"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Willis, Ray M. farm manager and superintendent for the L. Starks Co. at Starks, Oneida County, was born at Rushville, Neb., Aug. 25, 1893. When he was five years old the family removed from there to Plainfield, Wis., and he attended the grade and high schools at the latter place, graduating from the high school with the class of 1913. In the fall of 1914 he accepted a position as bookkeeper for the L. Starks Co. at Starks, and he continued in the duties of this position until July 19, 1918, when he enlisted for service in the World War with the Fifth Company, First Group, Machine Gun Corps. He was sent to Camp Hancock, Ga., but the signing of the armistice came while he was still in training and he was discharged at Camp Grant, Ill., June 16, 1919, having been sent there from Camp Hancock June 11th. Upon the termination of his army service he returned to Starks, and it was at that time that he was promoted to his present position as farm manager and superintendent. This work carries a great deal of responsibility and demands executive ability in a high degree. The company's lands consist of 17,000 acres, of which 4,000 acres are under cultivation and are devoted principally to the raising of potatoes, the yearly crop of which is close to 150,000 bushels. About two-thirds of the 4,000 acres are cared for by tenant farmers, who hire their own help; these lands Mr. WILLIS oversees, and the other one-third is under his direct personal charge, as to hiring the men, planting and harvesting, and all other details. In spite of the great magnitude of this work Mr. Willis finds time to take a useful part in the public affairs of his community, and is now serving as treasurer of the town of Stella, in which the village of Starks is situated. He is a member of Plainview Lodge No. 208, F. & A. M., and of Rhinelander Chapter No. 74, R. A. M.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 743, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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