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HON. WILLIAM WILLS

Wills Point, Texas
Information furnished by Cindy Wills

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The First Texas Generation
VZCo, Texas

The well-documented Berryhill Manuscript states that William Wills was "of Creek Indian blood and was a member of Tuckabatchee Tribal Town of the Old Creek Nation". His parents were unknown to the author. William married Elizabeth 'Betsy' Berryhill, a Creek Indian, about 1804. William and Betsy traveled to the Western Creek Lands in the second McIntosh Party, which arrived in November 1828. The couple settled in the fork of the Arkansas and Verdigris Rivers, near Betsy's parents.

William Wills had seven sons and one daughter, all born in Robertson County, Tennessee. The children were:

1. Mathew T. (born about 1794-1802)
2. George (born 20 March 1802)
3. William "Billy" (born 28 September 1804)
4. James S. (born 10 June 1809)
5. Elizabeth (born 10 October 1811)
6. John Burnett (born about 1816)
7. Finis E. (born 1818)
8. Saladin Harris (born about 1824).

The third child, William "Billy", was definitely the son of Betsy Berryhill. I am not certain of the mother(s) of the other children. However, William and Betsy married around 1804 and were still together in 1828, so it is possible that Betsy was the mother of the last 5 children. Elizabeth would have been named after her mother. Mathew and George were born before he married Betsy, unless Betsy and William's marriage date is incorrect.
The Berryhill Manuscript also states that William moved to Nacogdoches County, TX, after leaving the Western Creek Lands (OK). At this time, Nacogdoches County covered most of Northeast Texas and Texas was a nation. Then he returned to TN. I don't know when or where Betsy died. William's children would have gone to OK and TX with their father, except for "Billy". Billy began the journey to Oklahoma with his parents, but then decided to go to AL instead. This trip west to OK and TX would explain why most of William's grown children and his widow, "Margarette", moved off to Texas after William died. They had lived there before.
In1844 William died in Tennessee. At the time of his passing one of his sons, Mathew T. Wills, had already died. In William's will he left to his only daughter, one slave girl named Eliza. All of his slaves and his land, he left to his last wife, Margarette. This Wills family soon traveled west.

" In 1860, George Wills was in Freestone County, but he moved to Chariton, Missouri, before his death on March 2, 1861. George is buried at Cotton Gin Cemetery, Freestone County, TX.
" William Wills (known as Billy) settled in Van Zandt County, Texas, after first moving to Kaufman County, TX. Billy raised Texas Longhorns. He and his family lived in a double log cabin where they took in travelers. Billy built corrals for the livestock of cowboys passing through. This location was very popular and eventually became the town of Wills Point. Billy's cabin still stands.
After William's death, his widow, Mary Ann, planned out the White Rose Cemetery near Wills Point. Mary Ann and William are buried at the White Rose Cemetery, Van Zandt County, TX.
His children applied for Creek citizenship in the Creek Nation West. Their court records are in the Berryhill Manuscript.
" Margarette and son, Doctor James S. Wills, traveled first to Limestone County, Texas and then to Freestone County, Texas in 1845. Doctor James Wills is credited with the establishment of the Cotton Gin Community in 1848 near the site of a mule-powered cotton gin built by Dr. Wills. Wills built the first store in the community and served as postmaster when the post office was established in 1851. He gave land for the Cotton Gin Cemetery. He also took part in the founding of a college in the area. Dr. James Wills is buried at the Cotton Gin Cemetery, Freestone County, TX.
" Elizabeth Wills lived in Cotton Gin in Freestone County, Texas. She is buried in Cotton Gin Cemetery, Freestone County, TX. Her three sons, her son-in-law, and several of her nephews fought in the Civil War. Her son, Saladin Erasmus, died in Little Rock, Arkansas during the war and is buried there.
" Doctor John B. Wills lived in Cotton Gin in 1860 and Coryell County, Texas, in 1880 and his will was probated in Gatesville, Texas, in 1892. He is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Forney, Kaufman County, TX.
" Doctor Saladin Harris Wills went to Limestone County, Texas, where he worked as a physician and land speculator. His name appears on the Census for Limestone County in 1850, 1860, and 1880. I have not found where he and his second wife were buried.

