milwaukee, who is in the employ of the St. Paul Railway Company; Ella., who is the widow of Emil Otto, of Milwaukee, and has one child, Raymond; Jennie, who resides with her brother James; and Agnes, who is connected with the Wisconsin Telephone Company, of Milwaukee. The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic Church and Mr. Callen is a democrat in his political views. He has been prominent in community affairs, serving for sixteen years as chairman of Caledonia Township, and he has ever been ready and willing to aid in all matters relative to the public good.
In his youthful days James Callen became a pupil in the district school near his father's home and when his textbooks were put aside he took up the occupation of farming, which he followed until he reached the age of twenty-two years. He was afterward with the St. Paul Railway Company and also with the street car company and while thus engaged carefully saved his earnings until the sum was sufficient to enable him to engage in business on his own account. He then established a store and saloon at Caledonia in 1894 and through the intervening period of twenty-two years has built up a substantial and profitable business.
On the 19th of September, 1894, Mr. Callen vas married to Miss Elizabeth Larkin, who was born in Elgin, Illinois, and they have become the parents of five children: William and Thomas, who are with their father in business at Caledonia; Walter, who intends to study medicine; and Esther and Raphael, both at home.
The family is a member of the Catholic Church and Mr. Callen gives his political allegiance to the Democratic Party. He has never based his advancement upon any false standards of business nor has he ever entertained the idea that success could be won without persistent and earnest effort. He has put forth the qualities necessary to gain advancement and by attempting to please his patrons has secured a liberal trade.
Source: Racine, Belle City of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement