WILLITS, Edwin, a Representative from Michigan; born at Otto, Cattaraugus County, N.Y., April 24, 1830; moved to Michigan with his parents in September 1836; was graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in June 1855; settled in Monroe, Monroe County, Mich., in April 1856; editor of the Monroe Commercial 1856-1861; studied law; was admitted to the bar in December 1857 and commenced practice in Monroe; prosecuting attorney of Monroe County 1860-1862; member of the State board of education 1860-1872; appointed postmaster of Monroe January 1, 1863, by President Lincoln, and removed by President Johnson October 15, 1866; member of the commission to revise the constitution of the State in 1873; elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1883); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice (Forty-seventh Congress); was not a candidate for renomination in 1882; principal of the State normal school at Ypsilanti 1883-1885; president of the Michigan Agricultural College 1885-1889; First Assistant Secretary of Agriculture from March 23, 1889, to December 31, 1893; continued the practice of law in Washington, D.C., until his death there October 22, 1896; interment in Woodlawn Cemetery, Monroe, Mich.
BibliographyBald, F. Clever. “Edwin Willits.” In Michigan and the Cleveland Era. Edited by Earl D. Babst and Lewis G. Vander Velde. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1948.
Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present