Emanuel Willis, Jr. (1895 - 1931)

My great grandfather, Emanuel Willis, Jr. was born September 26, 1895 in Conrad, Louisiana and died on January 12, 1931 in South Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Buchanan Street in the 6th Ward. According to his daughter, the late Ruth Willis Castle, he died of double pneumonia in which his death certificate confirms this information. According to oral history, Emanuel also known as “Manuel” and “Cooper.”

Emanuel was the 6th child and third son of Emanuel Willis, Sr. and Virginia Washington. According to Emanuel, Sr., who was the informant on his son’s death certificate both he and Virginia were natives of East Baton Rouge Parish and born on Ben Hur Plantation. Further research indicates that Ben Hur was initially consolidated from two plantations operational prior to the Civil War: Mulberry Grove and Hollywood Plantations.

Emanuel, Jr., a farm laborer, married Artimease Benton of East Baton Rouge Parish. The 1930 U.S. Federal Census states that Emanuel and Artimease were married at the ages of 20 and 17, respectively, and that Emanuel was a veteran of World War I.

  1. U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
  2. Emanuel Willis, Jr.’s death certificate acquired from the Louisiana State Archives: 27 Mar 2009.
  3. Research completed by Judy Riffel at the East Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse: 19 Mar 2012
  4. 1930 U.S. Federal Census
Scroll to Top