Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
Among the earliest settlers of Barry township the Willisons stand prominent. Samuel R. was born in Allegany
Co., N. Y., July 12, 1835, and was the youngest in a family of two children. When but two years of age his father
came to Michigan, settling on the farm where Samuel now lives. His mother was a native of Connecticut; his father,
of New York. Samuel, like most boys of his day, when he arrived at a capable age, had plenty of hard work and but
little time for pleasure, yet by improving the advantages within his reach he acquired a practical knowledge of
men and books which enabled him to do any ordinary business. He helped to clear up their once forest home, where
he has always lived. When fifteen years of age he was bereft of the dearest of friends,—a mother.
After reaching his majority he started for himself, buying eighty acres adjoining his father’s, receiving help
from him in the purchase. Up to 1862 his time was spent clearing land summers, teaching school winters. In August,
1862, he enlisted as private in Co. C, Second Michigan Infantry, where he served until March 4, 1865, never missing
but one battle in which his company engaged. June 4, 1864, in the battle of Cold Harbor, his right foot was cut
off by a cannon-shot. The most important battles in which he was engaged were Fredericksburg, in 1862; siege of
Vicksburg and Knoxville, in 1863; battle of the Wilderness and Spottsylvania and Cold Harbor, where he was wounded.
After being discharged he came home, and, March 28, 1866, married Miss Celinda Jewett, of Richiand, Kalamazoo Co.
She was born in Illinois, March 28, 1846. Her father was a native of Vermont; her mother, of Connecticut; they
both died in Richiand. She is one of a family of four boys and four girls. After marriage they settled on the old
homestead, where they have since lived, and where his parents both died. His home farm consists of two hundred
acres. one hundred and seventy improved, besides owning land in other parts of the town. To this marriage were
born five children: Frances E., born May 12, 1868; Clayton, born June 14, 1870; Lena, born Aug. 31, 1873; Samuel
N., born May 7, 1876; Edith L., born Oct. 7, 1878. He is found among the Republican voters; represented his party
as township treasurer two terms, as school inspector nine years, always taking great interest in schools, doing
cheerfully anything pertaining to their advancement, serving as superintendent two years. He is at present serving
his second term as justice of the peace. Re is a member of no church, but always willing to help support the cause,
believing that our society is preferable to what it would be were the churches excluded from our midst. He chose
farming as his avocation on his return from the war, which he has since diligently pursued.
History of Allegan and Berry Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Their Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.