Albert Willard

ALBERT WILLARD, one of the old residents of Baxter Springs, who has been prominently identified with the affairs of Cherokee County for 38 years, was born in Erie County, New York, November 19, 1834, and is a son of Samuel and Sarah (Williams) Willard.

The parents of Mr. Willard were born in Boston Massachusetts, and early in married life removed to Erie County, New York, and later to Tecumseh, Michigan. The mother died soon after this removal. The family consisted of nine children, viz.: George, who was drowned at the age of 20 years; Samuel, who died at Grand Rapids, Michigan; Albert, the subject of this record; Lester, who died aged 1O years; Eliza (Mrs. Johiell Morgan), who died at the age of 25 years; Mrs. Sophronia Standish; Maria (Mrs. Lee Sanderson); Adelia (Mrs. Nemirah Candy); and Mrs. Sarah Laysure, of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Our subject accompanied his parents to Tecumseh, Michigan, and there he was educated. After the death of his father, in 1845, he went to Goshen, Indiana, where he obtained employment on a farm for several months, and then went to Crawfordsville, Indiana, and there worked at the carpenter's trade until 1858; when he came to Kansas. He located near Mapleton, just north of Fort Scott, Bourbon County, and this was his home until the close of the Civil War. He enlisted in Company C, 6th Kansas Regiment, and was later transferred to the 4th Kansas Regiment and served eight months. Then he settled at Baxter Springs, which has been his home ever since. He has engaged in various occupations,—merchandising, milling, farming and stock-raising.

On July 22, 1872, Mr. Willard was united in marriage with Mrs. Lucinda Ann (Harlan) Archer, who is probably the oldest settler now living in Cherokee County, her birth having taken place about one mile and a half from Baxter Springs, on June 28, 1840. She is a daughter of David M. and Lucinda (Tucker) Harlan. David M. Harlan came to Baxter Springs very early from South Carolina, settling in Cherokee County in 1835, and following the trade of miller. Mrs. Willard, by a previous marriage to Thomas N. Archer, which took place on July 22, 1856, had a family of four children, viz: William Perry, who married Margaret Van Gundy and has these children.—Seth, Roy, Dalton, Leslie and Juanita; James Siegel, who married Alice Doran, and has one daughter,—Anna; John Rankin, who married Minnie Faulkner; and Mary Ellen (Mrs. Frederick Propp). Mr. and Mrs. Willard have two sons: Leon Lewis and Albert B., the former of whom resides at home, and the latter, who married Della Ferris of Joplin, Missouri, is a locomotive engineer on the "Frisco" system.

Mr. Willard has been a lifelong member of the Republican party, and cast his first presidential vote for John C. Fremont. He has taken an active interest in public affairs and has served for several terms as alderman and as a member of the School Board. He is a charter member of Kansas Lodge, No. 15, Ancient Order of United Workmen. When he came to Kansas, a spirit of outlawry prevailed in this section and he was the organizer of a vigilance committee which had much to do with ensuring peaceful settlement here. He carried the first mail between Fort Scott and Fort Gibson, making tri-weekly trips to Baxter Springs and weekly trips to Fort Gibson. He is a man of great personal courage and of sterling character.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by students from Baxter Springs, Kansas, 3/4/97.


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