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John F. Willis papers, 1849-1915 (bulk 1849-1896).
BANC MSS 2012/148 ; BANC MSS 2012/148 box 1; BANC MSS 2012/148
Collection Overview


John F. Willis papers, 1849-1915 (bulk 1849-1896)


Willis, John F., 1821-1896, creator


Willis, Marcella, 1836-1915, correspondent.


Tiffany, George O., correspondent.


Hosmer, Charles, correspondent.


Contains a bound volume diary of Willis's overland trip to California along the Platte River and other related materials from his life and family including legal documents, correspondence, and funeral receipts. Willis traveled from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri by river and then by land across Missouri, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada, reaching Sacramento, California in four months. The Idaho passage included a new route pointed out to them by another man that claimed to save 300 miles. Daily entries mostly include details of weather and miles traveled, other teams encountered, etc. Legal documents include his certificate of election and oath of office for sherriff of "Colusi [i.e. Colusa] County, California," and his marriage certificate. Correspondence includes a letter of recommendation from George O. Tiffany to Charles and Edward Hosmer, a letter to Willis's wife Marcella from an unknown author, and a letter from Willis's sister to Marcella and her daughter after his death. Also includes receipts of Marcella Willis for cemetery care of John's grave, and an invoice of funeral expenses addressed to Mary M. Willis for Marcella Willis, who died in 1915.


1849 (issued)


Willis, John F -- 1821-1896 -- Archives
Willis, John F -- 1821-1896 -- Diaries
Willis, Marcella -- 1836-1915 -- Correspondence
Tiffany, George O -- Correspondence
Hosmer, Charles -- Correspondence
Hosmer, Edward -- Correspondence
Willis, Mary M
Hosmer, Edward -- correspondent.
Overland journeys to the Pacific -- Personal narratives
Gold mines and mining -- California
Gold miners -- California
Sheriffs -- California -- Colusa County -- Elections
California -- Gold discoveries
Colusa County (Calif.)


Diary has printed title page: "Marsh's new diary or daily remembrancer for 1850, containing a blank for every day in the year, for the record of daily occurences, appointments, bills payable and receivable, &c. &c." Collection includes a typescript transcription of the diary in box 1.
John F. Willis papers, BANC MSS 2012/148, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Purchase; William Reese Co.; 20120313.
John F. Willis was from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He traveled to California via the Platte River in 1850 and in 1852 was elected sherriff of Colusi County, California. In 1859, he married Marcella Moran, a native of Ireland, in St. Francis Church, San Francisco, California.
Photographs transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 2012.097).
In English.
Gift; donor; date.


Legal instruments.

Physical Description:

1 box, 1 volume (0.3 linear feet)




BANC MSS 2012/148
BANC MSS 2012/148 box 1
BANC MSS 2012/148