Collection number: MC 168
Size: half box (0.20 cu.ft.)
About Willis Family
The Willis family took root in New England when Job Willis emigrated from England and settled in Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Willis had three children: Thomas, Martha Willis (Baldwin) and Daniel Shaw Willis. Daniel married Marinda Hazelton in the 1850s. Marinda came into possession of her family’s farm soon after her marriage. The farm, which is now called the Willis Farm, on Orford Lower Street was built by Richard Hazelton in 1808. James Hazelton, Marinda’s father, owned the farm in the early 1800s. Daniel Willis was a wheelwright and carpenter who worked in a shop attached to the farm.
Daniel and Marinda Willis had three children: Mary Etta, Carrie A., and Eugene F. Willis. Eugene married Nellie A. Flanders in Laconia, September 4, 1893. They moved to Orford and lived in Quinttown on a farm owned by the Willis family. Eugene and Nellie had three children: Lela M., Laura Mildred and Clarence Daniel. Lela, the oldest was born at the Quinttown farm. After the death of Marinda H. Willis on July 26, 1898, Eugene’s family moved into the Willis farm to care for Daniel Willis. Both Laura and Clarence were born at the Willis Farm.
Eugene, a carpenter, drowned in the Connecticut River July 2, 1911. He was 41 years old. His widowed family continued to care for Daniel Willis until his death on March 13, 1916. Nellie Willis purchased the farm and continued to operate the family business. Mrs. Willis died November 3, 1957. She was 87 years old.
Lela Willis married Mr. Lamott and had two sons: Paul I. LaMott and Dean LaMott. She divorced and then married Weymouth Pike. Laura M. Willis married Guy G. Smith of Fairlee, VT. They had one son, Guy Willis Smith. Clarence D. Willis married Ruth Ibelle and had a daughter, Janet Lee, and a son, Russell Eugene.
Job Willis | ___________________________________|___________________________________ | | | Thomas Daniel Shaw m. Marinda (Hazelton) Martha (Baldwin) | ___________________________|___________________________________________ | | | Mary Etta Eugene F. m. Nellie A. (Flanders) Carrie A. | ____________________|_______________________________ | | | LaMott m. Lela M. Laura Mildred m. Guy G. Smith Clarence Daniel m. Ruth May (Ibelle) | | | _______|_____________ | _____________|___________ | | Guy Willis Smith | | Paul I. Dean Janet Lee Russell Eugene
About the Willis Family Letters
The collection consists of personal letters written between 1876-1933. These letters contain family news, document marital stress and divorce, showcase the enduring love between spouses, and describe life on a farm during the early twentieth century. This collection contains forty-five letters, of which thirty-six were written to Nellie Willis. Nellie received a couple of letters from her daughter, Lela, who was going through a divorce. A few letters contain exchanges between Eugene and Nellie when they were separated by Eugene’s job. Other recipients of letters include Eugene Willis, Clarence Willis, Daniel Willis, and Marinda Willis. The oldest letter is from Sylvia B. (Hazelton) Davis who wrote to her sister, Mrs. Daniel Willis (Marinda Hazelton)
This collection is open
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff
[Identification of item], Willis Family Letters, 1876-1933, MC 168, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA
Purchased: Charles Apfelbaum, Watchung, NJ, May 15, 1999 (Accession number: 99.006)
Information used in the biographical note comes from the Report of the Bicentennial Celebration of the Town of Orford, New Hampshire, August 7 and 8, 1965
|Box 1, Folder 1||September-December, 1918 (5)|
|Box 1, Folder 2||1902-1920 (10)|
|Box 1, Folder 3||1921 (14)|
|Box 1, Folder 4||1922-1928 (10. )|
|Box 1, Folder 5||1930-1933 (10)|
|Box 1, Folder 6||date unknown (2 miscellaneous. )|