Modified Register for Sylvanus Willes
1. Sylvanus Willes was born on 26 Mar 1756 in Windham,Windham,Conn. He died on 18 Aug 1841 in Potsdam, New York. He was buried in Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, Ny.
Sylvanus Willes (1756-1841) was on guard duty at Bunker Hill andin the retreat at Long Island. He also served at Ticonderoga and during the invasion of Connecticut. He was born in Wyndham, Conn.; died in Royalton, Vt. Sylvanus Willes and Eunice Davidson, his wife, m. 1781
NY 30 Abstract of Gravesof Revolutionary Patriots, Vol .4, p. -Serial: 9337;
Volume: 5WILLES SYLVANUS PRIVATE 49--Revolutionary WarLovejoy,
Evelyn M. Wood.History of Royalton, Vermont : with family genealogies,1769-
1911Royalton, Vt.: The Town and the Royalton Woman's Club, 1911,1264
He was a Revolutionary soldier, and was prob. the Sylvanus who was in Col. Jona.Chase's Regt. that marched from Cornish, N. H., for the relief of Ticonderoga in the alarms of June and July, 1777.
Sylvanus married Eunice Davidson daughter of Oliver Davidson and Eunice Spaulding on 29 Mar 1781 in Windham, Conn. Eunice was born on 13 Jun 1757 in Mansfield, Conn. She died on 29 Jun 1849 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County,Ny.
Mrs. Eunice Willes, relic of the late Sylvanus Willes, died in Potsdam, St. Lawrence County, New York, June 20, 1840 in the 93rd year of her age.
She had been a member of the M.E. Church for nearly 40 years, and although naturally timid and doubtful, her meekness, kindness and benevolence, together wiht her uniform and consistent life, evidenced to all her acquaintances and friends, that she was a true follower of Jesus Christ.
During the last two years of her life, she was confined to her bed but she retained her senses in a good degree,nearly to the close of life, and died trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation.
During her long life she had scarcely an enemy in the world. She lived and died respected and honored, and has no doubt been transplanted to a soil where old age gives place to eternal youth and vigor.
Auburn New York 1845-1849
Sylvanus and Eunice had the following children:
2 M i. Oliver Willes was born on 8 Jun 1782. He died on 16 Mar 1838.
1806~~During this year, Oliver Willes and Nathaniel Dunham
brought the first carding machine to Royalton, VT
Oliver married Hannah Dunham on 11 Jun 1809.
m. (2) in 1811 BELA WILLES. Res. in Canton, N. Y.
Name: Willis, Luther
Date: June 29, 1833
Source: Cleveland Herald, Cemetery record
Notes: Willis- In Bedford, in this county, on Wednesday evening,
last of consumption, Luther Willis, Esq., Post Master, at that place, aged about 40 years. Mr. W. was the enterprising proprietor of Bedford Mills, and formerly a resident of this village.
He has left a large circle of friends, and acquaintances to
symphathize with his family. 6/26/1833. age 44. Erie Cemetery
Luther married Fanny Willey daughter of Allan Willey on 22 Jan 1817 in W. Bloomfield, Ny. Fanny was born on 9 Sep 1796 in Lempster, Sullivan Co., Nh. She died on 9 Sep 1880 in Sibley, Ford County, Il. She was buried in Erie Street Cemetery,Cleveland Ohio.
Name: Willis, Mrs. Fanny
Date: Sept. 17, 1880
Source: Cleveland Weekly Herald
Notes: Willis- At the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Tanny, Sullivan, Ill. on the evening, of the 9th inst., Mrs. Fanny Willis aged 84 years Burial private Memorial services will be held at the Christian Church, Bedford Sunday, 19th inst., at 11 a. m. Friends
of the deceased respectfully invited.
6 M v. Jabez Willes was born on 6 Dec 1790. He died on 24 Mar 1842 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence new York. He was buried in Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co, New York.
Jabez Willes established an iron foundry in 1820 at Potsdam, which was subsequently conducted by his grandson. He also operated a clothing mill, engaged in farming and was justice of the peace of the town of Potsdam. He was justice of the sessions of St. Lawrence county, a member of the assembly, state senator, and judge of the New York court for the correction of errors.
He was a steadfast Democrat, and politically associated with Silas Wright, Preston King and other well-known leaders of the party. He was a son of Sylvanus Willes, a soldier of the revolution.
