Born in Brent, Kentucky, into a prosperous middle-class family, T. J. Willison spent his early years working as a salesman for his father's lumber company. The young Harlan Hubbard had a studio at the Willison lumberyard. Willison studied art in nearby Cincinnati during the Duveneck years. He is noted for his intimate landscapes of the countryside in the Little Miami and Ohio river valleys.
One of his paintings was exhibited in The Collectors' Showcase: Artists of the Ohio Valley School and the Wonderland Way, 1883-1940 in 2000 in Louisville. His work is in the collection of the Filson Historical Society.
This painting is an unusually large example of Willison's work.