Search Local History Articles
Browse Local History Topics
- Community Services
- Crime & Public Safety
- Cultural Diversity
- Disasters & Calamities
- Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County
- In the 19th Century
- In the 20th Century
- Libraries & Schools
- Making a Living
- Recreation & Sports
- Religion & Spirituality
- Spanish Period & Earlier
- Unusual & Curious
- Weather & Pop. Stats.
- World War II
Santa Cruz County History - People
Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson
WILLITS, LEONIDAS V (1831-1916)
Watsonville Pajaronian (November 13, 1916)
Pioneer Cemetery, Watsonville
Two Popular Pioneers Have Crossed the Divide
L.V. Willits Was Called Yesterday
Leonidas Volney Willits, a pioneer of the valley and one of its best known citizens, died yesterday in this city after a lingering illness. The funeral will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock from the late residence of the deceased at 711 Rodriguez street with interment in the I.O.O.F. cemetery.
The deceased was born near Richmond, Wayne county, Virginia, and was aged 85 years, 9 months and 27 days. Early in life he moved with his parents to Illinois where he received his education. On April 30, 1857, he married Miss Livonia A. Davis and four children blessed the union, two of which died in infancy. Mr. Willits answered the call of his country by serving in the 102d Illinois Infantry throughout the Civil War, returning to Illinois after the war to engage in farming and stock raising with great success. Mr. Willits was always an enthusiastic stock raiser and his horses were among the most beautiful and best trained in the county. Some of the finest draft horses in this part of the state were raised on his ranch on the Beach road and many of the best horses in the community came from his sires.
Mr. Willits was one of the leading members of the Presbyterian church in this city and was regarded as one of the most honest and straight forward men in the community. He was a man of the highest type of character and all that knew him held him in high esteem. His death will be mourned by hundreds in the valley because of his kindness, charity and general commendable acts. He served two terms as city trustee of Watsonville and was a faithful and honest servant of the people at all times.
Two sons survive him, Ralph W. Willits of this city and Charles D. Willits of San Francisco. A grandson, Richard B. Willits of San Francisco also survives him.
>>Return to Home Page of Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
>>Return to "W" Index Page
It is our continuing goal to make available a selection of articles on various subjects and places in Santa Cruz County. Certain topics, however, have yet to be researched. In other cases, we were not granted permission to use articles. The content of the articles is the responsibility of the individual author. It is the Library's intent to provide accurate local history information. However, it is not possible for the Library to completely verify the accuracy of individual articles obtained from a variety of sources. If you believe that factual statements in a local history article are incorrect and can provide documentation, please contact the Webmaster.