Willis Turner was born December 10, 1823, in Vernon, Hartford County, Connecticut, probbaly the son of Joseph and Wealthy.
Willis may have been living at the Olcott Hotel in Hartford, Connecticut in 1850. He was probably living in Michigan when he married Michigan native Electa Bradley (b. 1836) On March 2, 1854, in Branch County, Michigan. and they had at least five children: William Manley (b. 1855), Laura (1857-1919), Eugene (b. 1859), Henry (b. 1861) and Rufus (b. 1866).
Willis and Electa moved to Indiana where they were living in 1855 but sometime between 1858 and 1859 returned to Michigan. By 1860 Willis was working as a farmer and living with his wife and three children in Pierson, Mecosta County.
He stood 5’9” with blue eyes, sandy hair and a sandy complexion and was a 38-year-old farmer possibly living in Newaygo County when he enlisted in Company K on February 27, 1862, at Grand Rapids for 3 years, and was mustered on March 12. He was discharged for chronic bronchitis on June 25, 1862, at Annapolis, Maryland.
Willis eventually returned to his home in Montcalm County. By 1870 he was working as a farmer (he owned $2000 worth of real estate) and was living with his wife and children in Pierson, Montcalm County. He may have purchased 80 acres of land in Michigan in 1870. By 1880 Willis was farming and living with his wife and son Manley in Kinderhook, Branch County.
In 1873 he applied for and received a pension (no. 451939).