WATSON, STEWART, MCLEAN, GILLETY, MCKINZIE, YOUNG, FLETCHER, ROGERS, BRADLEY
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/17/2011 at 23:17:29
JOHN WATSON is numbered among the enterprising, progressive and substantial business men of Reinbeck and is no unimportant factor in advancing its material interests. He has a large, well appointed hardware store in the village and commands an extensive trade, not only in the town, but among the citizens of the outlying country. Mr. Watson was born in Scotland in 1833, and is a son of John and Jane (Stewart) Watson, the former of whom was a son of James Watson and was a linen weaver by trade. Grandfather Watson, was a man of limited means in Scotland and had a family of four children, namely: James; John, the father of our subject; Mary, Mrs. Thomas McLean; and Elizabeth, who married Robert Gillety.
In his native land the father of our subject learned the trade of a weaver, which he followed until coming to the United States in 1852. He received a fair education. In 1829 he married Miss Jane, the daughter of John and Jane (McKinzie) Stewart, natives of Scotland. Of the ten children born to them, those living are James; John, our subject; Alexander; Jane, now Mrs. William Young; George; William; Agnes, now Mrs. David Fletcher; Janet, the wife of Elijah Fletcher, and Thomas. The parents of these children crossed the Atlantic with their family in the Ď50s and rented land in Clinton County, Iowa, which they farmed for a few years, or until Mr. Watson was enabled to purchase eighty acres in that county, on which he resided until his decease in August, 1871. His good wife preceded him to the better land, dying in 1862. The father of our subject was a member of the Congregational Church, and held the office of Deacon for twenty years.
Our subject received his education in the common schools of Scotland, and when old enough to do so, worked in a large linen factory in that country, learning the process of bleaching. He accompanied his parents on their emigration to America, and coming to Iowa, worked out by the month for two years. In 1854 he crossed the plains to Oregon in company with a party of fifteen, and during the journey his horse was stolen by the Indians. On reaching the Pacific Coast he was variously employed for two years, when he went further south to California, and was engaged in mining very successfully until 1864. Then concluding to return home, he came to Iowa by water, and locating near Teedís Grove, Clinton County, carried on farming for many years. To him belongs the distinction of having established the first hardware store in Reinbeck. His main store is 24x80 feet in dimensions, with a storage capacity of 48x60 feet. He carries a stock amounting to $9,000, and by his honest methods of doing business has won the confidence of the entire community.
Returning to Scotland in 1871, John Watson was married to Anna Watson, a cousin, and the daughter of James and Jane (Rogers) Watson. The young couple immediately returned to this state, where they have since made their home. To them has been born one child, a son, John Stewart, who married Hattie Bradley. He assists his father in carrying on the hardware business, in which he is a partner. Socially our subject is a member of the Masonic order of Reinbeck, and in political matters, although a Democrat in principle, in local matters votes for the man whom he considers best suited for the office.
Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa
Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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