Colorado County Biographies


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John C. Willis

JOHN C. WILLIS general agriculturist and irish potato grower of Eagle Lake, Colorado County, Texas, came to this locality more than a quarter of a century ago, and has developed one of the substantial plantations in his community. Mr. Willis bought his present place in 1927, and began its development at that time, having since added to his original holdings until he now owns about 600 acres of land lying near Eagle Lake. He plants various tracts to potatoes, cotton and other agricultural crops and in addition has six hundred and five acres of grass and pasture land under lease, grazing some fifty head of mixed beef cattle thereon.

Mr. Willis was born in Johnson County, Arkansas, on the fifth day of December, 1892, and is a son of S. D. Willis and Mattie Smith Willis, of that county. He was educated in the public schools, and his first employment was growing potatoes, although, later, after coming to Colorado County from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, in 1911, he spent seven years with the Gulf Refining Company, in the gasoline department. He then rented a farm and began planting potatoes thereon, and after a few years bought acreage in Colorado County and began the development of his present large agricultural enterprise.

Mr. Willis was married on Thanksgiving Day, 1919, to Miss Edna Williams, they having four children: J. C., Jr., Jack, Maurice and Edna Mae. J. C., Jr., just entering his teens, is very much interested in stock, and is raising a bunch of fine young calves. Mr. Willis has made a definite business of agriculture and cattle, keeping close watch over production costs in order that his place may show a profit each year, and experimenting to find which crops can be most profitably produced as a part of routine.

From the files of James and Mary Elizabeth Hopkins

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