Alfred I. Willard
WILLARD, HAZEN, MONROE, PALMER, HAMILTON, KENNEDY, HERRICK, SMITH, ERKSON
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/12/2011 at 21:26:45
ALFRED I. WILLARD is a public-spirited citizen, in harmony with advanced ideas, intelligent progress and the best methods of promoting education, improvements and the good of his country generally. He was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in 1831, to the marriage of Jonathan and Sallie (Hazen) Willard. His grandfather, Jonathan Willard, was born in American, but of English parents. He married Miss Betsey Monroe, and during the War of 1812 was engaged in the butchering business for the soldiers at Ft. Slusher.
The father of our subject was born in Genesee County, N. Y., in 1786, and the mother who was of Scotch descent, was born in Vermont. The early life of Jonathan Willard, Jr., was passed on a farm; a common-school education fell to his lot, and as he grew older agricultural pursuits claimed his attention. When a young man he bought tracts of wild land, improved them to some extent, and then sold to a good advantage, continuing this for many years. He was married in Chenango County, N. Y., to Miss Hazen, daughter of Doctor Hazen. Ten children were the result of this union: Eliza, wife of P. Palmer; Thaddeus, deceased; Lydia, wife of Noah Hamilton; Martin, deceased; Lucy A., deceased, who was the wife of Edward Kennedy; Calista, Sallie and Hiram, all of whom are deceased; Jackson and Alfred I. In 1847 four of these children died of typhoid fever within a few months. The father was a Jacksonian Democrat, and died in August, 1845. The mother died in 1863, when seventy-three years of age.
Alfred I. Willard supplemented a district-school education by attending Gouveneur Seminary, of New York, and when nineteen years of age started out to fight life’s battles for himself. He had learned the millwright trade, and this he followed for two years, and later for eight years was engaged in carpenter and sawmill work. He was engaged in the sawmill business with a brother at Fowler, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., and while there married Miss Adeline E. Herrick, a native of Jefferson County, N. Y., and the daughter of Frederick and Betsey (Smith) Herrick. The former was a native of Vermont, of Irish descent, and the latter was a native of Massachusetts. Ten children were given our subject and his wife, as follows: Frederick, Philo, Grant, Hazen, William, Luna May; Herbert, who married Lena Erkson; John, Walter, and Evelyn, who died young. Philo attended business college at Grand Island, Neb., and Walter is a student in the high school at Grundy Centre. Both are bright and intelligent young men.
In 1864 Mr. Willard came west to Illinois, and the following year his family removed thither. He first followed farming, but later engaged in teaming, and then embarked in the butchering business, which he continued for three years. In the year 1870 he came to Grundy County, where he rented land for four years, and then bought one hundred and twenty acres of his present farm. To this he has since added one hundred and twenty acres, and now has one of the best farms in his section. He makes a specialty of raising potatoes, and has raised four hundred bushels to the acre, although two hundred bushels is a good crop. He also raises a great many hogs. In his political views Mr. Willard is a Populist.
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