Frederick W. Willard was born in Leominster, Mass., Nov. 6, 1857, a son of James W. and Katherine E. (Phillips) Willard. His father died in Massachusetts, but in 1912 his mother was still living, at the advanced age of ninety years, residing with her son, at the "Maples," the family home, a beautiful 160-acre farm six miles south of Leavenworth, on the De Soto road. Mr. Willard's ancestors of the Willard branch came from England, landing at Cambridge, Mass., in 1634. The Phillips family were of Irish-Scotch descent, and were among the early settlers of New Hampshire. A number of the male members of both families were soldiers during the Revolutionary war, in companies furnished by the Old Bay State.
Frederick W. Willard was one of a family of two brothers. He came to Kansas in 1868; attended common schools; later entering the office of the "Leavenworth Conservative," owned and edited by D. W. Wilder, where he learned all branches of newspaper printing from "devil" to foreman. From the mechanical department he passed to reportorial, and editorial work and became an all round newspaper man. In 1889 he was appointed sheriff of Leavenworth county, by Governor Humphrey, to fill out the unexpired term of Levi Churchill. Two years later he was elected to the state legislature from the Leavenworth district. From 1891 to 1895 he was employed by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad, as superitnendent[sic] of the coal agencies of the road. When the fuel department was abolished he accepted a position with the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, of Denver. In 1900 he became one of the active supporters of Charles Curtis, United States senator from Kansas, who was at that time a member of the lower house of Congress, and in 1902 Mr. Willard was appointed postmaster at Leavenworth, and occupied that position for eight years and seven months, retiring Feb. 20, 1911, having been postmaster four years longer than any of his predecessors.
In October, 1877, Mr. Willard married Julia H. Dustin, a native of Lowell, Mass., and their family consists of four daughters and one son: Katherine, the widow of Dr. Dana L. Eddy; Jeanette, the wife of Pearson C. Lyon, of Leavenworth; Ida, the wife of Howard Campbell, of Topeka; Julia, who resides with her parents, and Fred D., who resides in Kansas City. Mr. Willard is a stanch supporter of the Republican party and belongs to the Masonic fraternity and the Elks.Pages 1218-1219 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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