LACKAWAXEN TWP. - Willis A. Tuthill was one of numerous farmers who worked the land near Hawley, and helped provide food on the tables far and wide. His large dairy operation was located in Lackawaxen Township just outside the Hawley, Pa. community, and was referred to in a 1906 news item as Hawley's “genial milkman.”

LACKAWAXEN TWP. - Willis A. Tuthill was one of numerous farmers who worked the land near Hawley, and helped provide food on the tables far and wide. His large dairy operation was located in Lackawaxen Township just outside the Hawley, Pa. community, and was referred to in a 1906 news item as Hawley’s “genial milkman.”
Some of us remember those days; one needn’t go back as far as 1906. We remain not many decades since the milkman and even the egg man brought his products to our door. The Wayne County Fair and GDS Fair are two places we can go today and to readily see dairy cattle, chat with the farmers or 4-H kids, and discover that our milk and what we have for supper tonight did not start at the supermarket.
Tuthill knew it well.
A lot fewer active farms continue in the Hawley Lake Region today.
In his time, farmers like he would be a common sight, coming to town with the steel milk cans, to load onto the Erie train for market; he would have used the East Hawley Depot on Welwood Avenue. His bottled milk would be taken to door steps and boxes outside many a door. Places like Vogler’s feed store on Penn Avenue- the venerable ivy-colored brick landmark that faces up Keystone Street- would be a stopping place for many farmers loading up on supplies.
Perhaps weekly, Mrs. Tuthill may have been among her peers coming to Hawley to do her shopping.
Tuthill was described in a 1900 biography as a “leading dairyman and enterprising citizen” of Lackawaxen Township. He was born in Hawley, May 16, 1860 to Alexander Tuthill Jr. and Caroline (Millham) Tuthill. His father worked man years at the Cromwell tannery in Hawley and was a boatman on the Delaware & Hudson Canal for several years. Their children were Edward, George, John, Willis, Jennie and Marvin.
Willis went to school in Hawley but at the tender age of 10 began to provide for himself.
He began as a chore boy for neighboring farmers, and later was employed by a large lumbering firm caring for their horses.
He rented a 55 acre farm in Lackawaxen Township just outside Hawley Borough for three years, at which time he purchased it. Twenty of the acres were under excellent cultivation, and Willis maintained a valuable orchard. His dairy herd consisted of 20 cows, finding a ready market for the milk in Hawley. The farm was on the “Hawley Road,” which evidently was Route 590.
He called it the Chestnut Hill dairy farm.
On March 16, 1880, Tuthill was wed to Miss Hannah J. Baisden at the Methodist church in Hawley.  Hannah was born February 18, 1857 to John J., and Mary (Schoonmaker) Baisden. Her father constructed canal boats along the D&H Canal between Hawley and they village of Kimbles; the place came to be known as Baisdenville. Baisden moved on to Kingston, NY, where he had an extensive boat yard near where the canal met the Hudson River. Hannah was the oldest of seven children; her siblings were Sarah I., Martha A., John S., Charles E., Lewis H., William N. and Walter M.
Willis and Hannah Tuthill had five children, Caroline I., Mary E., Hattie D., Charles H. and Mable J.
Willis Tuthill was a Republican and was active with the Improved Order of Red Men at Hawley, as well as belonging to the Junior Order of American Mechanics. He and family attended the Hawley Methodist church.
Mrs. Tuthill was a member of the Daughters of America.
In 1879, Palmyra School District was busy with the construction of a new graded school in Hawley, offering a high school program (Hawley was part of Palmyra Township until 1884 when the borough was formed). A  school district financial statement for 1879 listed Willis Tuthill as being paid $31.75 for “carting.”
A news brief in The Herald, a Honesdale paper, dated March 8, 1910, reported that two contracts had been closed by Bell Telephone Company for new rural telephone lines. Willis Tuthill was the president of the newly formed company controlling the Burr Oak Line. LeRoy Sands was secretary and treasurer. The new line ran from Hawley along Long Ridge Road. The other one, promoted by Senator Miles C. Rowland (who was from Rowland, Pa.) was to bring phone service from Hawley to Kimbles. Construction was to begin as soon as material arrived.
On Saturday morning, July 27, 1918, his wife Hannah passed away unexpectedly from an illness. She was 61. The obituary states the day before she had been to town with her family in the car, and sat on her front porch that evening with her loved ones.
At the time, her daughter Carrie lived at home; Mary lived in New York; Charles was a private in the U.S. Army, probably stationed in France; Hattie had graduated that year from the Lucy Webb School in Washington, D.C.; and Mabel had recently graduated from Syracuse University.
Willis Tuthill died July 26, 1923 at the age of 63, following a brief illness.

Main sources:
Commemorative Biographies of Northeastern Pennsylvania (1900)
Newspapers found at Fultonhistory.com
Wayne County Historical Society
Census data, Ancestry.com (Hawley Public Library)