Randolph County, Indiana
was reared in Wells county and attended the public schools. He proved his
patriotism and courage during the Civil war by enlisting on September 25, 1861
in Company A, Forty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, but after four months’
service was discharged for disability, and after recovering his health, he again
enlisted in Company E, One Hundred and Thirty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry
for one hundred days which he served, and on October 19, 1864 enlisted a third
time, selecting Company E, Seventh Regiment, Indiana Cavalry, in which he served
his term of enlistment of one year. He showed a most admirable desire and
unflagging determination to serve his country in its greatest hour of need. He
has testimonials relative to his faithful and gallant service from his
career of Joseph Watts, of Winchester, Randolph county, has been a varied
and interesting one. Faithfulness to duty, public-spirit, and perseverance have
been some of his most noted characteristics all his life. He was formerly
engaged in agricultural pursuits, but for a period of over thirty years has been
in the railway mail service. He is one of our honored veterans of the great
Civil war and a man highly esteemed by his wide acquaintance. He first came to
Winchester nearly half a century ago, and his conversation, relating to the many
changes during that period, is very interesting. He was much impressed with the
future possibilities of the place upon his first arrival and has been deeply
interested in its general development ever since, although living away from here
part of the time.
Mr. Watts was
born November 18, 1843 in Richland county, Ohio. He is a son of Samuel and
Martha Ann (Paxton) Watts, and a brother of Isaiah P. Watts, a sketch
of whom appears in another part of this volume, in which an account of the
family history will also be found. Suffice it to say here that this is a
sterling old family of the Buckeye state.
After his career in
the army, Mr. Watts returned to his home in Wells county, Indiana where
he remained until 1867 when he came to Winchester, Randolph county and worked in
a saw-mill, returning to Wells county two years later, where, on October 10,
1869 he married Matilda A. Irey, a daughter of Jonah Irey, of Jay
county, Indiana, and to this union five children were born, namely: Clyde M.,
of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Herbert I. lives in Winchester; Fred J. died
July 31, 1904; Floy W. is now the wife of O.O. Fraze, of Union
City. Indiana; Chester B. is in the Naval Observatory at Washington, D.
After his marriage Mr.
Watts settled at Fiat, Jay county, where he remained until 1871 when he
moved to Winchester. In the spring of 1872 he went to Rice county, Kansas and
entered a homestead, where he remained until 1877 when he returned to
Winchester. In December of that year, he was appointed in the railway mail
service, and with the exception of three years, has thus been continuously
engaged to the present time, his long-continued service of over three decades
being, it would seem, sufficient criterion of his high-grade service and
fidelity to duty.
Mr. Watts has
always been loyal in his support of the Republican party. He is a member of the
Nelson Trusler Post, No. 6o, Grand Army of the Republic.
He has been twice
married, first to Matilda A. Irey, whose death occurred on August 22,
1900. On September 4, 1901 he married Martha J. Hiatt, daughter
of Alvin M. and Rebecca (Jackson) Owens, of Hartford, formerly of
Mr. Watts is a
member of the Christian church and his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal
church, and is active in church work, she being president of the Ladies' Aid
Past and Present of Randolph County, Indiana, 1914.
Contributed by Gina Richardson
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