Jabez married Betsey Tupper daughter of Absolom Tupper. Betsey was born on 6 Dec 1795. She died on 27 Jan 1885 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence new York. She was buried on 27 Jan 1885 in Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co, New York.
Potsdam St. Lawrence Herald, 1897-1904
Mrs. Betsey Willes
Mrs. Betsey Willes, the subject of this sketch, was the widow of Judge Jabez Willes, who died in 1842. She was a native of Ferrisburgh, VT. and came with her husband in 1819 and has resided here ever since.
The Methodist Church of this place, being established about the time, Judge Willes and wife came to Potsdam, they were among its first members and for several
years Mrs. Willes has been its oldest living member.
The writer first made acquaintance of Judge and Mrs.Willes in 1841 at their residence on Maple St. This pleasant residence was well known to all our older preachers as one of their homes, and after Judge Willes went to his reward, his widow continued to
give hospitable welcome to the way-worn and jaded servants of God.
Mrs. Willes was the mother of eight children and out lived them all but one of them. With this remaining daughter, Mrs. C. W. Leete, she spent the last thirty years of her life, which was pleasant and peaceful by all that care and affection could do.
Her presence in the social relations of the aged people in this community will be greatly missed, her seat, occupied when health permitted, in the house of God, will speak to us a loved one gone. But her influence for good will live in the community and in the church, and especially it will remain precious legacy, in the family to which she was spared so long.
The funeral took place on Sat. Jan 31, from her late residence, and was conducted by Rev. S. Call, her pastor. In connection with his fitting tribute to her funeral was one of those pleasant days, occasionally come in mid winter, and seemed typical of the quiet and peaceful life that now, in the winter of her age, has lain down it burden of mortality.
Interment was in Bayside Cemetery.
7 M vi. Ziba Willes was born5 on 29 May 1793 in Royalton, Vermont. He died6 on 13 Feb 1830 in Bedford, Ohio. He was buried7 - in Erie Street Cemetery, Cleveland, Ohio.
This comes from the following book:
Wickham, Gertrude Van Rensselaer The pioneer families of
Cleveland, 1796-1840 Cleveland:Evangelical Pub. House, 1914,
696 pgs .
Three old weather-beaten headstones standing in a row in Erie
Street Cemetery to the right of the main entrance are of peculiar
interest to one having the early history of the city. They indicate
the graves of the first three editors of the old Cleveland Herald,
Luther Willes, Ziba Willes, and Jewett Prime. All three died
comparatively young, and of the same disease, tuberculosis.
The Willes were brothers, and the year they came to Cleveland,
1819, Luther was 30 and Ziba 24 years old. It has been found
impossible to secure aught concerning the previous lives of
these young men save that they were the sons of Sylvanus
Willes of some town of New Hampshire, and that they came to
Cleveland by the way of Erie, PA, where, in September, 1818,
Ziba had started the first newspaper published in that place.
It was christened the "Erie Gazette," and was a venture that
lasted but a year. At the expiration of that time, the press, type,
and other paraphernalia of a small printing office were
transferred to Cleveland, and in October,1819, was published
the first issue of the Cleveland Herald, a newspaper that existed
for 66 years.
Ziba Willes was assisted in this by a former friend and associate,
Eber D. Howe, a practical printer 21 years of age, whose native
home was Clifton Springs, Saratoga County, N. Y.
Mr Howe retained his connection with the Herald but two years,
then removed to Painesville, Ohio , where in July 1822, he
started the Painesville Telegraph.
After his departure, Luther Willes was associated for a time with
his brother in the publication of the Herald, but finally withdrew
and removed to Bedford, Ohio. Luther Willes married Fanny
Willey, daughter of Allen and Sophia Frink Willey of Goshen, N. H
. She was an exceptionally intelligent and attractive young
woman, and a sister of Hon. John W. Willey, first Mayor of
Although possessing no data to prove the supposition, the writer
is inclined to the belief that the Willeys and the Willes brothers
had been neighbors or schoolmates previous to their residence
here, and that their arrival in Cleveland in the same year was not
by mere chance.
Mr. and Mrs. Luther Willes led an ideal life in the beautiful little
village of Bedford. They were within an easy drive of Cleveland,
and their pretty, hospitable home was often filled with their
numerous town relatives and intimate friends. Mr. and Mrs. John
Willey, Rev. Elijah Willey, Dr. Joshua Mills and wife, Mr. and Mrs.
