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James Watson


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/17/2011 at 22:49:35

JAMES WATSON. In the following sketch is strikingly illustrated the force of well directed energy, steadfast purpose and never ceasing effort for the accomplishment of noble ends and the successful overthrow of those obstacles which beset the progress of every young man who, unaided and alone, starts out to combat with life’s stern realities and work his own way to distinction and fortune. James Watson is an influential and substantial resident of Reinbeck, where he is living in retirement. He was formerly a prominent farmer, having a good estate located on sections 10 and 11, Grant Township, Tama County, this state.

Mr. Watson was born in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1830, and is the son of John and Jane (Stewart) Watson. He bore the same name as his paternal grandfather, the latter of whom was a linen weaver by trade. He had a family of two sons and two daughters, namely: James, John (the father of our subject), Mary and Elsie.

John Watson was likewise born in Perthshire, Scotland, and when old enough learned the trade of a linen weaver from his father, which occupation he followed until coming to the United States in 1852. He was a man of good education, and with his wife was a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church. About 1829 he married the daughter of John and Jane (McKinzie) Stewart, farmers in Scotland. Their ten children were born in that country, and all accompanied their parents to America with the exception of one, who died when young. They bear the respective names of James, John, Alexander, Jane, George, William, Agnes, Jeanette and Thomas.

At the time Mr. and Mrs. John Watson came to the United States, they located with their entire family on a rented farm in Clinton County, this state, and a few years later the father purchased eighty acres of school land lying in the same county, which he operated until his death, in August, 1871. The mother had departed this life in 1862. John Watson was a member of the Congregational Church, in which he held the office of Deacon for twenty years.

Our subject began to earn his own money at the age of nine years, it being his employment to herd cattle in his native country. His education was limited to the common schools of Scotland, and he worked on farms for other people until coming to America. After coming hither he rented property for four years, and then bought eighty acres of land, for which he went in debt, and was compelled to pay twenty per cent on the money borrowed. Later selling that property at a good margin, he came to Tama County in 1873, where he became the proprietor of a quarter-section of land, to which he soon added another one hundred and sixty acres. He was a very methodical and successful farmer, and made that place his home until 1888, the date of his advent into Reinbeck, where he is now enjoying the fruits of his early toil and industry.

Mr. Watson was married in Clinton County, this state, March 27, 1856, to Miss Margaret, daughter of John and Jane (Fersize) Young. Her parents were natives of Ireland, which was also the place of her birth, and she came to America in company with a brother when about twenty-five years of age. Her parents, who later made their home in the United States, are now deceased. Of the eight children born to Mr. and Mrs. Watson, three died when quite young. Those living are: Mary J., Agnes, John, William and Sarah. The eldest daughter is a graduate of the Mt. Vernon schools, while Sarah completed her studies in the Iowa State Normal. The Congregational Church of Reinbeck finds in our subject and his wife two of its most influential and active workers. In politics Mr. Watson is a Republican, and he has held many offices of trust since residing in this county.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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