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A collection of Newspaper articles & information collected by

Robert Ronald Hanley Sr.


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David Smith2 Willys was born Bath, New York December 13, 1840.  David died January 16, 1897 Canandaigua, New York, at 56 years of age.[i] [i]. Canandaigua City clerk office record number 1430.

                                 Ontario County Journal, Friday January 22, 1897

Obituary  - On Saturday morning occurred the death of David S. Willys a well known businessman and long time resident. He had been in poor physical and mental health for some time past. He was aged 56 years.

Survivors are his widow, one son John N. Willys, two daughters, Misses Emily and Mary Willys. He was a member of the firm of Willys and Hollis Brick Manufacturers. He was a prominent GAR man having served during the Rebellion in the 27th NY Vol Infantry. There was a largely attended the funeral at the family residence on Pleasant Street.  

                                                  SAME  PAPER

 DIED -    WILLYS    At Canandaigua, January 16, 1897, David S. Willys, aged 56 years, 1 month. His body was interred 1897 Canandaigua, New York, Woodlawn Cemetery.

                               He married Lydia Muncil North East Bloomfield, New York, November 05, 1867.  Lydia was born East Bloomfield, New York September 15, 1846.  Lydia was the daughter of Robinson Darius North and Ora Chatfield .  Lydia died June 13, 1929 Canandaigua, New York, at 82 years of age.

                 ONTARIO COUNTY TIMES Wednesday June 19, 1929  PAGE 5  COL  5  

Mrs. Lydia M. Willys, widow of David Willys, and mother of John N. Willys of New York and Toledo, died suddenly at her home in this city on Thursday. Her death which was caused by heart trouble, was unexpected.  

Lydia M. North was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on September 15, 1846, daughter of Robinson D. and Ora Chatfield North, who moved to East Bloomfield when she was a baby.  On November 5, 1867 she was married at the Congregational church in East Bloomfield to David Smith Willys of Canandaigua, and had resided here since that time. Mr. Willys died on January 16, 1897.

Mrs. Willys was an active member of the Presbyterian church and its auxiliaries, and of the Canandaigua WCTU, and had contributed liberally to their support.  Besides the son John N. Willys, she leaves two daughters, Mrs. James Castle Saye of this city, and Mrs. Mary A. Sleght of Rochester, four grandchildren, Jarvis W. Sleght, John N. Sleght, and Mrs. Lawrence O. DeVoll of Rochester, and Mrs. Luis DeAguire of Argentina, the former Miss Virginia Willys, who was presented at court in London just prior to her marriage in that city last month, also a great granddaughter, Marilyn DeVoll. 

 Emily Gertrude3 Willys  was born Canandaigua, New York February 1872.  Emily died April 15, 1940 Winter Park, Florida, at 68 years of age.   

                                ONTARIO COUNTY TIMES JOURNAL April 19, 1940

                                                OBITUARY      SAYE

Mrs. Emily Willys Saye, wife of James C. Saye of this city, died Monday at her home in Winter Park, Florida, after a several weeks illness. The remains are expected to arrive in Canandaigua Saturday. 

Mrs. Saye was born in Canandaigua, daughter of David Smith and Lydia North Willys, and was educated in the local schools. For some years she conducted a millinery and art needlework shop.  A devoted member of the Presbyterian Church, she was active in the Sunday School and its women's organizations until ill health prevented in the past few years. She spent her summers at Villa M Lee, East Lake Shore, and her winters in Florida, for several years. She was active in the WCTU and in the Women's Auxilliary of the YMCA.

Besides her husband, survivors are one sister, Mrs. Mary A. Sleght of Rochester, two nephews and two nieces, Jarvis W. Sleght and Mrs. Lawrence DeVoil of Rochester, John N. Sleght of Long Island, and Mrs. Virginia Willys DeLanda of New York.  A brother John North Willys, automobile manufacturer and former ambassador to Poland died in New York in 1935.   

                       She married James Castle Saye Canandaigua, New York, October 01, 1924.  

Mary Augustus Willys was born June 1879.  Mary died July 29, 1949 Rochester, New York, at 70 years of age. 

                                         ONTARIO COUNTY TIMES JOURNAL August 5, 1949 PAGE  5

              DEATHS      SLEGHT    At Rochester, July 29, 1949, Mrs. Mary Willys Sleght, 71, native of Canandaigua. Her body was interred 1949 Canandaigua, New York, Woodlawn Cemetery.  Section 10   69.   

