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Title: Dennis Willson
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Eighty-three years have come and gone since the venerable and honored subject of this sketch first opened his eyes to the light of day, and they have been years well spent by him, for he was reared by good sterling pioneer parents, and had good training and he has not departed from his raising. He has spent nearly all his days in this locality, having been brought here when an infant and he has lived to see and take a conspicuous part in the develpment of the same. He recalls many interesting reminiscences of the early days and he has enjoyed the friendship of all who have come into contact with him, for he has tried to live by the Golden Rule, and while laboring for his own good has not neglected his duties as a citizen.

Dennis Willson was born in Warren county, Ohio, February 26, 1829. He is the son of Asa and Elizabeth (Slaughter) Willson, who spent their earlier lives in Ohio, coming to Fountain county, Indiana, in February, 1830, when the subject was one year old. The father was a native of New Jersey and the mother was born in New York. They were married in Cincinnati, and lived there for some time prior to coming to Indiana. They settled at the town of Rob Roy, where they remained six years, then moved to Scott's Prairie, in 1836, which is today but a few hours' drive, but at that time the journey required two days, made with an ox team. They camped at Coal creek beside a burning log heap. The family became very comfortably located on the prairie mentioned above, and there a good farm was developed, on which the father of the subject spent the rest of his life.

Dennis Willson grew manhood on the home farm and helped with the work of clearing the same and getting it under cultivation, so became acquainted with hard work when he was but a boy. He received a meager education in the old-time schools taught in the country, and early in life he learned the carpenter's trade, which he followed in connection with farming, and he has made a success of his life work, having made a very comfortable living.

Dennis Willson is the fourth in order of birth in a family of twelve children, the others being named as follows: Amos died at the advanced age of eighty-five years; Martha J. died July 29, 1909; David died young; Mary deceased; William, deceased; Asa, deceased; two died in infancy.

Dennis Willson married, on January 9, 1856, Martha Shell, daughter of Strother and Elizabeth (Moudy) Shell. Her father was born in Virginia, but reared in Tennessee, and her mother was a native of Ohio, from which state she came to Fountain county, Indiana, when the country was new, settling two and one-half miles southeast of Veedersburg, and there her parents remained until their deaths.

Three children were born to the subject and wife, namely: Albert died when three months old; Losadie died when two years old; Freeman S. died at the age of twenty years.

Mr. Willson took up farming at Steam Corner, then removed to Cain township in 1870, later taking up his residence at Hillsboro, where he lived until the death of his wife, on July 3, 1910, when he moved to Kingman where he now lives with his sister.

Mr. Willson is one of the honored veterans of the Civil war, having enlisted on September 26, 1864, in Company I, Fortieth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and he served very creditably in the Army of the Cumberland, under Captain Dunn, General George M. Thomas' division. He was mustered out at New Orleans, July 15, 1865.

Politically, Mr. Willson was originally a Whig, and when the Republican party was formed in 1856 he cast his lot with them and voted for Abraham Lincoln in 1860. He has since been a loyal supporter of this party. He was for some time a justice of the peace, filling the office with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of the people. He was formerly a member of the Grange. Religiously, he has been a most worthy member of the Christian Disciple church for years.

[Page 694-695.]

Date: 1/1/1913
Origin: Past and Present of Fountain and Warren Counties Indiana
Author: Thomas A. Clifton, Editor
Record ID: 00001139
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 8/10/2001
Collection: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Entered By: Leslie J. Rice

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