Penn People

Willing Francis Lewis

1845 - 1902

Penn Connection

  • Member of Class of 1865 (non-graduate)
  • Member of Delta Phi fraternity

Willing Francis Lewis was born in Philadelphia on April 15, 1845, the son of Samuel N. Lewis and Sophia N. Francis.

Lewis enrolled in 1861 as a member of the College Class of 1865, but left before graduation in the spring of 1865. He was a member of Delta Phi fraternity during his college years.

After college he lived the remainder of his life in France, principally in Paris. He died in Dieppe, France, on August 21, 1902. In an addendum to his will, Lewis had left his $200,000 savings to long time nursemaid Mme. Marie Jeanne Jamain, a bequest which was quickly contested by the heirs of his uncle who would otherwise receive the money. Lewis had apparently been suffering from a long term illness which prevented him from taking care of himself. He remained a lifelong bachelor, and friends in Paris testified in the 1903-1904 probate case that “he was rather gay,” a surprisingly early use of that term in such a context.