Marion F. Willis
A native born citizen of Sullivan County, a soldier in the Civil War, and the representative of a pioneer family, Marion F. Willis, of Sullivan, is eminently deserving of mention in a work of this character. He was born in Haddon Township, this County, February 20, 1844, a son of John A. Willis, of Virginia ancestry. Born in Virginia, in 1808, John A. Willis was taken by his parents, when a small child, to Kentucky, where he was reared and where he married. About 1830 he followed the trail of the emigrants to Indiana, and in Haddon Township, Sullivan County, took up a tract of wild land, from which he improved a good homestead, and there resided until his death, at the advanced age of eighty-six years. He was twice married, and reared twelve children. His second wife, mother of Marion F., was Sarah Boatman. She was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, and died in Sullivan county, Indiana, at the age of eighty-three years. William Willis, son of John A., served three years in the Civil War, enlisting as a private in Company E, Forty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and being promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. Returning home after receiving his honorable discharge, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death. Tilghman Willis, another son of John A., enlisted, at the age pf seventeen years, in Company D, First Indiana Heavy Artillery, and served for fifteen months, when he was honorably discharged. he afterwards attended Christian College, at Merom, Sullivan County, and became a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, for six years being the presiding Elder of the Bloomington district.
Having completed his early studies in the district schools, Marion F. Willis attended the Sullivan High School obtaining a practical education. In 1864 he enlisted in Company G, One Hundred and Forty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and was with his regiment until receiving his honorable discharge, in July, 1865. Beginning a professional career in 1867, Mr. Willis taught school successfully for twelve years. Locating then in Sullivan, he has since worked at the shoemaker's trade and has here built up an excellent patronage. Mr. Willis has been twice married. He married first, at the age of twenty-four years, Minerva Fogg, who spent her entire life in Indiana, passing away in 1885. By his first marriage Mr. Willis had four children:
By his second union he has two children:
Source: A History of Sullivan County, Indiana. Closing of the first century’s history of the county and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. Thomas J. Wolfe, Editor. The Lewis Publishing Company, 1909, page 404-405.