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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Willard

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1381-1383 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This branch of the Willard family descend from New England ancestry, who first settled in New York in Warren county, corning from thence to Fulton county, after a residence in Vermont for a few years. The New York record begins with Harden Willard, who settled in Warren county, New York. He was one of the pioneers of his section and endured the hardships incident to founding a home in the wilderness. He married and left issue.

(II) Reuben, son of Harden Willard, was born in Warren county, New York. His parents dying when he was small he was taken into the home and reared by a family in Vermont, where he grew to manhood. On attaining legal age he returned to New York, settling at Luzerne, Warren county, where he married. In 1828 he removed to the town of Northampton, Fulton county, New York. He served in the French and Indian war when a young man, ranking as captain. He was captured by the Indians, but soon effected an escape. He was a carpenter by trade but soon relinquished that for farming, following that occupation until his death. He married Rachel Washburn, who bore him eight children, six of whom grew to maturity, namely:

  1. Norman J., married Jane Thomas; children: Mary Ann, Sarah, Celia, George, John.
  2. Elisha, married Grace Conklin; children: John, Frank, George, Grace.
  3. James H.
  4. Clara.
  5. Levi, married Zela Potter.
  6. Reuben, of whom further.

(III) Reuben (2), son of Reuben (1) Willard, was born in Luzerne, Warren county, New York, February 13, 1828. His parents soon after removed to Northampton, Fulton county, where his subsequent active life has been passed. He attended the district school where he acquired a good common school education. His first employment netted him one dollar weekly. He was early apprenticed to the shoemaker's trade, at which he worked until he had accumulated a little money. He was not content with being an employee and with his slender capital went to the village of Northville in the same town and there opened a shoemaker's shop. He prospered and ere long the little shop had developed into a creditable shoe store, and he was becoming known as a wide-awake young man of keen business ability. He had a wonderful ability to size up a piece of timber and judge its value in finished lumber. He used his knowledge to his own advantage and bought a great amount of timber land that returned him large profits. He had other lines of activity besides his store and growing lumber interests. He operated the stage line between Northville and Lake Pleasant, twelve miles away. He was road commissioner, constable, trustee of the village, and one of the organizers of the first bank in Northville, becoming a director. He was a leading Methodist and helpful in erecting the church in the village, and in every way aided the building up and adding to the prosperity of the village. He prospered in all his undertakings and reaped a rich harvest from his well-considered speculations. He married (first) September, 1849, Sally Harris, born July 27, 1828, died March 18, 1893. Children:

  1. Samuel, born April 22, 1851, married Hattie Dunham; child,
    1. Lizzie, married Roy Streeter.
  2. Lottie, born October 6, 1852; married, May 24, 1873, George Van Arnam, born April 24, 1852; children:
    1. Elizabeth, born April 22, 1876, married, July 1, 1903, John Daniel Edwards; child,
      1. Charlotte Elizabeth, born March 10, 1904;
    2. Harry Willard, born May 25, 1879, married, April 18, 1906, Martha Anibal; children:
      1. George, born 1907, and
      2. Marian Louise, born January, 1909;
    3. John Reuben, born June 20, 1887.
  3. James R., born July 23, 1855; married Lulu Blake; he is a successful merchant and has two children: Gladys and James R.
  4. Sara, born May 8, 1864, of whom further.
  5. Clarence P., born August 29, 1868, of whom further.

Reuben Willard married (second) Sarah Heath; married (third) Sophia House. Children are all by first wife. He has now retired from active business to his pleasant home in the village of Northville.

(IV) Sara, daughter of Reuben (2) and Sally (Harris) Willard, was born May 8, 1864. She married, December 16, 1886, Philo R. Smith, born December 19, 1852, died June 19, 1897, son of Sumner and Asenath (Fraker) Smith. Children:

  1. Philip.
  2. Hezekiah.
  3. Jane, married (first) James Todd; (second) John Giblin.
  4. Sarah, married Hiram Deming.
  5. Chloe, married Erastus Darling.
  6. Philo R., married Sarah Willard.
  7. Hiram D.

Philo R. Smith, was educated in the public schools, after which he took a course and was graduated from the Utica Business College. After completing his studies he joined his brother Hezekiah at Bleecker, Fulton county, who was operating a sole leather tannery there. After a time another partner was admitted, becoming Smith & Deming, and the business continued until 1887, Philo R. having in charge the outside details of their business. In 1887 he removed to Gloversville and in the spring of 1889 established the Philo R. Smith Hardware Company. He was a whole-souled, liberal-minded man of excellent business qualities, well known and highly regarded among his fellows. He was a Democrat and while in Bleecker served as supervisor for several terms. He was one of the first members of the first board of Aldermen of Gloversville, New York. He was an active member of the Methodist Episcopal church which he served as trustee. He was prominent in all department of his city's activity and left many warm friends to mourn his death. Children of Philo R. and Sara (Willard) Smith:

  1. Charlotte Asenath, born February 7, 1887;
  2. Ethel Willard, born April 25, 1888, married, June 30, 1909, Harry Evertt Gillis, born November 27, 1885.

Mrs. Sara (Willard) Smith survives her husband, a resident of Gloversville, where she is actively interested in the social, charitable and church life of her city.

(IV) Clarence P., son of Reuben (2) and Sally (Harris) Willard, was born in Northville, Fulton county, New York, August 29, 1868. He was educated in the public schools and at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, whence he was graduated in the class of 1888. Returning to Northville he formed a partnership with his brother, James R. Willard. They conducted a successful general store until 1887, when the firm was dissolved. In 1892 Clarence P. assumed the management of the hardware business of his brother-in-law, Philo R. Smith, located in Gloversville, continuing until 1895 when Mr. Smith sold his interests. Mr. Willard since that time has been engaged in the retail shoe business on Main street, Gloversville, where he is pleasantly and profitably situated. He is a Democrat in politics and recently the nominee of that party for county treasurer. He married, November 29, 1890, Jennie Hutchinson, born August 27, 1875, daughter of John C. (2) Hutchinson, granddaughter of John C. (1) Hutchinson, great-granddaughter of William Hutchinson, and great-great-granddaughter of Chauncy Hutchinson, who came from Connecticut and was an early pioneer in the now county of Fulton. John C. (2) Hutchinson married Ellen M. Judson. Clarence P. and Jennie Willard have a daughter Eleanor S., born April 25, 1906.

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