HON. EDWIN WILLITTS
Was born in Otto, Cattaraugus county, New York, April 24, 1830. He removed with his parents to Michigan in September,
1838. He attended the public schools, and graduated from the Michigan University in June, 1855. In April of the
following year he removed to Monroe and entered the law office of Isaac P. Christiancy. He was admitted to the
bar in 1857, and carried on an active and successful practice. In 1869 he was elected prosecuting attorney of Monroe
county, and held the office until 1873. In 1862 he was also elected a member of the State Board of Education, and
was re-elected in 1866, serving in all twelve years. From 1855 to 1865 he was editor of the Monroe Commercial.
In 1873 he was chosen one of the board of commissioners to revise the constitution of the State. He was appointed
postmaster of Monroe by President Lincoln in 1863, and was removed by President Johnson in October, 1866. He was
elected to the Forty Fifth Congress on the Republican ticket by more than two thousand majority over the Democrat,
Greenback and Granger candidates, and again to the Forty Sixth and Forty Seventh Congresses. In 1883 he was appointed
principal of the State Normal School, where he remained until his appointment to the presidency of the State Agricultural
College in 1885. As before stated, he was a member of the State Board of Education, and was admirably qualified
by his tastes and his deep interest in the prosperity of our educational institutions, together with his culture
and aptness in teaching, and being appreciated by his associates soon became a prominent member of the board. He
radically changed the policy in the managem.ent of the Agricultural College, which resulted in the establishment
of the State Board of Agriculture and the reorganization of the Agricultural College. To Mr. Willitte should be
accorded the credit and honor of greatly adding to the prosperity of the college, and well was he entitled to the
place accorded him when appointed at the head.
For many years Mr. Willitts was one of the prominent members of the Republican party in the State of Michigan,
and has held many responsible positions in the party.
He resigned the position of president of the Normal School at Ypsilanti, Michigan, to the regret of the officers
of that institution, to accept the presidency of the State Agricultural College, under whose management the college
attained great popularity, which office he resigned in March, 1889, to accept the appointment of assistant secretary
of agriculture by appointment of President Harrison, and now resides in Washington.
He married the daughter of Judge Ingersoll, of Dundee, Monroe county; has two children, one daughter (married)
and one son, George Willitts, a lawyer of prominence in the city of Chicago.
History of Monroe County, Michigan
Talcott E. Wing, Editor
Munsell & Company, Publishers
New York 1890.
Monroe County, Michigan Biographies
Names A to C
Names D to K
Names L to P
Names R to Z
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