               She married Francis Jarvis Sleght Canandaigua, New York, May 11, 1898.   

                              ONTARIO COUNTY JOURNAL  May 13, 1898

MARRIED  SLEGHT  - WILLYS   At Canandaigua, May 11, 1898, Francis Jarvis Sleght and Miss Mary Augusta Willys, both of Canandaigua.

              At 29 years of age Mary became the mother of John North Sleght Canandaigua, New York, January 17, 1909.[ii]  [ii]. Canandaigua City Clerk office record number 6405.

                                             ONTARIO COUNTY TIMES  January 31, 1923 

Mrs. Mary W. Sleght of Rochester spent several days last week with her mother and sister, Mrs. L. M. Willys and Miss Emily Willys in Main Street North. 

 John North3 Willys  was born Canandaigua, New York October 25, 1873.  John died August 26, 1935 Riverdale, at 61 years of age.  

                              NEW YORK TIMES Tuesday, August 27, 1935  

                            SERVICES TOMORROW FOR JOHN N. WILLYS  

          Rites for Automobile Maker and Former Envoy to Poland to be Held at His Home

A funeral service will be held at 2 30 P. M. tomorrow for John North Willys, automobile manufacturer and former Ambassador to Poland, who died at        1 A. M. yesterday at his home at 4643 Waldo Avenue, Riverdale on Hudson, the Bronx. The service will take place at his home.

The Rev. Dr. Roeliff H. Brooks, rector of St. Thomas Protestant Episcopal Church, Fifth Avenue and fifty third Street, will conduct the service. Temporary burial will be in the receiving vault at Kensico Cemetery, Westchester County. Honorary pallbearers will be J. L. Replogle, A. J. Brosseau, Carl Shippe, Dr. Herman Baruch, Ward Canaday, D. R. Wilson, H. C. Tillotson, H. J. Leonard, L. A. Miller, and C. O. Miniger.

Mr. Willys died as the result of a cerebral embolism which occurred two weeks before. He had suffered a heart attack in May, but apparently had completely recovered. At his bedside when he died was his wife, the former Mrs. Florence E. Dolan, who became his second wife in July 1934. His daughter, Mrs. Jonas DeLanda of New York, also survives. 

                        He married twice.  He married Isabel VanWie Canandaigua, New York, December 01, 1897.  

              ONTARIO COUNTY REPOSITORY and MESSENGER  Thursday December 2, 1897   PAGE  5 COL  3  

                                  WEDDING  IN CHURCH  YESTERDAY

John N. Willys and Miss Isabel Irene VanWie, of this village, were married in the Presbyterian church at 5 30 PM yesterday, by Rev. Lawrence, in the presence of a large assemblage.  Miss Durand was maid of honor, Miss Emily Willys, bridesmaid, Ruth Scott, flower girl, Blanchard N. Baker of Seneca Falls, best man, Charles Snyder, F. J. Sleght, C. W. Darling, and C. A. VanWie, ushers.

The bride's dress was of white brocaded silk, with mousseline de soie.  She carried white roses.  The maid of honor wore blue organdie over blue silk, the flower girl was attired in white. The bride and groom are well and favorably known. The wedding journey will include NY, Philadelphia and Washington.

             Isabel died January 16, 1945 New York City, NY.  

                        ONTARIO COUNTY TIMES JOURNAL Friday January 26, 1945

                           OBITUARY   -   WILLYS

Funeral services for Mrs. Isobel VanWie Willys, who died at her home in New York City after a long illness were held from St. Thomas Church, that city, Saturday. 

Mrs. Willys was the first wife of the late John North Willys, of this city, automobile manufacturer and former ambassador to Poland.  They were married in 1907 and divorced in 1934.  Surviving is one daughter, Mrs. Virginia de Landa, wife of Jose de Landa, of New York.

             ONTARIO COUNTY JOURNAL  May 12, 1899

                             Canandaigua and Vicinity News  

Mr. and Mrs. John N. Willys, of Elmira, were guests of Mrs. David S. Willys, Pleasant Street, over Sunday.  


The many friends of John N. Willys, the well known bicycle dealer, regretted to hear on Saturday morning that the firm of Willys and Company had assigned. R. R. Scott as the assignee. The assignment was rendered necessary by the failure to make collections. Owing to the depreciation in wheels it is probable the liabilities will greatly exceed the assets, although no estimates have yet been made public. This has been a hard year on dealers in bicycles, owing to the extreme competition and consequent lowering of prices, the credit system of selling wheels has sent many dealers to the wall.

