Will Hanlon was born and raised in Burgaw, North Carolina. He had six siblings: five older (two married, two dead, one in jail) and one younger. He joined the army when he was sixteen. It was his mother's idea for him to join the army after his "dad died in an accident with some farm machinery" so he could take care of her and his younger brother Phil "Philly Loubird". Because he was too young to join the army his mother "fixed the year" on his birth certificate to make him eighteen.
From 1929-1930 he was stationed at the old Derry Army Air Corps Base. After the fire at the Black Spot he was stationed at Fort Hood where he met his wife. They were married in Galveston. He left the army in 1937 with a disability pension after a defective grenade "only half-exploded" and took part of his foot.
He returned to Derry and became a farmer. He had an ongoing fued with Butch Bowers. He was also an amateur historian and collected old pictures and newspaper clippings about Derry.
He died of cancer in 1962.
The Black Spot
After his father died Will joined the army when he was sixteen. It was his mother's idea and she "fixed the year" on his birth certificate to make him eighteen. Although he was too young to sign on, his mother fixed his birth certificate so he would be able to provide a financial allotment to take care of her and his younger brother, Philly Loubird. In the Army, Will experiences racial discrimination.
During his time in the army, he became a member of the Black Spot. Before The Black Spot, Company E men (African-Americans all) went to town establishments where the lumberjacks and workingmen didn't seem to have a problem with them. However, the town's local political leaders were angry about African-Americans thinking it was okay to drink with white men, even poor and uneducated white men. They went to the commanding officer, who had a real problem; he couldn't very well let them into the gentlemen's club for white officers on base either. His solution was to give Company E a shack for them to use for their own club. The men of Company E worked hard to make it nice, and The Black Spot soon had good music and decent food...and the white people in town, especially the young men and women, noticed the fun to be had. Due to the bar's growing popularity, Derry's chapter of the Legion of White Decency burned it down. After escaping the inferno, William sees a large bird with balloons tied to each of it's wing swoop down and grab a member of the Legion of Decency.
Will was a farmer, and he very fairly paid Mike and his mother earnings as well as the workers they hired. He was also an amateur historian of Derry with an impressive collection of photographs and mementos.
He died of cancer in 1962, four years after The Losers defeated It for the first time.