THOMAS WILLS, a well known citizen of Calumet, Houghton County, a retired miner, represents the pioneer element of his section, his location in Houghton County dating to 1851.   Mr. Wills has been identified with much of the mine development of the Northern Peninsula, and has also visited other ore producing localities, in the following of his profession. Mr. Wills was born in England and was reared in the great mining region of Cornwall. There he began work, in the lowest capacity, at the age of 12 years, and by the time he was 22 years old he was a practical tin and copper miner. It was at that period that he came to this country, locating in Ontonagon County, Michigan, securing work at the Piscataqua mine, 15 miles from the Ontonagon Harbor, and 13 miles from Greenland, Michigan. In 1853 he was made foreman of the Tultic mine, where he continued some years, becoming mining captain there. He was later associated with the Caledonia and the Hastings mines. He spent one year in gold mining in California, and upon his return to Houghton County worked through the various mines of the section in different capacities. He then made a visit to England, and in 1858 went to Melbourne, Australia, where he engaged in gold mining until 1864. He then returned to the copper district of Michigan, by way of England, went to work in the Minnesota mine at Ontonagon, then to the Indiana mine and back to the Minnesota, and then served as mine captain at the Hilton and the Adventure. From the latter Mr. Wills went to the Flint Steel mine as captain, and after these years of adventure and experience, in 1868, became captain of the Calumet & Hecla. For a period of more than 30 years Mr. Wills served as mining captain, and a history of his many experiences would read like a romance. He now resides quietly in Calumet, probably one of the best posted mine men in the section. Mr. Wills is an active member of the various Masonic branches, belonging to the blue lodge, chapter, commandery, and temple of the Mystic Shrine. For 30 years he has been a Forester. He has visited lodges in foreign lands and has lived up to the demands of each organization.

Source: Biographical Record, Houghton, Baraga and Marquette Counties.  Chicago: Biographical Publishing Company, 1903.