David J. Watson

DAVID J. WATSON was for many years a most highly respected farmer of Cherokee County, and left many friends to mourn his loss when death came on April 20, 1902. He was Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, March 18, 1828, and was a son of Jonathan and Nancy Watson, also natives of the "Blue Grass State."

Jonathan Watson was a carpenter and millwright. After his marriage, he removed to McComb County, Illinois, where his wife died. Mr. Watson's death occurred later in Missouri, to which State he had moved after his wife's death.

David J. Watson was reared in Illinois and in September, 1865, removed to Cherokee County, Kansas, becoming the first settled in Sheridan township. He located on 160 acres of land in section 23, township 32, range 21, where his widow now resides. The journey from Illinois to Kansas was made in a wagon drawn by six yoke of oxen. The country through which they passed was still considered the far West, while the territory to which they were bound was called the "frontier." Only unbroken prairie greeted the eye, while the nearest place at which supplies could be obtained was Leavenworth, which was many miles away. He first proceeded to erect a small, floorless, log cabin and then dug a well, which was the first to be put down in the township. The early settlers were not in danger of starvation, for there was plenty of game and an energetic man could have had quail on toast for breakfast, roast duck for dinner and fried or stewed rabbit for supper.

In Illinois Mr. Watson married his first wife, Elizabeth A. Wyatt, who died in 1872 in Sheridan township. The children of this marriage numbered eight, three of whom are living: Albert, of McCune, Kansas: John, of Crawford County, Kansas: and Nellie, the wife of Irvin Palmer, who lives in Washington. In December, 1873, a second marriage was consummated, the bride being Mrs. Matilda Mizer, of Williams County, Ohio, she was a daughter of E. Shatto and Amy Brown his wife, and the widow of John Mizer of Ohio, who came to Cherokee County, Kansas, in 1870, and spent one year in Sheridan township, and then moved to Arkansas, where he was killed in 1871. Mrs. Watson's father was a native of the "Keystone State" and her mother was a "Buckeye." The mother's death occurred in Iowa in 1881, and the father's some 23 years later, in April, 1904, at the age of 87. To the second marriage of our subject, five children were born, four of whom are living, as follows; Montford, who resides at Sherman City, Where he runs a store and barber shop; Roy, who lives at home; Grace, the wife of Charles Stevens, a farmer of Ross township; and Vada Ethel. Earl died at the age of two months. The children of Mrs. Watson's first marriage are: Orville, a farmer living near Sapulpa, Indian Territory; Dick, a blacksmith and wagon-maker of Basalt, Colorado; Kate, the wife of William Tate of Laclede County, Missouri; and Edward, a farmer of Sapulpa, Indian Territory.

During the Civil War, Mr. Watson spent his time doing hospital duty, caring for the sick and wounded soldiers.

In the earlier days of his residence, he was appointed to the position of mail carrier between Sherman City and Hallowell. Politically he was a Republican, and several times was honored by being elected to office. Socially he was a member of the I. O. O. F., and religiously a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was a man of genial and engaging personality, making friends of all whom he met. He had an extensive acquaintance throughout the county, and was held in the highest esteem.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Lacey Myers, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 03/04/97.


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