                 ONTARIO COUNTY TIMES JOURNAL August 5, 1932

                               LOCAL  BREVETIES

John N. Willys, who recently resigned as Ambassadore to Poland, was in this city, Tuesday, enroute from New York to Toledo, where he will resume charge of the Willys Overland Company.  He was guest of honor at a family luncheon given by his sister, Mrs. Mary A. Sleght, of Rochester, at her summer home on the West Lake Shore and entertained the group at dinner at the Canandaigua, Tuesday evening. Mr. Willys is a native of Canandaigua.  

                     Ontario County Times Journal, August 30, 1935

Obituary John N. Willys, aged 61 years, native of Canandaigua, and president of the Willys Overland Company, died at his home at Riverdale, Monday morning after a few days illness following a heart attack.

Mr. Willys was born here, October 25, 1873, the son of David Smith and Lydia North Willys. His first business venture was a laundry which he started in Seneca Falls with William Shoemaker when he was 20 years old and Shoemaker was 18. After four years the partners sold the business for $200, each taking half the proceeds.

He then opened a small bicycle store here and later established the Elmira Arms Company which after a period of seven years was doing a gross annual business of $500,000. His entry into the automobile industry took place in 1907 when he purchased the Indianapolis plant of the Overland Automobile Company, which holdings were increased in 1909 when he took over the Pope Toledo plant at Toledo, moving the Willys Overland plant to that city. He disposed of his automobile holdings to a syndicate in 1929, consummating a business transaction in which several million dollars was involved. It was the following year that he received diplomatic appointment, serving as Ambassador to Poland from 1930to 1932.

Mr. Willys was married to Isabel VanWie of Canandaigua, December 1, 1897. Following a divorce from her in Florida in July 1934, he married Mrs. Florence E. Dolan, who survives him. He also leaves one daughter, Mrs. Jose Delanda and two sisters, Mrs. James C. Saye of this city and Mrs. Mary A. Sleght of Rochester.   Funeral services were held from the home in Riverdale, Wednesday, and burial was made in Mt. Kisco cemetery. 

Herbert J.3 Wolven was born December 28, 1872.  Herbert died February 01, 1937 Cato, New York, at 64 years of age.  

              VICTOR  HERALD  February 5, 1937   PAGE  5  COL  2

WOLVEN -   H. J. Wolven, whose wife was formerly Miss Mae VanDenbergh of Victor, passed away at his home in Cato, Monday February 1, 1937. He had been ill only since last Thursday, suffering from pneumonia.  Besides his widow, he is survived by five children and a grandson. Funeral services were held at the home in Cato Thursday afternoon.

           He married Mae VanDenbergh Wolcott, NY, December 02, 1906.


 MARRIED   WOLVEN - VANDENBERGH    At Wolcott  December 2, 1906, H. J. Wolven of Wolcott and Miss May VanDenbergh of Victor.

                                           Mae was born February 20, 1884.  Mae was the daughter of Henry Jenner VanDenbergh and Rosanna Amelia Fenton .  Mae died March 09, 1947 in Westbury, Cayuga County, New York, at 63 years of age.   

             THE  VICTOR  HERALD  March 14, 1947  

                           OBITUARY    BLASS

Mrs. Mae Wolven Blass, a daughter of the late H. J. VanDenbergh of Victor, died at her home in Westbury, Cayuga County, Sunday, March 9, 1947, after a brief illness of heart trouble. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, and had been matron of the Cato Chapter.

The surviving relatives are her husband, George Blass, a daughter, Mrs. Doris Wolven Harding, of Warren, Pa., four sons, Laverne,  Loyal, LeRoy, and Benjamin Wolven, five grandchildren, six sisters and a brother, Mrs. Phoebe VanZile, of Florida, Mrs. Hattie Maltman of East Victor, Mrs. I. B. Estes, Mrs. A. Cuykendall, and Mrs. Lewis Kesel, of Victor, Mrs. Eugene Erickson and Earl VanDenbergh of Rochester, and several nieces and nephews.  Funeral services were conducted in her home, the Rev. Richard Wentz, pastor of the Red Creek Methodist Church officiating. Burial will be in Wolcott.

  Mary A. Wolverton   was born April 1839.  Mary died February 07, 1901 Canandaigua, New York, at 61 years of age.   

