Bio: La Du, Hon. Willis F. (1856 – 19??)
Surnames: La Du, Ayers, Dessert, Demers, Paup, Bernier, Keefe
---Source: History of Marathon County Wisconsin and Representative Citizens, by Louis Marchetti, 1913.
La Du, Hon. Willis F. (2 July 1856 – 19??)
HON. WILLIS F. LA DU,* proprietor of a general store at Mosinee, Wis., formerly a member of the Wisconsin State Legislature, representing the First District, is a man of wide influence, both politically and in a business way. His life has been one of interesting activity. He was born at Richmond, Tioga County, Pa., July 2, 1856, and is a son of Edgar E. and Sarah (Ayers) La Du.
In 1865 the parents of Mr. La Du moved to Wisconsin, settling first in Waushara County and moving from there to Mosinee, Marathon County September 26, 1866. Here the son attended school and remained with his father until he was twenty-one years of age, when he entered the employ of the Joseph Dessert Lumber Company. In 1880 he entered into partnership with F. L. Demers in a grocery and notion business, which continued for three years, when Mr. La Du built what is known as Temple Hall, in which he embarked in business for himself. In 1888 he moved to Dancy where he conducted a grocery business for five years, and when he returned to Mosinee in 1893 he bought the store property of James O. Paup, and in association with C. A. Bernier went into the mercantile business. Shortly afterward he became also interested in a saw mill in the Town of Haider and operated that mill for five years and then built a mill for the Joseph Dessert Lumber Company, and during several years manufactured lumber for them. From early manhood he has been intelligently interested in public matters and has been stanch in his adherence to the Democratic Party. He has been a member of the Marathon County Democratic Committee since 1880 and its chairman. In 1896 he was a delegate from the First District to the Democratic National Convention, and in 1902 was elected to the General Assembly. In 1894 Mr. La Du was appointed postmaster at Mosinee and served four years and he has filled other local offices, such as village supervisor and president, with commendable public spirit and largely to the advantage of all concerned. He owns considerable real estate in this section and many acres of timber land in California.
Mr. La Du was married May 28, 1884, to Miss Helen Keefe, and they have one daughter, Sarah Jane. Mr. La Du is one of the representative men of Marathon County.
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