Family History of Harrison Jackson WILLIS

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Kansas Family History

The Kansas Heritage server would like to thank Betty I. Ralph ( for this material.

Harrison Jackson Willis
b 3 Oct 1813 Hopkins Co, KY
d 22 Aug 1904 Greenwood Co, KS

m 8 Sep 1836 Mt Carmels, Washington Co, IL
Hannah Brown 
b 12 Feb 1818 Gibson Co, IN
d 17 Feb 1889 Greenwood Co, KS

Elmira J. b 16 Mqr 1840 d 15 Jan 1907 m Henry S, Jones
James b @ 1842 d bef 1904
Amelia b @ 1848  m Edwin Tucker
John  d 1910 in automobile accident m Ida _
Clint Lockwood - adopted @ 1857

The Willis family left Albion, IL, in May 1859, in two covered wagons pulled
by oxen and horses.  In St. Louis, MO, they joined other wagons for mutual
protection and sharing of work.  They crossed into KS in July and arrived in
Ft Scott on the 4th.    Elmira became very ill and they spent several days
in Iola while she recovered.  

They continued westward, water courses became less frequent, shelter was
hard to find; still the men wanted to push further west.  One day a
disordered group was met who told a tale of indians on the warpath resulting
in burned and deserted cabins.

Family tradition says that Hannah told her husband "I have gone as far as I
am going.  We will turn back and settle over there.  Get into the wagon,
children, we are going back.  Harrison, if you want to go on, you can take
the other wagon."

Harrison J. Willis decided to stay with his family and uilt a cabin SW of
Eureka, KS, on Fall River.  There was a drought in 1860, and the pumpkin and
melon seeds Mrs. Willis had brought from IL plus wild prarie chickens helped
the family to survive.   

Harrison filed a homestead claim on Bachelor Creek in 1863.  They dug clay
out of the ground, built a kiln nearby, and fired clay into red bricks to
build the family home.

Harrison J. Willis was one of the founders of the Christian Church in
Eureka, KS, was appointed a Greenwood Co supervisor in 1862 and elected to
the post the following November.

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