"Frank Demas "
Thomas Willis Merry Willis
Findagrave noted the following:
" Name originally was Frank Demas but changed it when he escaped from slavery to Thomas Willis so as not to be found by his master.
According to his wife's obituary, she escaped first to Canada with her daughter Mahala (Mrs. Henry Lyon) by underground railroad.
Her and her husband were reunited there later by her husband after his escape.
They lived in Canada a few years, and then Detroit finally coming to Mason, Michigan where he died 4 years later.
(From the information in the article of Aug 15, 1907, estimated the year they came to Mason was 1865 and he died approximately in 1869/1870)
Thomas, Merry and their children remained in Mason.
Buriels can be found in Maple Grove Cemetery in Mason, MI.
Thomas and Merry's children
Merry Louise Willis James 1865 - 1952
Lansing State Journal Article: by Judy Putnam
Lansing State Journal Article: by Judy Putnam - a columnist with the Lansing State Journal.