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Biography of Edward C. Willis

Edward C. Willis, superintendent of the State Orphans Home at Atchison, is a graduate of Dartmouth College and came to kansas nearly forty years ago with the equipment and training of a oultured New Englander. His work in this state had been largely of an educational nature, and he had taught, had been superintendent of schools, and was finally appointed to his present post at Atchison, where he had served with the exception of two years since 1907. Nearly all of Mr. Willis’ ancestors were colonial families of New England. The Willis family came originally from the northern part of England and settled in Massachnsetts as early as 1638. His grandfather, Joseph Willis, was born at Mount Holly, Vermont, in 1779, was a Vermont farmer, served as a soldier in the War of 1812, and died at Bridgewater, Vermont, in 1866. He married Hannah O’Headle, who was of Irish descent. Joseph E. Willis, father of Edward C., was born at Mount Holly, Vermont, in 1815. He grew up in his native locality, was a Vermont farmer and became a prominent citizen of that state. For many terms he served as a selectman at Bridgewater, and was a member of the Vermont Legislature more than twenty years. At the beginning of the Civil war in 1861 he enlisted and became colonel of a Vermont regiment, seeing active service until the close of the rebellion. He was a republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Colonel Willis came out to Kansas in 1878, and was a pioneer in the vicinity of Newton. He bought a quarter section of school...

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