Page 221, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




EZRA N. WILLETT, of Moran, is one of the pioneers to eastern Allen county. He came to the county with his parents in 1868 and has been a resident of it since. His father, John Willett, located three and a half miles east of Iola, on the farm adjoining Gas on the east, and was a resident of the county till 1880 when he took up his residence in Parsons, Kansas. He, however, died in Iola in 1882 at the age of seventy-eight years.

John Willett was born in the state of Pennsylvania, reared there and came west by degrees to Ohio, Illinois, Missouri and finally to Kansas. He was married to Nancy Landis in the state of Ohio in the year 1835 and his widow resides with the subject of this review. The latter was born in 1818 and is the mother of: Wesley Willett, of Seattle, Washington; Sam E. Willett, of Malone, New York; Ezra N., our subject, born January 20, 1856; Ira Willett, of Miami, Florida; Lew E., wife of C. A. Sensor, of Denver, Colorado; Mary, wife of Jacob Fitzpatrick, of Wichita, Kansas, and Cynthia H., of Denver, Colorado.

Ezra N. Willett has passed all but twelve years of his life in Kansas. He was born in the state of Illinois, Pike county, was educated in the common schools of Kansas and is responsible for his own financial and social standing. He remained with the family near Iola till nearing his twenty-first birthday when he identified himself with the eastern portion of the county by entering a piece of the indemnity strip, his claim, now his farm, being the southwest quarter of section 19, township 24, range 21. His early efforts at farming and farm-improvement were very crude and the first two years he spent on the claim were years of not the greatest possible prosperity. He hauled coal from Fort Scott to Iola to earn some of the means to sustain him and in other menial ways he maintained an honorable existence till his farming venture was made to pay. His first house was a ten by twelve box and his second one twelve by sixteen which gave way, in 1889, to his present farm cottage.

In 1878, February 28, Mr. Willett was married to Amy McNaught, a daughter of the late James R. McNaught, of Moran. Their children are: Zella and Ethel, aged sixteen and eleven years, respectively.

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