11 July 2002. From page 166 of The Blue Book of Nebraska Women,
by Winona Evans Reeves, Missouri Printing and Publishing Company (1916), transcribed
by Charmaine Keith for the USGenWeb Project.
Lucy Wills Tibbets was one of the very few real Daughters of the
American Revolution who have lived in Nebraska; Mrs. Tukesberry of Plattsmouth, whose
biography appears also in this book, is another real Daughter. Mrs. Tibbets was born in
Belgrade, Me., Nov. 26, 1818, and died in Beatrice, Neb., March 17, 1907, at the age of 89
years. She was the daughter of James Wills, who served for several years in the
revolutionary War and who died in 1842, at the age of 104 years. Mrs. Tibbets spent the
greater part of her life in new England, but having survived all her children in the East,
she came to Beatrice to live with her daughter, Mrs. J. H. Tibbets, the last years of her
live. She joined in Beatrice the Elizabeth Montague chapter, which after her death erected
a monument over her grave, which was unveiled with a beautiful and impressive ceremony.
The marker of bronze was presented by Mrs. D. S. Dalby, past regent of the chapter. The
national society D. A. R. keeps a careful record of real Daughters and there are in all
only 731 recorded, of which Mrs. Tibbits was one.
If the year of James's death and his age at that time are both accurate, his year of
birth would be 1738. He would have been 80 years old when Lucy was born, and 37 when he
entered the colonial army in 1775. The obituary of Lucy's brother Daniel
claims that James was even older, 106, when he died. But neither age claim seems credible.
Connie J. Wills, probably a descendant, wrote in 1998,
The progenitor of the WILLS family of Maine was born in Chatham or Sheffield, England
in 1758. He served in the Revolutionary War 3 times. He was discharged in December 1783 in
Philadelphia. There are no records for him for the next 3 to 4 yrs. He married Mary
CHAMBERLAIN or NICKERSON in Chester in 1786. They had 3 children born in Chester before
moving to Belgrade, Maine. Robert on November 5, 1787; Hannah on August 12, 1789; and
William on April 28, 1792. They bought land on November 24, 1790, in Chester and sold it
on April 10, 1794. His wife, Mary, died on June 12, 1803, in Belgrade.
If we believe 1758, then James was 17 when he enlisted, 55 and 60 when his children
Daniel and Lucy were born, and 84 in 1842 when Winona Reeves believed he died. Daniel and
Lucy would be the children of a second wife, which may explain the confusion about his
wife's maiden name.