                                           ONTARIO COUNTY JOURNAL  Friday February 8, 1901

                                                          Obituary -   Hickox

Mrs. Mary A. Wolverton Hickox, wife of James S. Hickox, died at her home west of the village at three o'clock yesterday morning, aged 61 years.  Mrs. Hickox had been an invalid for 20 years.

She leaves besides her husband, two daughters, Mrs. P. T. Hartman, of Lyons, and Mrs. W. S. Titus, of Rochester, one son, J. Sidney Hickox, of this town, and three brothers, Jonas, Job, and Peter Wolverton, all of this town.  The funeral will be held from the home tomorrow afternoon at one o'clock, Rev. J. Q. Adams, pastor of  the church of which she is a member for over 30 years, will officiate. Her body was interred 1901 Canandaigua, New York, Woodlawn Cemetery.


Jonas W.2 Wolverton was born New Jersey October 1819.  Jonas died July 12, 1906 Canandaigua, New York, at 86 years of age.  

              ONTARIO COUNTY JOURNAL  Fri September 13, 1906  PAGE 3 COL 6

 WOLVERTON -  At Canandaigua, July 12, 1906, Jonas W. Wolverton, aged 87 years.  

                         SAME PAPER   PAGE  3  COL     

                       JONAS W. WOLVERTON DEAD  

          Aged farmer passed away early yesterday morning.

 Jonas W. Wolverton died at his home south of this village at 1 30 yesterday morning following an illness of over two years, during a part of which time he had been confined to his bed.

Mr. Wolverton was born in New Jersey 87 years ago and for 75 years had been a resident of this town, occupying a farm on which he died for over 60 years. About 55 years ago he married Mrs. Patience Spencer, of this town who died in October 1904.

One daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Orgon, of Naples, survives, and one daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Wolverton Cribb, first wife of Ira P. Cribb, died many years ago. Two brothers, Job and Peter Wolverton of this place, also survive.

Mr. Wolverton was an honorable and upright citizen. He was a member of the Methodist church and until McKinley and Roosevelt won his admiration he was classed among the old time solid Democrats of this town. Burial in Woodlawn. Bearers will be F. D. Cook, G. A. DeGraff, Chester H. Boyce, and Marvin Sutherland.


                  OBITUARY   WOLVERTON

Thursday morning at his home near the West Lake shore, occurred the death of Jonas W. Wolverton, one of the oldest and best known farmers of this vicinity, aged 87 years.   He had been in ill health for about two years.

Mr. Wolverton was born in New Jersey, but had been a resident of the town of Canandaigua for about seventy five years. His wife, Mrs. Patience Spencer, to whom he was married fifty five years ago, is dead as is also one daughter, Mrs. Emily Cribb.

He is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Orgon, of Naples, also by two brothers, Peter and Job Wolverton, of this place. Mr. Wolverton was a member of the Methodist church and was always a highly respected member of this community.

                             SAME  PAPER

 DIED    WOLVERTON         On West Lake Shore, July 12, 1906, Jonas W. Wolverton, aged about 87 years.

                                  He married twice.  He married Mary J. . He married Patience Andrews 1851. Patience was born New York August 1812.  Patience was the daughter of Harris Andrews and Elizabeth Drake .  She married Amasa B. Spencer .  Patience died September 13, 1904 Canandaigua, New York, at 92 years of age.   

                ONTARIO COUNTY JOURNAL  Fri September 16, 1904 PAGE 3 COL 5

  WOLVERTON -    At Canandaigua, September 13, 1904, Mrs. Patience Andrews Wolverton, aged 92 years.  

                                 SAME PAPER PAGE  2  COL  2  

                                    DIED at NINETY TWO

 Mrs. Patience Andrews, wife of Jonas Wolverton, died at her home south of the village on Tuesday having passed by a month and 4 days her 92nd birthday. Two years ago Mrs. Wolverton celebrated her 90th birthday and her activity of body and mind on that occasion was a subject of note.  Mrs. Wolverton was the oldest member of the Methodist congregation, her relations with the church dating back to 70 years.

There survive besides the husband, one daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Orgon of Naples, one sister Mrs. Lucinda Thwing of California, and one brother, Heman Andrews of this town. Rev. Dr. J. Wallace Webb officiated at the funeral services yesterday afternoon.

                     ONTARIO COUNTY JOURNAL December 27, 1901  PAGE  3 COL    

Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Wolverton served a sumptuous Christmas dinner to guests from NY, Syracuse, Naples, and a few immediate relatives from Canandaigua. An interesting letter was read from a sister of Mrs. Wolverton, now 82 years old, who lives in Chico, California. 

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