DAVID URIAH WATSON, a well known farmer, and old settler of Labette county, Kansas, has lived in Richland township, in the southwest quarter of section 21, township 34, range 21, since 1866. He was born in Pike county, Illinois, August 1, 1845, and is a son of J. C. and Serena (Thomas) Watson.
J. C. Watson was born in Ohio, where he followed the occupation of a farmer, and afterward moved to Illinois. He lived there some time and then journeyed to Labette county, in 1867. He took up a claim near that of his son's, where he lived until the time of his death, in 1888, at the age of sixty-eight years. His wife died in 1885, aged sixty-two years. They reared nine children, namely: J. N., a widower, who went to California in 1872, and is now a stockman, with headquarters at San Francisco; David Uriah, of whom this narrative treats; Charles, a farmer living near Mound Valley; Milton, who lives in Shasta county, California, and is a stockman; George, a resident of Richland township; L. D., a stockman, of Colorado; Mary C. (Craig), who died in 1875; Ida J. (McGraw), a resident of Los Angeles, California; and Ella M. (Dixon), of Oswego township, Labette county.
David U. Watson attended the common schools of his native county, in Illinois, and in 1864 entered the army, serving in the 143d Reg., Ill. Vol. Inf. He offered his services at the outbreak of the war, but was rejected on account of his age. He served one year, and was mustered out at Mattoon, Illinois, in 1865. Mr. Watson then removed to Labette county, Kansas, in 1866, and entered the land on which he now resides. He built a log house 14 feet square, and lived in it until he erected a comfortable home, which was burned in 1894. The family were obliged to live in the granary until their new home was completed, April 15, 1895. The house is a large, nine-room structure, and adds greatly to the attractive appearance of the place. Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri, were the only settled towns in this section of the country when Mr. Watson located in Labette county, and all the products raised on the farm were sold to new comers. David U. Watson also owns lands in Cherokee county. He carries on diversified farming, and is very successful. Mr. Watson's brother, J. N., was the first sheriff elected in the county.
Mr. Watson was united in marriage with Elizabeth Henry, in Illinois, and this union has been blessed with four children, namely: Gertie (Harre), of Cherokee county, Kansas, who has two children, - Wayne and Lenet; Ivan C., who lives at home, and Ethel and Arthur, who are also at home. The schoolhouse of District No. 5 is on the corner of Mr. Watson's farm. He is one of the directors, and has never missed attending a meeting since its organization in 1867, which is a record of which to be proud.
Politically, Mr. Watson is a stanch Republican, and has served as township trustee at two different times. He was elected county commissioner in 1892, to succeed Mr. Cooper, and served one term. He has been a member of the school board for eighteen years. Fraternally, Mr. Watson is a member of the A. 0. U. W. lodge, at Chetopa, and of the G. A. R. In religious views, he is a Methodist, and was one of the original 13 who organized the church society at Chetopa. Mr. Watson has a large number of friends in Chetopa and the township, and is an active worker in matters pertaining to the good of the county.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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