HENRY H. WILLES

BIOGRAPHY

AS RECORDED IN:

COMMEMORATIVE BIOGRAPHICAL RECORD OF 
TOLLAND AND WINDHAM COUNTIES CONNECTICUT.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF PROMINENT AND REPRESENTATIVE  CITIZENS AND OF MANY OF THE EARLY SETTLED FAMILIES
PUBLISHER: J.H.BEERS & CO., CHICAGO; 1903     P. 1080

HENRY H. WILLES, proprietor of Willes Art Store, No. 1013 Main street, Hartford, is the son of Henry A. and Ann K. Willes, and was born in Norwich, May 21, 1860.  His father was a prominent dry-goods merchant of that city, and in his later years was engaged in the wholesale hardware manufacturing  business in Philadelphia.  The children were Henry H.; Flora N., wife of Judge Simmons of Vermont; and Claudius W.

Mr. Willes received his education in the public schools of Hartford, and the Hartford High School.  When seventeen he taught the district school in Barkhamsted.  Later he went to Maryland, where he taught and studied the classics under his uncle, Rev. Daniel Willes, a graduate of Yale.  He is conversant with the modern languages and speaks several fluently.  Returning to the North, he located in Chicago, where he was in the wholesale hardware business on La Salle street, but disposing of this interest to good advantage, he went to Wisconsin, and after a successful business career there went to Philadelphia, where he became vice-president and traveling representative of the Chemical Company, manufacturers of tools and hardware specialties.  For fifteen years, Mr. Willes successfully conducted this business, when he bought the art business formerly owned by his late uncle, J.H. Willes, at No. 1013 Main street, Hartford.  He imports, wholesales and retails works of art, pictures, frames, oil paintings, engravings, etchings, water colors, pastelles and artistsí materials, and he makes mirrors and the regilding of frames a specialty.  He is the manufacturer of upward of 12,000 picture frames per year; his business has been established nearly thirty years, being the oldest art store continuously in the same family in Hartford.  Mr. Willes lives at Vernon Center, where he has resided for over twenty years, living on the original Willes homestead, formerly belonging to his grandfather, Horatio Willes, who was one of the most prominent men in Norwich, where he was engaged in the wholesale grocery business, and where for many years he served as selectman, and was a bosom friend of Governor Buckingham.  His namesake, Henry H. Willes, was governor of Virginia.

The Willes family is an old and distinguished one and is descended from Judge Willes of England.  Many of its representatives have been prominent in medicine, ministry and the law.

On Dec. 23, 1886, Henry H. Willes married Miss Jeannette Hoadley, of New Haven, a member of one of the leading families of that section, and a cousin of ex-Governor Hoadley, of Ohio.  They have traveled extensively through Europe and America.  One son has blessed the union, Hoadley H., born May 27, 1892.  Mr. Willes has taken a vital interest in matters looking to the improvement of the town of Vernon.  In religion he is a much respected member of the Congregational Church at Vernon Centre, having been president of the Ecclesiastical and Christian Endeavor societies.  In politics he is a Republican.  He was representative of the town of Vernon, and served as chairman of the committee on Manufactures; a fluent speaker, he took an active part in the proceedings of the Legislature in 1901.

Reproduced by:

Linda D. Pingel

 

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