Will Carleton was born in Wacousta, Michigan, in 1882, the son of Carey Reed and Catherine Stowell Daniells, and graduated from the Wacousta 10th grade school in 1901. The following day, he left for New York where he went to work for Ingersoll Watch, testing 2500 watches per day at $9 per week. He followed his older brothers Estee and Allan in working for Ingersoll.
In 1902, he went to Fort Worth, Texas, to Draughon's Business College. He graduated in 1903 and moved to Chicago where he worked for his brother, Estee, as a shipping clerk at Ingersoll. He held that job until 1906.
W.C., as he was often known, purchased 40 acres of the King Ranch, Kingsville, Texas, and went there in the spring of 1906. After a year there, he returned to Wacousta long enough to marry Iva Bliss at her family's farm, "the Pivot".
In 1911, the family moved back to Chicago where Will worked for his brother Allan. From 1915-1916, he was in Tavares, Florida, developing groves for D.B. and W. at Lake Harris. He sold watches part time in Florida and South Georgia. In 1919, he was called to New York by his brother Allan to run the watch service bureau. He alternated between New York and Florida. Iva and the four daughters returned to Wacousta during this time, soon to be joined by a fifth daughter in the same year. In 1923, W.C. purchased a home in Eustis, Florida, and the family joined him.
Will spent the rest of his career involved with citrus. Working with Dr. Frank Savage, he developed the tangelo, a cross between the tangerine and the grapefruit. He became known as the "Tangelo King of Florida" and, at one time, owned the largest acreage of tangelos in the world. He was known as a businessman of upmost integrity and honesty. He died in Eustis in 1973.