Name: William Randel "Bill" WILLARD
Birth: 10 APR 1846 in Washington Co, IL
Death: 13 OCT 1931 in West Plains, Howell Co, Mo
Burial: 14 OCT 1931 Jolliff Cemetery, Oregon Co, MO
Change Date: 23 JUN 2016
To see a Civil War picture of him, go to:
Or b 1843.
Bill was named for his mother's brothers Randolph & William.
The 1900 Oregon Co, MO census lists his birthdate as May 1845, 55 years old, but his obit says April 10, 1846.
Orville and Bertha lived down the road from Jolliff Cemetery.
When the war broke out he and his brother Jim did not want to fight for the South, so they walked back to Illinois and joined the Union Army. He was in the Civil War with his brother, James in Co. F, 60th Ill. Inf., 1862-65. His military records describe him as 5'10", fair complexion, blue eyes, and light hair. He was captured in Goldsboro, N.C., March 1865 and exchanged 1 week later.
In 1866 he married Matilda George in Washington County, IL.
By 1869 they had moved to Oregon Co., Mo.
Oregon County Circuit Court, 1870 -- State of Mo. vs. William Willard. Assault to kill Frank Hoffman with knife (court records)
1870 Oregon Co, Mo - #216
William, Wm. - 26, F. laborer, b IL
. . . . Matilda - 20, keeping house, b IL
Beech, William - 7, adopted, b IL
1880 Oregon Co, Mo census:
Wm WILLARD, fmr - 35 IL Va IL
Matilda, wif - 30 IL IL IL
Henry, son - 6 Ar, IL IL
Wm. P., son - 4 Mo IL IL
Rachel E., dau - 1 Mo IL IL
Matilda GEORGE, srv - 12 IL IL IL [Matilda's & Wm's neices]
Mary E. GEORGE, srv - 11 IL IL IL
James WILLARD, Fr - 76 IL IL IL
Elizabeth, Mr - 60 IL IL IL
Matilda died 1883-86.
Oregon County Circuit Court, 1885 -- State of Mo. vs. Ira Williams and Peter Williams. Steal clothes of W. Willard (court records)
In 1891 he married 2nd to Cora Toms Marron, who was a Methodist preacher. Bill and Cora lived in Rover, Mo. and Bill's mother, Elizabeth, lived with them before she died in 1903. There are many stories about Bill Willard, indicating that he was a colorful character. It was told that one time Cora was preaching a revival meeting at Penwood. After a few days Bill was ready to go home and he told his wife, "Let's go home and let these people go to hell." Another wild story goes that Bill was at the Rover Baptist Church for a service and during the prayer someone threw a paper airplane with a pin in the end of it that hit Bill and stuck in his head. "Little Pode" Willard (Bill's gr-nephew, grandson of Jickey Jim) accused Bill Kentner of doing it. A few days later at Earsy White's store in Rover, Little Pode threatened Bill with a knife. Finally, after being very aggravated, Kentner pulled a gun and shot him. Little Pode ran across the road to the Baptist Church and died on the steps. This helps explain why Rover was known as a rough and wild community.
Bill also raised his and Matilda's nieces Mary and Matilda George (daughters of Johnnie George & Elizabeth Willard).
1900 MO census - Oregon Co, Highland twp, p 1:
Willard, William R. (head) - 55, b Apr 1845 IL, m 8 yrs, b IL, par b VA/IL
. . . . Cora M. (wife) - ?, m 8 yrs, 0 ch, b OH
. . . . Elizabeth (mother) - 80, b 1821 IL, m 60 yrs, 8 ch/4 liv, b IL
South Missourian-Democrat (Alton, Mo), Apr 21, 1910:
Birthday for W.R. Willard, April 10th, 65 years old
1910 MO census - Oregon Co, Highland twp, p 72 (April):
Willard, William (head) - 65, m2nd 18 yrs, b IL, par b KY/IL
. . . . . Cora (wife) - 48, m 2nd 18 yrs, 0 ch, b OH, par b OH
Brasell, John (nephew) - 19, b MO, par b IL
South Missourian-Democrat, Alton, Apr 21, 1910 --
Birthday, W.R. Willard, April 10th, 65 years.
1920 MO census - Oregon Co, Highland twp, p 56:
Willard, William R. (head) - 75, b IL, par b VA/KY
. . . . Cora M. (wife) - 57, b OH, par b OH
Silly, Wilber C. (boarder) - 58, b OH
1930 Oregon Co, Mo census, Highland Township Sheet 1b
Willard, William R 86 born IL father VA
Cora M 68
Stone, Atla 30 servant
Mary M 6/12?
newspaper article, Oct 15, 1931 (not sure which paper, but probably West Plains)
"W. R. Willard Passes Away -
W. R. Willard, a pioneer resident of this part of the state and widely known veteran of the Civil War, died Tuesday morning at 2 o'clock at his home on East Cleveland avenue.
