Below is the text of a newspaper clipping glued next to photo 58. It's
the basis of the identification. The clipping has no date, byline or publication name. The
reverse appears to be a listing of stock prices for local companies. The year 1891 appears
after the name of one of the companies, but it's not obvious what that may mean.
Celebrated 80th Birthday
Mr. Daniel M. Wills, one of our oldest residents attained his 80th
birthday last Saturday and a few of his relatives living in Lowell commemorated the event
by assembling at his house during the afternoon and evening. They left several tokens of
their respect and esteem among which was a handsome oak desk from his wife and children
and a purse of money from F.S. Cooledge.
Mr. Wills is a remarkably well preserved man for one of his age and few
men can excel him in handiness with tools or in finished workmanship. He came from a long
lived family. His father who lived to be 106 years of age fought in the American
revolution, having enlisted and seen active service before Washington took command of the
army at Cambridge, which scene he took great pride in relating to his son. There are very
few men today who can boast of having a father who fought under the command of the
"Father of his country," and Mr. Wills counts it one of the greatest honors of
He is an honored member of the I.O.O.F. and the Old Resident
Association and takes a keen interest in the current events of the day. Mr. Wills enjoys a
wide circle of acquaintances throughout New England and wherever he is known commands the
respect which a long and useful life of uprightness entitles him.
George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief on June 15, 1775 and took command of
the army in Cambridge Massachusetts on July 3. If Daniel's father was in the army at the
time, he presumably couldn't have been born any later than 1760, and if the article was
printed in 1891, Daniel was born when his father was at least 51 years old.
14 June 2002. Mom found a copy of Daniel's obituary that my
grandfather had sent to my father. My grandfather wrote on it, "Your great great
uncle on my mother's side," establishing that Daniel is the brother of Lucy Ann
Friday, April 11, 1902
DANIEL M. WILLS
Lowell Has Lost Another of Its Prominent Citizens
Another of Lowell's old residents has gone, this time it being Daniel
M. Wills of 1939 Middlesex Street who died at his home Wednesday, aged 88 years and 5
He is survived by a widow, a son, Lester Wills the well known grocer, a
daughter, Mrs. Arthur H. Slater, well known in musical circles in this city, two sisters
and a brother.
Mr. Wills was one of the oldest residents of this city having come here
in March, 1838, when he was employed by the Lawrence corporation, remaining there for many
years in the capacity of overseer of one of the largest weaving rooms and for several
years being contemporary with the late Isaac Cooper. He had great faith in the prosperity
of his adopted city, and watched its growth with interest for 65 years. In all probability
he was the oldest Odd Fellow in Lowell, having become a member of Mechanics lodge No. 11,
in 1843. He was also a member of the Old Resident's Association and of the Worthen Street
M. E. church.
He was born in Belgrade, Me., of old revolutionary stock, his father,
James Wills, seeing active service all through the war of the revolution, and dying at the
advanced age of 106 years.
Mr. Wills was well known in Lowell. He was a man of strong faith,
sterling integrity and was always ready to do a good turn for a deserving unfortunate. In
his demise the city will lose one of the men of which the earlier days of Lowell were
closely connected, a man to whom much is due, and a man an honor to any community and a
loss much to be deplored. The bereaved ones receive the sympathy of all.
Funeral notice elsewhere in this paper.
Based on this and information from the 1900 census, I'm going to identify the other
photos on this page as Daniel's wife Melvina and his children Lester and Nellie. The 80th
birthday article must have been written in November of 1893. Daniel's father James was
almost certainly in his 50s when Daniel was born, but then Daniel's own children were born
when he was 48 and 51.