George Willis, carrying on general farming and stock raising upon one hundred and seventy three acres of land
lying partly in Franklin and partly in Jefferson township, was born in Lincolnshire, England, June 9, 1849. He
is a son of George and Mary (Copeman) Willis, also natives of that part of England, the father born in 1824. He
gave his attention to agricultural pursuits during all of his active life, dying in Lincolnshire in 1868. His widow
afterward married again and came to America, locating in Colorado, in which state she made her home until her death,
at the age of sixty six.
George Willis was reared in his native community and acquired his education in its public schools. He afterward
served an apprenticeship as a locomotive and stationary engineer and at the age of eighteen began working at this
occupation, following it successfully until he came to America. He crossed the Atlantic in 1875 and pushed his
way westward to Colorado, locating twenty miles north of Denver, where he became connected with the Union Pacific
Railroad as locomotive engineer on the run between Denver and Boulder. Here he remained for seven years, after
which he turned his attention to farming in Colorado, buying a tract of land in that state, and upon it he resided
until 1898, when he sold and came to Iowa, buying his present farm. He owns and operates one hundred and seventy
three acres of land, eighty of which lie in Franklin township and ninety three in Jefferson, and the property is
in an excellent state of cultivation, reflecting everywhere his careful supervision and practical methods. Aside
from general farming Mr. Willis is also extensively interested in stock raising and he is very attentive to his
interests along this line which under his able management has proven profitable and important.
On the 5th of June, 1873, Mr. Willis was united in marriage to Miss Elizabeth Bowen, who was born in Durham, England,
June 16, 1855, a daughter of John and Margaret Bowen, natives of that section. The father followed the carphorne
alwayse for many years, making his horne,always in England, where he and his wife both passed away. Mr. and Mrs.
Willis are the parents of five children: Abraham, who married Miss Minnie Dorsey and who is engaged in farming
near his father's farm; Mary Anna. the wife of Richard Whaley, who is a butcher in Waterloo; Elizabeth, the wife
of Edward Ewing, who is operating a farm near the old homestead: Anna, who married William Ewing, of Jefferson
township; and George, who resides at home.
Mr. Willis is a member of the United Brethren church and gives his political allegiance to the republican party.
He is one of the successful men of Franklin township and hicreditable toand prosperity are the more creditable'to
him since they have been attained through his energy, courage_and perseverance. In all of his dealings he has been
thoroughly reliable and in matters of citizenship helpful and progressive; giving his aid and influence to many
measures for the public good.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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