Harold & Waneta Colman Willits

Waneta Colman was born in Kanwaka Township on July 9, 1927 and married Harold Willits on July 27, 1947. When Nellie Colman died in 1962, the farm passed to her children: a son, Clare, and daughter, Waneta. The Willits continued to operate the farm through 1964 and in 1965 the farm was divided with Clare as owner of the north 40 acres, and the Willits as owners of the 160 acres. By verbal agreement, the Willits rented the 40 acres on a cash-rent basis and continued to operate the 200 acres as a unit. In 1992, the Willits acquired the 40 acres from Clare Colman, returning the farm to the full 200 acres.

In 1965, the Willits built the ranch-style home that is on the farm today. The home was built just north of where the previous house stood. Willits farmed the land until his wife’s death in the fall of 1994. At this time he held an equipment auction and sold the farm to Gary and Terrie Price. Price, who is the current owner, also owns the land adjoining the farm on the south and west.

The remaining buildings that still stand on the site today are: the ranch style house (built by Harold Willits in 1965), the small house (built by Willis R. Colman in 1951), the stone building (built by John A. Kelly sometime around 1874), the equipment shed (built in 1949), the barn (built by Willis A. Colman in 1929), another barn, and the remains of a stone stable complex (most likely built by John Kelly about the same time as the stone building).*

*information taken from Matthew Miller’s “Stone Building, Kanwaka Township, Douglas County, Kansas,” May 11, 1995

Harold Willits

Harold Willits