White County INGenWeb


WILLIAM H. WATSON. There are many ties that connect the Watsons with White County. They settled here nearly half a century ago and in the years which have elapsed the different members have borne an important share in development and progress, particularly in West Point Township and in the Wolcott community. One of the well-known citizens of Wolcott is William H. Watson, of this family, who for many years has been identified with stock shipping and other affairs at that village, and is well known to the public life of the entire county. A splendid type of fine old pioneer citizen was the late John Watson, his father. Hundreds of people in White County mourned the loss of this old gentleman, who died in the fullness of years and accomplishment at his home in Wolcott, November 20, 1914, aged eighty-seven years, seven months and three days. John Watson was born in Yorkshire, England, April 17, 1827, a son of John and Mary (Atkinson) Watson. In 1847, with his parents, four brothers and three sisters, he came to America and the family located in Licking County, Ohio. In that county he came to his majority and was married there August 31 1850 to Margaret Downing. For a number of years they were among the oldest married couples of White County. Their companionship remained unbroken for more than fifty-seven years, when Mrs. Watson was called away by death on December 4, 1907. She was born February 23, 1835 in Sheffield, England, and was brought to the United States by her parents in 1843, when she was eight years of age. Both she and her husband were laid to rest in the Meadow Lake Cemetery. In 1866, after a number of children had been born into their home, John Watson and wife moved from Licking County, Ohio, to White County, Indiana, locating near what is known as Meadow Lake, in West Point Township. Though he came to the county a poor man, by years of patient industry and intelligent management, he not only provided for the rearing of thirteen children until they were all married, but acquired the ownership of a section of land. In the fall of 1896, after his children had all gone into homes of their own, he and his faithful wife removed to Wolcott, and in that village they spent their declining years surrounded with comforts and with the esteem of their own children and their hosts of friends. In the early days the Watson home was noted for its hospitality, while John Watson and wife were always instant and untiring in responding to those calls for charity which were so common when this country was new. John Watson had no political ambition to serve, was quiet and undemonstrative in demeanor, and always lived at peace with his neighbors. In politics he was a republican, and about fifteen years before his death united with the Presbyterian Church at Meadow Lake. He was an honest, upright citizen, and one whose integrity was never questioned. Mr. and Mrs. John Watson became the parents of fourteen children, seven of whom were born in Ohio and seven in White County, and twelve survived their father, in addition to twenty-nine grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. A brief record of the children is as follows: William H.; John F., who lives at Corsicana, Texas; Margaret A., who died in November, 1899, as Mrs. William Mantle; Thomas B., who died in infancy; Harvey T., who lives in Wolcott and married Eliza Magruder; Mary E., now Mrs. Joseph Blake of Lafayette; Sarah A., Mrs. James Sheetz, of Lafayette; Martha J., wife of James Magruder of West Point Township; Charles E., who lives at West Point Township and married Emma Cowgill; Charlotte Belle, wife of Thomas Dickinson of Rushville; Joseph B., of Delphi; Eliza, Mrs. A. A. Hauk of Bluffton; James, who lives in West Point Township and married Lillie Sullivan; and George, also a resident of West Point, who married Lydia Wood. William H. Watson of Wolcott was born in Licking County. Ohio, September 18, 1851, and was about fifteen years of age when he accompanied his parents to White County. His early schooling was acquired in Ohio, and lie also attended school in White County while growing to manhood on the old farm in West Point Township. He adopted the career of farmer and made that his chief business up to 1894, in which year he moved to Wolcott, and has since divided his time between farm management and the shipping of live stock. He is one of the prosperous citizens in that section of White County; owns a fine place of 160 acres in addition to his interest in his father's estate, which has not vet been settled, and owns some town property in Wolcott. On December 16, 1874, Mr. Watson married Sarah Blake, a daughter of James Blake of White County. To this marriage were born four children: one that died in infancy; Ella, wife of Walter Baker, living in the State of Oregon; Mabel, wife of Verdent Lux. of Wolcott; and Martha, now deceased. On May 19, 1900, Mr. Watson married Lucy (Compton) Currie, a daughter of A. J. and Rachel M. Compton of Brookston. Mr. Watson has always actively supported all local improvements, and as a citizen has won deserved respect in White County. In politics he is a republican, has served two years as a member and president of the town board of Wolcott, and for four years was president of the city school board. He was twice an unsuccessful candidate for county commissioner, and in 1914 was defeated in his candidacy for county treasurer. Though he has consented, at the urging of his friends, to become a candidate for different offices, he is not a politician, and should be classed as a hard-working, public-spirited and intelligent citizen who is willing to sacrifice his own interests occasionally in order to serve the public.

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