Benjamin Andrews, and the Dodge relatives were frequent and
And hither in 1826 came the younger brother, Ziba Willes,
already bearing in his shrunken cheeks and hollow cough
premonitions of the fate that awaited him. A disease incident to
childhood had affected his hearing and precluded general
conversation, which caused him, at times, to experience the
loneliness that comes to those alike afflicted.
He is said to have been a very lovable character,kind, gentle,
friendly to everyone, regardless of circumstance,and exceedingly
honest. He died at his brother's home in Bedford in 1830, aged
35 years, and was brought back to Cleveland and buried in Erie
Street Cemetery. Three years later Luther Willes, stricken by the
same malady,was laid to rest beside him.
The children of Luther and Fanny Willes: Charles Luther Willes,
m. Anna Maria Gleason Maria Louise Willes, m. Gen. Jacob
Medary of Columbus, Ohio. Caroline A. Willes, m. Dr. Henry
Slosson, a Cleveland physician and druggest.Fanny Willes, m.
Michael L. Sullivant, Annette Willes, died young.
Mrs. Luther Willes survived her husband 47 years, and dying at
an advanced age was laid beside the companion of her youth in
Erie Street Cemetery. Her children, bereft of father in helpless
childhood, received the best efforts of her life and made a
success of their own. Her only son Charles, left a daughter, Miss
Mary Sue Willes, who at this date, 1911, is an associate editor of
a newspaper in St. Paul, Minn.
The file of the Cleveland HERALD has been used in preparation
of this volume. Until September of 1826, Z. Wiles was the editor
of the HERALD. From that date until December of 1828, the
editor was Jewett Prime after which Willes again assumed the
editorship, this time assisted by John R. St. John.EBER D. HOWE:
Eber Howe's Autobiography
________I began to live on the 9th day of June 1798 in
Clifton Park near where Burgoyne surrendered in Saratoga Co.
NY. I was the fifth of six children. At six I found myself in Ovid,
N. Y. In May 1814 I enlisted in Col. Swifts Regiment headqua[r]
ter sat Batavia. July 4th we started for Buffalo. My father who
was a Physician was detailed for Hospital duty and had charge of
50 wounded British prisoners many of whom were injured when
the Magazine at Fort Erie exploded. I assisted father in the
Hospital. By act of Congress passed Feb 14 1871 I received a
pension of $8.00 per month.
I had read the life of Ben Franklin and decided to become a
printer and apprenticed myself to the Gazette Office in Buffalo. I
later worked in several towns including Freedonia NY & Erie Pa.
Mr. Willes of the Erie Gazette and myself established the Herald
in Cleveland O., Oct 19th 1819. I put my knowledge of the
business against his press and printing materials, which were
valued at $250. We commenced without a single subscriber and
advance payment was unknown. We soon had 300 subscribers. I
delivered my papers on horseback from Cleveland to Painesville
thirty mile distant. Cleveland contained about 400 population
At the end of two years I sold my interest in the Herald to my
partner and started Telegraph July 16th 1822 with five
advertisements and about 150 subscribers. I continued its
publication until early in Jan 1835 when I sold it to my brother
for $600, and have since been engaged in partnership with my
son-in-law Mr.Rogers in Woolen Manufactures and
Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County By
Recollections of a Pioneer Printer
The following is taken from a pamphlet published in Painsville,
Ohio 1878, entitled,
"Autobiography and Recollections of a Pioneer Printer. By Eber D.
In taking my leave of the Herald, I feel like paying a passing
tribute to the memory of my late partner. He was never married;
was of a kind, sociable disposition, friendly to all, and was one of
the noblest works of God--an honest man.
He was considerably deaf, which rendered his conversations with
friends somewhat disagreeable. As he had premonitions of
approaching consumption, he retired from the Herald in 1826,
and sought the peace and quietude of a brother's friendly home
in Bedford--the late Luther Willes, Esq.
He closed his mortal career, after six months confinement, on
the 13th of February, 1830. His brother Luther followed him with
the same disease in 1833, aged 44 years. His wife still survives,
at the 80 years. She as the sister of the late Hon. John Willey.
8 F vii. Eunice Willes was born on 3 May 1795.
9 M viii. Wilder Willes was born8 on 2 Jan 1798 in Royalton, Vermont. He died on 12 Sep 1882 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence New York. He was buried in Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co, New York.
