12. John Thomas WILLOWS was born on 25 Oct 1855 in Lewis County, Missouri. In the 1920 census his occupation is listed as a trimming cutter at a shoe factory.John T. Willows

    Letter to James Sullivan, Oct 25, 1982. (Excerpts from general theme of letter written by Dorris E. Wells.)   "Hello to Cousin James:   In my childhood I heard a vague story of the Willows ancestry. I was rather young when my grandfather John Willows died. I think it might have been his divorced wife, Minnie Harris Willows, who gave me the "nobility" story: that when "Willows" came to America, some sort of British title and estate was left behind. Someone else (perhaps Aunt Esther Sullivan) pointed out that John Willows was not the eldest son so not entitled to title or estate. Your papers show an older brother James.   When I was in grade 8 or 9, the class members were to write telling how their family names were derived. I wrote quite a tale of eldest son of an Earl who sowed his wild oats in England and fled to America using no family name. Settled in Missouri near a stream in a grove of willow trees. He was well liked, so since he gave no family name, when other settlers wanted to report where they were headed in visiting him, they'd say "We are going down to the Willows." Hence the new family name. I've not found the name other than for a relative. Somewhere in my mass of papers I hope I yet have that ancient school writing."
    John WILLOWS was married to Mildred (Minnie) HARRIS about 1890.  John died on November 6th, 1924 in Palmyra, Marion, Missouri at the age of 69 year, 11 months, 13 days of Apoplexy, (stroke).  He was listed on his death certificate as a fireman and being widowed.  His younger brother, Joseph was the informant.



13. Mildred (Minnie) HARRIS was born on 18 Aug 1870 in Massachusetts.

Known to all as Gma Huff

    In the 1920 census we find Minnie living on her mother's farm in Benton township, Adair county, Missouri, with her husband John and three boys, Chester J., Owen L., and Lowell.







Children were:

child6 i. William Harris WILLOWS

child ii.Esther Grace (Willows) SullivanEsther Grace WILLOWS was born on 2 Feb 1900.  Esther Grace was married to James Sullivan and they had a son, Bill.  The family lived in Des Moines, Iowa where she was a church organist.  Dorris Willows stayed in their home while attending Drake College.  Esther Grace was involved in an auto accident August, 1968. She died in May 1985.


  Chester - Owen - Lowellchild iii. Julian Chester WILLOWS was born on 7 Jun 1901 in Missouri.  In the 1920 census we find him employed as a lineman for the telephone company in Adair county, Missouri.  Gma Huff referred to him as J C.  Chester suffered a stroke July, 1968.

child iv. Owen L. WILLOWS was born about 1903 in Missouri.  On Tuesday, January 13,  we find Owen on the1920 census listed as living with his brother, William and family at 210 N 6th Street in Keokuk, IA, and then Saturday, January 17, 1920 on his grandmother's farm with his parents.  His occupation was listed as a seat nailer in a shoe factory (more than likely in Keokuk.)  It looks like he got home for the weekend.  He was in Hutchinson KS in July 1938. Later he may have worked in St. Charles, MO.

child v. Melvin Lowell WILLOWS was born on 28 Aug, 1906 in Missouri. He is in a family picture taken in Hutchinson, Kansas in 1935. He is also there in Jul 1938.  His mother called him 'Sonny Boy'


At some time after John Willows died, she married Julian Huff and gained her name of "Gma Huff", and lived in Nevada, Vernon, Missouri according to the 1930 census.

Grandmother & Chits, Dorris, Jerry, Gm., Jimmy.  The two younger are Lowell and Gladys' children.
Hutchinson, Kansas - April 1, 1935

Gma Huff  wrote in her 5-year diary, "off duty. So end my working days. - Apr 20, 1940."  She worked in a hospital, generally on the night shift.  She was a member of the O. E. S.

She loved to play gin rummy into the night with Dorris Wells when visiting. Gma Huff would head back to Nevada, Missouri by Greyhound bus after leaving our home.

Minnie died in 1958. She was buried in 1958 in the Forest-Llewllyn Cemetary, Llewllyn Addition, section D 19 in Kirksville, Adair, Missouri.