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Photo of Willis Chapel Cemetery
Willis Chapel Cemetery. Founded: 1873

Henry Willis donated the land for the Cemetery. His Brother-in-Law, Emerson Ward provided the land for the Willis Chapel churchyard. Together, they built the Church, Willis Chapel. (1) Above the uniquely hand-carved wooden sign, WILLIS CHAPEL, mounted on the face of the Church is a smaller wooden sign. The personalized carving reads: "1887, HW & EW". (2)

1887: The first minister of Willis Chapel was John Daniel Willis, Son of founder, Henry Willis and 2nd Wife, Kittura Ann Wright Willis; then a 20 year old minister. Reverend Dan Willis pastored in Edinburg Missouri and in Oklahoma.

The first burial in Willis Cemetery was Mary Everett Willis who died at the age of 47. Born, 10 Jan 1816, in Norwick Twp, Franklin Co, Ohio to Samuel Everett and Sarah Wilcox. Mary was the first wife of Henry Willis and the mother of Sarah Jane Willis. She died, 17 Mar 1863 in Grundy County, Missouri.

1. History of Grundy County Missouri (Kansas City, Missouri, Birdshall & Dean, 1881), pp 497, 498, 668, 669
2. Photographs of Willis Chapel and Cemetery, 29 May 2010 by William A. Tate, 2nd Great-Grandson of Henry Willis, Camera model: Canon Powershot A27 IS. Photos edited by Pamela Tate. Digital copies available. Contact: Pamela Tate at

Added by: Pamela Tate Dunham

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