Dr. Thomas Leo Willis. The Willis family had its origin in England, and the first of the name to seek American shores was one John Willis who came in Colonial days and located in Virginia. From that state representatives of the family migrated to Alabama, others to Tennessee, and it was there that the subject and his father were born and reared. Doctor Willis of this review was born in Willow Grove, Clay County, Tennessee, on January 13, 1880, and he is a son of John Willis, born in the same town in 1848.
John Willis is today a resident of Granite, Oklahoma, where he came from his native state and community in the autumn of 1910. He has been a merchant, a farmer and a lumberman, and has been prominent in whatever industry he has been occupied. Today Mr. Willis is serving as town judge in Granite. He was county judge for years in Clay County, Tennessee, and was prominent also in civic affairs there, as he is in his present location. He is a member of the Christian Church and an elder therein. John Willis married Sarah Willis, a distant relative, who was born in Willow Grove in 1849. They have seven children, Doctor Willis of this review being the eldest. Ara married Ed Parson, a farmer in Salina, Tennessee. Roxie is the wife of E. W. Leadbetter, a farmer in Granite. Ora is still with her parents. Mattie married V. Maynard, and they live in Granite. Burl and Della are also at home with their parents.
Doctor Willis as a boy attended the public schools in Willow Grove and the academy at Salina, Tennessee. He was about seventeen years old when he finished his public school work, and for the next five years he was employed as a clerk in stores in Salina and Willow Grove. In 1904 he entered the medical department of the University of Tennessee at Nashville and was graduated on April 30, 1909. with the degree M. D. He first was engaged in practice in Willow Grove, remaining there until 1910, coming in the autumn of that year to Granite, Oklahoma, and conducting a general practice there until July, 1914, when he came to Lone Wolf and here established himself in his profession. Doctor Willis enjoys a liberal following in and about Lone Wolf and has made considerable progress in his profession considering the time of his practice here. One of his first moves was the establishing of a small private hospital. It was begun on a very small scale, indeed, in a few rooms above a local bank, but it soon outgrew its quarters and is now located in a commodious house on Main Street, with every facility for its proper operation. Eight patients can be cared for in this modest, but wholly practical and up-to-date health establishment, and it is well patronized.
Doctor Willis is a republican and a member of the Christian Church. He is also a member of the County and State Medical societies, and his fraternal relations are with the Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen and the Brotherhood of American Yeomen.
In 1900 Doctor Willis was married in Willow Grove, Tennessee, to Miss Cora Johnson, daughter of L. F. Johnson, a retired merchant who now makes his home with the Hulls at Woodward, Texas. They have four children: John Feldman and Ruth Ailene are students in the Lone Wolf public schools, while the two youngest children, Bradley and Sarah Katherine, are at home.