Mr. Willard had long resided in Oregon County. In recent years he made his home in the town of Rover, Oregon County. Last year he and his wife, Mrs. Cora Willard, a well known Pentecostal revivalist, moved to West Plains. Old age and infirmities had caused them to want to be near a doctor. A few months ago Mrs. Willard died and "Uncle Bill," as he was affectionately known to a great many firends, continued to decline. He was the father of Perry Willard, a well known livestock dealer of this city.
The funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon and burial was in the Jolliffr cemetery near Rover."
newspaper: (West Plasin) Journal, Oct 15, 1931 -
William Randle Willard, 89-year-old Civil War veteran, died at his home on East Cleveland Avenue, Tuesday morning. Death was due to a lingering illness due to old age and various ailments. He had been ill for nearly five months. Mr. Willard is the first Civil War veteran to die here who had a free government flag draped over his casket. The law stating that a flag is to be sent for the casket of each war veteran who dies just recently went into effect and the flag which draped the veteran?s casket was the first to be give out by the local postmaster, who is in charge of the flags. The flag was given to the next-of-kin after the burial.
Mr. Willard was born April 10, 1846, near Rover, Mo (sic), where he lived until he came, with his second wife to West Plains in February of this year. Mrs. Willard died shortly after they moved here. Mr. Willard was first married in 1866, his first wife dying in 1883.
During the Civil War he was a member of Company F, Regiment 60 of the Illinois Infantry.
For the past five months Mr. Willard had been ill, and his only living sister, Mrs. Katherine Edwards, of Greer, Mo, has been with him during that time. His son, William Perry Willard, local livestock dealer, and family, who live one and one-half mile east of town, has been with him for the past four months. The only other child surviving is a daughter, Mrs. Rachel Kemp of Herley, Mo, whi is here. He is survived by 13 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Another son, Henry Willard, died last year.
Other relatives who were here for the funeral were a grandson, Paul Willard and family of Kansas City; two granddaughters, Mrs. Dewey Griffith of Tulsa, Okla, and Mrs. Rachiel of Bartlesville, Okla.
The I.O.O.F. lodge took charge of the funeral which was held yesterday afternoon at 1 o?clock at the Joliff school house, three miles east of Rover, and was conducted by the Rev. Perry Bennett, Baptist minister of Alton. Mr. Willard was a member of the Baptist church in the Rover community. Burial was held at the Joliff cemetery.
Obituary (West Plains Daily Quill, or maybe the South Missouri-Democrat at Alton) Oct 22, 1931:
"In Memory of Wm. Willard --
William Randle Willard was born April 10, 1846, and died at his home in West Plains, October 13, 1931. He was 88 years old.
On November 2, 1866, Mr. Willard was married to Matilda George and to this union five children were born, James and Catherine died in infancy, Henry Willard died June 2, 1930. At his bedside when he died were this two surviving children, Perry Willard, of West Plains, and Mrs. Rachel Kemp, of Hurley, Mo. Matilda Willard died November 27, 1883, and in a few years Mr. Willard was married to Miss Cora Morrow, whose death occurred in March, 1931.
Mr. Willard professed religion ten years ago and since has lived a true Christian life. Besides his son and daughter he is survived by one sister, Mrs. Caroline Edwards, thirteen grand children and fifteen great-grandchildren beside a host of warm friends and other relatives to mourn his death.
The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Perry Bennett of Alton, at the Jolliff Cemetery at Rover on Wednesday, October 11, 1931.
Mr. Willard was one of the oldest residents of this part of the state. For many years he resided at Rover and last year he and his wife moved to West Plains to be near the family of their son, Perry Willard."
Info from Missouri death certificate:
William R. Willard, retired farmer
died Oct 13, 1931, West Plains, Howell Co, Mo
born Apr 10, 1846
parents: Jas Willard (b Ind), Elizabeth Jolliff (b IL)
informant: W.J. Edwards, Oregon Co, Mo [brother-in-law]
burial Jolliff cem, Oct 14
undertaker: McFarlands, West Plains
Tombstone: Jolliff Cemetery, Oregon co, MO, 4-10-1843 to 10-13-1931
Census records: 1870, 1880, 1920
Obituary in newspaper
Find A Grave Memorial# 15556048
Father: James "Jimmie" WILLARD b: 8 MAY 1804 in Ky, prob Breckenridge Co.
Mother: Elizabeth "Betsy" JOLLIFF b: 20 APR 1820 in Illinois
Matilda Frances ?Tilda? GEORGE b: 28 NOV 1848 in Illinois
2 NOV 1866
in Washington Co, IL
- Henry E. WILLARD b: 26 NOV 1873 in Oregon Co, Missouri
- William Perry WILLARD b: 3 MAY 1877 in Oregon Co, MO
- Rachel E. WILLARD b: 22 OCT 1880 in Oregon Co, Missouri
- James WILLARD
- Catherine WILLARD
Cora M. TOM b: 2 APR 1862 in Muskingum Co, OH
31 DEC 1891
in Oregon Co, Mo
One list of Oregon Co Marriage shows the date as Dec 11, 1891