"William H. Hollister"

Inventor of the Hollister Head Holster


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The Poca Post is pleased to issue a Commemorative Issue Stamp recalling the gunfighter and inventor:  William H. Hollister.

William H. Hollister lived in the Poca River Basin from 1885 until 1887.  In those early days, most men carried side arms, and frequently used them.  It occurred to Hollister, who was an experienced gunfighter, that more often than not a simple display of a large weapon would be enough to deter a show down.  He reasoned that the more prominent the display of a side arm, the more likely a potential rival would think twice about drawing their pistol.  To that end, William Hollister developed the Hollister Head Holster.  

This holster was worn around the head (as shown, sans pistol, in the stamp).  This provided for a highly visible display of his "shootin' iron."  This worked quite well for a short period of time.  Other gunfighters were reluctant to draw on him because of the obvious presence of his large pistol.  However, in August of 1887 one Wilmar Paisely was not intimidated.  He drew on Hollister.  Mr. Hollister had not calculated on the difficulty of removing the pistol from his holster, and, as a result, died from a single shot from Mr. Paisley's pistol.  Never-the-less, William H. Hollister's contribution to the lore of gun fighting has made him a Poca River legend, and the Hollister Holster is still on display at the Pliny Historical Society Museum.

The stamp was issued in a pane of  16 stamps in the denomination of 86 pu.


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