From: "Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois Illustrated
1908, edited by Newton Bateman, LL. D. and Paul Selby, A. M., Volume II,
Schuyler County", edited by Howard F. Dyson, pages 970-971, a Reprinted by
Stevens Publishing Company, Astoria, Illinois 61501, 1970, is sold by the
Schulyer County Historical Society, Rushville, Illinois.
Willard, Burton O. - A practical demonstration of the results obtainable
by a union of singleness of purpose, good judgment and large capacity for
industry is found in the career of Burton O. Willard, a legal practitioner
of Rushville, Ill., since March, 1895, Chairman of the Republican County
Committee since 1900, member of the State Board of Education since 1902,
and Ex-City Attorney. Mr. Willard is a product of the farming
contingent of Littleton Township, Schuyler County, Ill., where he was born
June 14, 1868. His remote paternal pursued their avocations in England,
and the family was first represented in American by his paternal great-grandfather,
Samuel Willard, who settled in Massachusetts. George Willard, the paternal
grandfather, was born in Boston, and married Rachel Garrett, a native of
the Hoosier State. Patrick Willard, father of Burton O., was born in
Browning, Schuyler County, Ill., and married Anna G. Garrett, a native of
Kickapoo, Ill. Mrs. Willard was a daughter of John Garrett, born in
Lexington, Ky., in 1830, and Sarah E. (Williamson) Garrett, born in Wheeling,
W. Va. Her grandparents, Thomas J. and Susan (Wagoner) Garrett were
born in Lexington, Ky.
Educated primarily in the public schools of Illinois, Burton O. Willard
next entered the Rushville Normal College from which he was graduated in
1891. From the age of twenty-one to twenty-four he both taught and
attended school, at the same time taking up study of law, Which resulted
in his admission to the bar November 22, 1894. Since attaining maturity
he has been increasingly enthusiastic over Republican politics, and locally
has proved one of the stanchest and most popular supporters of his party.
In 1896 he was the unsuccessful candidate for State's Attorney, and in 1897
was elected City Attorney, serving two terms. In 1900 he became Chairman
of the Republican County Committee, in which capacity he now is serving his
third term. He was appointed to the State Board of Education in 1902
by Governor Yates. In 1900 he represented the Fifteenth Congressional
District in the Electoral College.
August 31, 1892, Mr. Willard was united in marriage to Ida Barton,
a native of Cooperstown, Ill., and of the union there is a son, Paul B.
Mr. Willard is fraternally a Mason, and in religion, is a Presbyterian.
During the eleven years of his residence in Rushville, Mr. Willard has maintained
the highest tenets of his profession, and has proved himself a judicious
and faithful counselor, and a genial companion, considerate friend and high-minded