Rollin K. Willis

Submitted by Joanne Rose Layshock
Lafayette, CA


Rollin K Willis was born on Sept. 26, 1843 in Concord township Delaware County, the seventh of ten children of Buckley H. Willis and Susan Bartlett.

Rollin Willis first enlisted as a private in Company K, 145th Ohio Infantry on May 12, 1864 at the age of 20 and was mustered out on Aug. 24, 1864 at Camp Chase Ohio. Rollin then enlisted as a private in Compay B, 48th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on Sept. 5, 1864, at age 20. He was transferred to the 83rd OVI in January of 1865. He served with two of his brothers, Plyn A. Willis and Jay B. Willis.

A biography in "A History of Delaware and Ohio" (O.L. Baskin & Co, Chicago, 1880) states, "R. K. WILLIS, farmer and stock-raiser; P. O. Lewis Center. Prominent among the leading stockraisers and agriculturists in this township and county is the party whose name heads this sketch, who was born in Concord Township Sept. 26, 1843, and is the seventh child of a family of ten children (eight boys and two girls, born of Buckley H. Willis, a native of Massachusetts, and came to this State about the year 1840; he came to Delaware Co. and located in Concord Township, where he still remains; he has been successful in his business relations, and is now enjoying the fruits of his labor, in peace and quietness; is now 72 years of age; Rollin remained at home until he attained his majority, and soon after volunteered his services in defense of his country, and enlisted in Co. K, and was out in the 100-day service, and upon his return re-enlisted in the 48th O. V. I., Co. B, and remained until the close of the war, doing duty in the Gulf Department. His brother, P. A. Willis, went out as Assistant Surgeon in the same regiment, and served as Medical Director. Upon his return home, he went to school that winter, and, in the spring, made a trip to Kansas, and subsequently was united in marriage to Alice E. Tone, born Oct. 15, 1849, daughter of Miner P. Tone, a native of New Hampshire, who came to this State and located in Franklin Co., and afterward bought the farm now owned by Rollin."

In 1890 he filed a pension application as an invalid and upon his death, his wife, Mame L. Willis filed a pension application .

Excepted from
The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925
Volume V - Page 448-449, Delaware County

Thanks to Stephen E. Williams for researching this excerpt.

Rollin K. Willis, who now resides in Delaware, Ohio, was born on the old homestead farm in Delaware County, September 26, 1843, and there he was reared to adult age. At the age of eighteen years he went forth as a gallant young soldier of the Union in the Civil War, he having been a musician in the band of the Forty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with which he served until the close of the war. He has in his possession a piece of his regimental flag he aided in saving at Fort Donelson [sic.], where he and others of his command were captured, the flag of the regiment having by them been buried in the Confederate prison and having eventually been brought home with the regiment. Mr. Willis participated in many engagements and lived up to the full tension of the great conflict. [Ft. Donelson must have been confused with Sabine Crossroads] In February, 1868, Rollin K. Willis wedded Alice Elizabeth, daughter of Miner P. and Orilla G. Tone, who came from new Hampshire and settled in Delaware County, Ohio, Mr. Tone having been one of the specially successful sheep growers of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Willis became the parents of four children. Roy, now deceased, married Pearl Crumb, and they have one child, Dorothy. Myrtle became the wife of James Morse, of Boston, and they had four children. Myrtle, Alice, Grace and Eunice. Mr. Morse is now deceased. Rolla married Ethel Bovey, and they have three sons, Wilbur, Paul and Vernon. Grace, youngest of the children, died in California. Mrs. Willis died some years ago, and later he married Miss Mayme Harter. Mr. and Mrs. Willis are active members of the Presbyterian Church, and he is affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic.


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