This historical marker was difficult to find using the Historical Marker Atlas. The marker is actually located at the corner of E. Stewart Street and N. Danville. It is next to the Willis Car Service and across the street from Wise Grocery and Hardware. The owner of Willis Car Service was sitting at a picnic table at the historical site and told me he has been in business for over 25 years. Across the street at Wise Grocery and Hardware, I was told I could find anything I needed in that store. The people are friendly in Willis. If you happen to come through this town and come across someone who was born and raised in Willis, they will gladly tell you more about its history.
The Historical Marker Reads:
Founded in 1870. Name for P. J. and R. S. Willis (large land and timber owners who formerly were merchants in area). They gave townsite on the Houston & Great Northern Railroad. With the line came prosperity, and in 1874 Willis and Montgomery vied for county seat, but both eventually lost to Conroe. Willis boasted a college, opera house, numerous stores: and by 1895 had vast tobacco fields supporting 7 cigar factories. This industry faded when tariff on Cuban tobacco was lifted. Present industries are timber and livestock.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark – 1970