Mason Area Historical Society
Mason Area Historical Society

Frank Demas Thomas Willis Manumission

 
 
 
 
"Frank Demas "
 
      Thomas Willis                                         Merry Willis
                  (1825 - 1870)                                                   (1815 - 1907)          
 
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, I estimated the year they came to Mason as 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
 
 
Willis Family Find A Grave Link:   https://new.findagrave.com/memorial/47404018
 
http://michiganradio.org By  • MAR 7, 2016  
 
Lansing State Journal Article:  by Judy Putnam
- a columnist with the Lansing State Journal. Contact her at (517) 267-1304 or at jputnam@lsj.com.       Link: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/02/05/putnam-rare-slavery-document-display-lansing/79838764/
 
 
Lansing State Journal Article:  by Judy Putnam - a columnist with the Lansing State Journal.
Contact her at (517) 267-1304 or at jputnam@lsj.com