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Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Willard, Simon (watch-maker)

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WILLARD, Simon, watch-maker, b. in Roxbury, Mass., 9 Jan., 1795; d. in Boston, Mass., 24 Aug., 1874. He was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1815, appointed 3d lieutenant of ordnance, and ordered to the Pittsburg arsenal, crossing the Alleghany mountains on foot. He resigned from the army on 1 May, 1816, and after an unsuccessful business career of seven years entered his father's clock-making establishment in Boston, and at the end of two years apprenticed himself to a mechanician in New York city. After learning the methods of constructing chronometers, he returned to Boston, where he established himself in business, occupying the same premises forty-two years, during which time he acquired a fortune. He constructed an astronomical clock that was for forty years the standard in his part of the city.