The Fathers are Passing Away
If this statement is made with reference to our revolutionary
fathers, it can be used only in the past tense. If in relation to
those who first settled the country, it is true that with but a few
exceptions all have "passed the flood". In looking around for
those who were members of the M.E. church in Potsdam at its
first organization, the student of its history is led to think of
Fathers Brush,Miles, Johnson, Powel ,Powers, French and others
of precious memory. Among those who come later, the names of
Fifield , Munson, Burton, and others; the name of Wilder Wills
appears, who is the subject of this notice.
Mr. Wills was born in Royalton, Vermont, Jan 2, 1798, and died
at his home in Potsdam, Sept 12th, aged 84 years and 10
months. He was 18 years of age when he came to this county
where he taught school. In 1834 he married Orrenda Kimball,
and in 1838, he and his wife came to live on the farm where he
remained until death. He leaves a widow and four children, three
of the children live in the west, one of whom was on a visit
home witness the departure of her aged father, and be present
at the funeral.
The second daughter, Mrs. Clark, has, with her husband and
children, watched with tender and filial care over their aged
parent, and been responsive to every want during the years of
sickness and pain, until called to his reward on high. May He
who "tempers the wind to shorn the lamb" and "will not break
the bruised reed" support and cheer the widow in her loneliness
and sorrow amid the infirmities of age til called to the fellowship
of the heavenly state.
The funeral exercises, which were held at the house, conducted
by Rev Mr. Darling, were made very interesting while he dwelt
upon the relation of a long life spent in the service of God, and
future blessedness, and unfolded the promises for the comfort of
relatives and friends.
The rank which Wilder Wills took in the intellectual, social, and
religious world was far above mediocrity.
Inured habits of close study in early life and spending many
years in teaching, he attained to a discipline of mind that gave
him the power of discrimination of talents and character and a
commanding influence among his fellow men. His mind was well
stored with knowledge, gathered from observations and general
reading, and being blessed with a retentive memory and fluency
of speech, and a disposition to make everybody happy who
might make his acquaintance, he drew around him many friends,
who were always desirous to enjoy his society.
The writer was acquainted with him nearly forty years. During
this time he knew him in various relations in life, especially as a
member of the church, occupying official positions and he can
say he never was known him only as pleasant in social life, safe
in counsel,and always manifesting amid conflicting opinions the
spirit of philanthropist and a christian.
The great change that passed over his mind while quite young,
and the deeper experience that he had in after life, gave to all
his testimonies a ring that was clear and convincing.
"Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord; they henceforth rest
from their labors, and their works do follow them"
W. H. Hawkins
St Lawrence Herald Saturday, September 23, 1882
In the death of Mr. Wilder Willes, which occurred at the
residence of his son-in-law, Mr. S.S. Clark, yesterday morning,
Potsdam loses on of its oldest and most repected citizens.
Advancing age and growing imfirmities have kept him closely at
home for several years past.
He was a man of clear intelect and good judgement, well
informed on all general subjects, a good conversationalist,
honest, true in all relations of life. He lived tot he ripe old age of
Funeral services will be held at the residence of Mr. Clark
Thursday at 2 p.m.
Courier and Freeman Newspaper
Potsdam, New York
Weds. Sept. 13, 1882
Wilder married9 Orinda Kimball in 1834. Orinda was born in 1802 in New Hampshire. She died on 23 Oct 1893 in Potsdam, St. Lawrence new York. She was buried in Bayside Cemetery, Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co, New York.
Orrenda Kimball Willes, also spelled her name Orinda..
Mrs. Orrenda Willes, widow of Wilder Willes and mother of SS
Clark, died at her residence Monday morning. Mrs. Willes was
over 90 years of age, and was a life long member of the
The funeral was held Wednesday afternon attended by Mr. Guile.
Fkowers adorned her casket and were deposited in her grave, a
tribute from loving hearts.
Potsdam New York
Oct 27, 1893
10 M ix. Thomas Willes was born on 12 Sep 1801.
Appendix A - Sources
1. Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants
By Marcellus Donald Alexander von
2. Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County
By Early Settlers
3. Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County
By Early Settlers
4. Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County
By Early Settlers
5. Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County
By Early Settlers
6. Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County
By Early Settlers
7. Annals of the Early Settlers Association of Cuyahoga County
By Early Settlers
8. St. Lawerence Herald newspaper.
9. St. Lawerence Herald newspaper.