Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]
Willis Leach was born May 23, 1831, in SummIt Co., Ohio, where his parents had located in an early day in the
settlement of that county. When twenty three years of age he married Miss Mary Ranney, with whom he lived six years,
when death’s summons came to her, leaving a family of four children, Willie R, Luther J., Burritt B., and Mary
J. Again, on July 16, 1861, he married Sophia Ranne.y, a sister of his first wife. By his second wife he had eight
children, Cora A., Melvin C., Sallie P., Floyd, Leon B., Morris K., Lucetta L., Nora W.
In January, 1865, he moved to Duplain, Clinton Co., and, in company with D. F. Sheldon, O. A. Clark, and C. Ranney,
purchased two hundred acres of timbered land and erected a steam saw mill, which was successfully operated for
three years. In 1868, Sheldon, Rauney, and Leach purchased several hundred acres of wild lands in the south part
of Saginaw and Gratiot Counties, to which they removed their mill. The following year, 1869, Leach and Ranney purchased
the interest of Sheldon. From, the date of Leach and Ranney’s purchase to January, 1872, the mill property and
lumber was three times destroyed by fire, and still they prosecuted the work with a will and energy worthy of success.
Mr. Leach’s health being somewhat impaired, he determined upon removing to the first purchase to recuperate, and
for the better advantages of schooling his children. He continued in failing health until March 2, 1880, when death’s
summons came, regretted by all with whom he had been associated.
History of Shiawassee and Clinton 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.