Blanding-Carpenter papers 1818-1854 (bulk 1841-1852)
Henry Willis (1800-1886) was a Quaker, businessman and leading citizen of Battle Creek, Michigan. He was involved with various Railroad companies in Michigan including the Grand Trunk Railroad, he also ran a nursery, and was involved with waterworks, brick manufacture, and lumber. Henry married Hannah March (d. 1834) and with her had three children, Isaac, Lydia, and Milton (b. 1833). After Hannah’s death Henry married Phoebe Mott (d. 1890) and had two more children Henry M. and Edward.
Milton Willis moved to San Francisco and worked for the City Rail Road Company. He married Mary S. Jones (b. 1830) and stayed in communication with his family through letters. Henry M. and Edward moved to Washington, D.C. and their mother joined them after the death of her husband.