A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas


Henry C. Willard, recognized as one of the most eminent business and personal characters of Pittsburg, although now retired from active connection with business affairs, is, as he has been for the last twenty-five years, thoroughly and closely identified with the city's material, social and civic welfare and prosperity, lending his efforts with unusual display of public spirit and generosity to such enterprises as mean a permanent, steady progress for Pittsburg. For such reasons Mr. Willard stands foremost in the esteem of his fellow citizens, and his name and memory must stand during subsequent generations as a synonym for civic integrity and personal uprightness and ability.

Mr. Willard was born in Rockingham, Vermont, in 1837, a son of Alpheus and Mariah (Sabin) Willard. His father brought the family to Peoria county, Illinois, in 1839, and located there on a farm, where both parents died. Mr. Willard grew up and obtained his education in Peoria county. He went to the city of Peoria and learned the mercantile business, and finally got into business there for himself. He came from Peoria to Pittsburg in 1880, in which year Pittsburg was practically at the beginning of its great commercial growth. Going into the mercantile business, for sixteen years he continued as one of the largest merchants of the city, selling his store and retiring from active business in January, 1897. At the present time he is secretary of the Seymour Dry Goods Company, is vice president of the National Bank of Pittsburg and has valuable real estate and coal interests.

Mr. Willard and his wife have two daughters, Mrs. Lavon Lanyon and Mrs. Alice McWhirt, wives of men prominent in the affairs of this county.