Biography of William H. Willson
Tompkins County, NY Biographies





Willson, William H., was born in Ithaca, November 12, 1840, the oldest son of seven children of William H. Willson, sr. The father was a native of New York city, born in 1810, and settled in Ithaca, in company with M. Hawkins. He was employed in the manufactory for a few years and then returned to New York, where he remained, and shortly atter settled in Ithaca. Here he followed the hatmaker's trade until 1860. That year he went to Lockport where he spent four years, and then to Hornellsville where he was in business for four years, and then spent five years in the same business; he then returned to Ithaca, where he spent the balance of his days. He died in August, 1892. In politics a staunch Democrat, he filled the office of town collector. He was a member of the Episcopal church. The mother of our subject, Rachael Ann Bradford, was also a native of New York city. She died in 1887, at seventy six years of age. The early life of our subject was spent in Ithaca, where he was educated in the common schools and in 1861 went to Lockport, remaining but a year, when he was burned out. From there he went to Buffalo where for four years he acted as a commercial traveler for a wholesale firm. He was five years with a New York firm and then returned to his native town, where he established the hat and fur store, which he has ever since conducted, on the south side of State street. He carries a full line of hats, furs, robes, blankets, trunks, umbrellas, etc. Mr. Willson is a Democrat, and has been a hard worker for his party. He has been appointed member of the Health Board, city collector, and school collector. He has also been a delegate to numerous State conventions and a member of the county committee for fifteen years, of which he has been secretary part of the time. He is a member of the First Presbyterian church. Mr. Willson owns a summer cottage at McKinneys, where he spends his vacation. He married, July 11, 1860, Ellen M., daughter of the late Joseph C. Eurritt, and they have two sons.

From:
Landmarks of Tompkins County, New York
Including a History of Cornell University
Edited by: John H. Selkreg
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, N. Y. 1894


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