Mathew

Mathew T. Wills married Mary Harriet Guthrie. [Mathew died before his siblings moved to Texas.] Their children were:
1. Robert Wills married Sarah Breeze.
2. Martha Wills married Marrou Cash.
3. Sarah Wills married William Chrame.
4. Hodge Wills
5. Eliza Caldwell Wills married James Chambers Cash.

George

George Wills married Elizabeth "Betsy" Guthrie (I assume she was related to Mary Harriet Guthrie) on 9 April 1823 in Sumner County, TN. Their children were:
1. Simon White Wills married Mary Francis Owens on 7 February 1868. Simon was a Confederate soldier.
2. Arnetta Wills
3. Emily "Emma" Wills
4. Louise Wills
5. Jane Wills
6. Margaret Wills
7. Letha Wills

William

William "Billy" Wills married Mary Ann Phillips in 1834. Their children were:
1. Elizabeth Margaret Wills married James Alexander Estes on 16 April 1854 in Washington County, TN.
2. Mary Jane Wills married John A. O'Neal.
3. William E. Harbert Wills III married Narcissa J. Criswell on 9 August 1866.
4. Finis "Fine" Colby Wills married Bethina Ann Criswell (sister of Narcissa) on 28 February 1871 in Van Zandt County, TX.
5. Martha Tennessee Wills married H.N. Williams.

James

Doctor James S. Wills married Emily Mc Farland in 1833. Their children were:
1. Angeline A. Wills married Julius William Storey.
2. Justina Annette Wills married Thomas Lee Cyrus Means.
3. Margaret Wills
4. Emma Wills married Marcus S. Clark.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wills married Richard Ewing Colgin in 1823 in Robertson County, TN. Richard Colgin was a veteran of the War of 1812. All three of their sons and their son-in-law fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy. Their children were:
1. Ellen Medora Colgin married John Fowler Teague (there are other 'Teague's in the Wills family tree; Teague, Texas, is named for this family).
2. Charles William Colgin- Charles was a Confederate soldier.
3. Saladin Erasmus "Rap" Wills- Rap was a Confederate soldier.
4. Richard Ewing Colgin married Mary Wallace Aycock (there are other 'Aycock's in the Wills family tree) on 5 June 1866 in Freestone County, TX. Richard's second marriage was to Annie Elizabeth Drake in 1876 at Cotton Gin, Freestone County, TX. Richard was a Confederate soldier.

John

Doctor John Burnett Wills married Harriet C. Alexander on 29 June 1838 at Robertson's Fork, Giles, TN. Their children were:
1. Araminta Dona Wills married John Magnus Aycock on 10 June 1866 in Freestone County, TX. John was a Confederate soldier.
2. Alice Wills married Wiley W. Jones.
3. William W. Wills married Sarah A. Fore on 3 March 1871 in Coryell County, TX.
4. Laura Wills married George W. Franks on 15 March 1871 in Coryell County, TX.
5. John Wills

Finis

Finis E. Wills married Mary. Their children were:
1. Matilda
2. Frances
3. Jan
4. John
5. William
6. Taylor

Saladin

Doctor Saladin Harris Wills married Mary S. Hunter on 11 November 1844 in Sumner County, TN. Their children were:
1. George Ann Wills married Mr. Thomas.
2. William Thomas Wills married Eliza A. George in about 1869 in TX. His second marriage was to Mary Lou Tompkins on 13 February 1874 in Freestone County, TX.
3. James Robert M. Wills married Emily Delilah Eugene George (sister to Eliza) in November 1873 in Limestone County, TX. Later in life he married Mrs. Fannie Curry and he married Mrs. Jennie Meriner.
4. Roxann Fineta Wills married Tom Green Wood. Her second marriage was to George Hampton Jones on 25 February 1878 in Limestone County, TX.
5. Margaret "Peggy" Wills married William Sanders.
6. Finis Ewing Wills married Laura "Doll" Whatley on 28 July 1886.




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