One of the men most prominent in the coal and iron development of Jackson County and elsewhere, and for many years president of the First National Bank of Wellston.


He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 31, 1849. It was only the accident of birth that made him a native of Cincinnati, since his parents were at that time living at Buckhorn Furnace in Lawrence County, Ohio. Four months after his birth his father, Henry S. Willard, died at Buckhorn Furnace. When he was a boy of ten years his mother married O. B. Gould of Franklin Furnace, Scioto County.


Mr. Willard, after the public schools, completed his education in the School of Technology at Boston, and then went to Kansas. From there he returned to Ohio and in March, 1873, went to Jackson County, where Wellston was subsequently founded. He became superintendent of the Milton Furnace & Coal Company, and inaugurated the development of the Wellston coal fields by sinking the Milton shaft and building the Milton furnace. This furnace was first blown in June, 1874. During the past forty years Mr. Willard has been actively engaged in the mining of coal and the manufacture of pig iron, and incidentally has become connected with many other enterprises in various places, extending as far west as the Pacific coast. He has been president of the First National Bank of Wellston since its organization in 1886.


Mr. Willard was married at Emporia, Kansas, September 4, 1872, to Miss Kate L. Robinson, daughter of Newton L. Robinson of Portsmouth, Ohio. They have three children : Kate Robinson, Pauline and
Henry S., Jr.

 

From "A Standing History of the Hanging Rock Iron Region of Ohio" by Eugene B. Willard, Daniel W. Williams, George O. Newman and Charles B. Taylor.  Published by Lewis Publishing Company, 1916