Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Years!

There’s nothing like spending the holidays with family and friends. These days are holy and sacred so we give Jesus our utmost thanks for them. Wishing you the best this holiday season from our family to yours!

My Family, God How I miss You!

Christmas in Peoria, Il.

Grandma and Grandpa Loesche


Uncle Eddy Conner, Grandma Ingersoll and John, Grandpa Loesche, Russell and Betty Howard

Christmas dinner 1953

Grandma and Grandpa Loesche, John and Grandma Ingersoll, Russell Howard

Christmas 1953



Holiday Party


The Howards


Robert James Willis 1907-1967

Robert James Willis my grandfather was born on April 7, 1907 to Elizabeth Ann Fash and Francis Willis. Grandpa's dad disappeared when he was eight years old. Nobody really knows what happened to him. My grandpa was very traumatized by the event and it left scars which he carried with him his whole life. My grandpa held a lot of different jobs but the one I remember most, he was a City of Peoria bus driver. One day he asked mom if he could take us for a ride on his bus route. Right in the middle of his route he stopped the bus, told his riders he was going to get his three granddaughter's some ice cream. If you don't like it get off and walk he told them. Nobody got off that day. Grandpa Willis spent a lot of time with us. He took us on wonderful little outings. Grandpa would go get aunt Laura then pick up mom and us girls and we were on our way to Morton, Il. to see our cousin, Irma Berger. Grandpa Willis died when I was only five and I took it very hard. That was my first experience with the death of a loved one. After grandma Ingersoll his mom died I found a lot of Catholic Jewelry mom told me it belonged to Francis Willis. She said she thought he and his family were Catholics but I can't be sure.

willis birth certificate

Robert Willis Peoria, Il.




Grand Willis

This is the only photo we have of Francis Willis with Elizabeth his wife and son Robert


Robert and his mother Elizabeth

Grandma Willis

Cousin Irma Berger and Robert

G Willis 2

Robert and his mother Elizabeth Willis “Just for Fun.”


Robert and his aunt, Laura Wolf and mother Elizabeth


Robert and his class picture The Whittier School Peoria, Il.

Whittier School

Robert and a school friend


Robert and his car with Louise Matthison and Laura Wolf








Robert and his 1st wife Blanche Conner

Robert and Blanche

Robert Daughter Betty and wife Blanch Conner

Robert W.

Robert and his only daughter Betty Lois Willis


Robert and Blanches new Pontiac

Blanche and Robert's New Pontiac191

Robert and another wife Vera?

G Willis




Robert Willis

Peoria City Lines






Robert Willis with his three granddaughters Wendy, Debby, and Jenny


In Memory Of Betty L. Larkin 8/15/30 – 4/24/11

Betty Lois Larkin was born on August 15th 1930 in Peoria, Illinois.The daughter of Blanche Edith Conner and Robert James Willis. She grew up in Peoria and at an early age began attending dance classes. Even at the age of 80 mom could still remember her dance teachers name, Rose Dentino. Mom was also a very good organ player. She took Piano classes when she was a girl but didn't like it preferring instead the organ she taught herself to play. Mom started working at age 14. She worked in various factories and later became a hostess at the Pere Marquette Hotel. She married Russell Lee Howard and they had three daughters Wendy, Debby, and Jennifer. All of the family were expert carpenters and Betty was no Exception. She and Russell and several family members worked together to build the house they were to live with their three daughters. Russell passed away and Betty married Arthur Vernon Larkin. They moved from Peoria,  first to Deming NM., and 2 years later to Bushnell, Fl. In 2009 Betty was baptized and became a member of Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church. During this time she began reading the Bible and Praying. She would sit on the front porch and in the light of the sun would read the Sunday School Lessons over and over again. Mom I miss you.


Betty Willis


Betty Willis in a beauty pageant 2 years old


Betty Willis with the Morning Glories Ballet Dance


Betty in her dance costumes

Betty Willis with her wagon her mom won for her.


Betty Willis in her snow suit grandma Ingersoll made for her.

Betty in her snow suite

Robert and Blanche Willis mom’s parents

Robert and Blanche

Mom and her mother Blanche Loesche


Mom and Her Dad Robert Willis


Mom and her grandparents Charles and Margaret Conner in Farmington, Illinois


Mom and her first husband Russell Howard




The house my parents built on Knott Lane in Peoria, Il. Mom worked on it during the day. Sometimes Aunt Laura and Uncle Harry would come over and help. Dad always helped nights and weekends.

Dad and Uncle Harry

Betty Howard and her three daughters Wendy, Jenny, and Debby

Wendy's pictures 027

 Donald Elisha Mom's Favorite Boss

Mom and her second husband Arthur Larkin



Mom, Jenny, Debby, Grandma Ingersoll, and Wendy

Mom, Grandma Us143

The Every Day Cookbook

The Every Day Cookbook the binding has come off and it’s pages fall apart when you touch them, but I found something new in my quest for genealogical research. Inside it said Elizabeth Fash given to me by my grandmother’s sister Aunt Sophie Streitmatter in 1906 Princeville, Il. Elizabeth Fash was my G Grandmother and her Grandmother was Lavinia Miller Fash. Wow what a find. Any Streitmatters out there? I’d love to here from you. I’ve never heard of Aunt Sophie before. I did find a picture of one of Lavinia’s sisters. On the back of this photo it says Mommies sister Aunt Mariah

The Conner and Mulligan Families

I’m currently researching the Conners and Mulligans from Coal Valley and Farmington, Illinois. This is the only info I have. Most of the men worked in the coal mines in and around Coal Valley and Farmington.

Charles Conner and Margaret Mulligan married and had these children

Mert Conner and his wife Kate had a least one daughter June.

Blanche Edith Conner married Robert James Willis and had one daughter Betty Lois Willis. After a divorce Blanche married Carl G. Losche with whom she remained married until her death.

Edward Conner dated when younger and had a bad experience. After that he never dated, married or had children.

Francis Conner I don’t have her husband’s name possibly two children Faye and Howard Proctor.

Eliza Conner Anderson I don’t have her husband’s name one son Harold Anderson.

Florence Conner Married to John McMahan. They had a son Edward McMahan married to Maxine and their children Margo and Mike.

Obituary Of Eliza Conner Anderson

Obituary of Harold Anderson

My G Grandpa Charles Conner, My grandma Blanche Conner and My G Grandmother Margaret Mulligan Conner


My G Grandpa Conner, My Mom Betty Lois Willis and G Grandma Conner


My G Grandmother Margaret Mulligan Conner


My Grandmother Blanche Edith Conner







My Uncle Grandma’s Brother Edward Conner


These are Various Pictures I found in with the Conner’s but I am not sure who they are.









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