William Stephen Wills was born in Kingfield, Maine, before Maine became a state, Mr. Wills always considered it his home and retained property he had in Augusta throughout the years of his absence. He received his education in the common schools of Augusta and was in business there from 1840 to 1850, afterward spending some time in Mobile, New Orleans, Texas, Nicaragua and San Francisco. Sometime in the early 1850s he selected Shasta, California as the place to make his fortune, however it was not his intention to do so by mining. He built a frame house in a beautiful spring-fed glade just over the hill east of town. With the help of a gardener, he started a produce business, selling berries, vegetables, and other small produce graduating to fruit trees and vineyards as time went on. Later he patented his claim for forty acres although only a small portion was suitable for gardening. The road from Waugh Ferry on the Sacramento River to Shasta skirted the lower field of his property.

Finding upon this property suitable clay for bricks, he had a kiln constructed and furnished
some bricks for chimneys and buildings in Shasta, he was a shrewd but honest businessman and may have been the first realtor in Shasta County. A two story brick building which he owned as a rental property for over forty years was the last of these old landmarks to topple. During his residence near Shasta, Mr. Wills made several trips to eastern points combining business with pleasure and his stories of these travels were particularly enjoyed as he was an observant and appreciative traveler with a sense of hurmor.

In 1878 he retired from business ventures and sent his wife and youngest daughter to Augusta
by train while he took one last trip around the Horn to spend the rest of his long and honorable
life in his native state. He died in Maine in 1899 and is buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Augusta. Mrs. Wills is also buried there.

There were three children. Ellen b: 1849, Ida b: 1858, Essie Crowell b: 1867

Source: Shasta Historical Society

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