Catlin, Willis (Willys)

Born: 1802-01-21 Harwinton, Connecticut

Died: 1873-04-22 Jacksonville, Illinois

Flourished: 1843 to 1873 Jacksonville, Illinois

Alternate name: Cattlin

Willis (Willys) Catlin, watchmaker and bookseller, was a resident of Augusta, Georgia as early as 1830, alongside several members of his family who had also settled there. While living in Augusta, Catlin sold insurance and operated a jewelry store. In 1843 Catlin and his family relocated permanently to Jacksonville, Illinois, where he first continued in the watch and jewelry business, then briefly worked as a daguerreotypist before opening a bookstore in the first half of the 1850s. In 1853 Catlin became Morgan County school commissioner. He continued as a bookseller for the remainder of his life. Catlin married Eliza E. Brinsmade in 1828 and the pair had four children who lived to adulthood. In religion, Catlin was a Presbyterian.

Jacksonville Daily Journal (IL), 20 October 1920, 5:4-5; Augusta Chronicle and Georgia Advertiser, 3 July 1830, 3:2; Daily Chronicle & Sentinel (Augusta, GA), 29 September 1840, 3:2; 3 July 1843, 3:2; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL, 178; History of Morgan County, Illinois (Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd, 1878), 265, 333, 477; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL, 58; The Chicago Daily Tribune (IL), 23 April 1873, 4:5.