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Johnson and Hannah Watling Family


Posted By: Nellie Barber
Date: 3/7/2007 at 09:15:14

Johnson and Hannah Watling Family

My grandparents, Johnson and Hannah Marie Watling, lived in Harris from 1882 to 1900. Five of their fourteen children were born while they lived in Harris and three died there. Those born in Harris were Rose Shelton (May 1892), Albert Percy, (April 1894), Horace Bernard, (June 1896), Gersham Noble, (May 1898), Florence Hazel (August 1899); those who died are Horace Bernard, (August 1898), Amelia (Millie) Campbell, b. May 1888, Marseilles, Illinois, died November 1898 Ė appendicitis) and Gersham Noble, (March 1899).

Johnson Watling was a blacksmith, trained in England. In January 1892 he purchased from Mr. A. W. Harris, Lot 17, Block 1, (original plat) in the village of Harris, for one dollar, with the condition that the shop thereon should remain for at least three years, or the title would revert to the original owner. In May of the following year Johnson sold this property, plus his house and lots, (lots 17 and 18, Wernstrumís addition), plus lot 1, block 1 (original plat) and all of his tools to his wife, Hannah Maria, for $800. She later purchased lots 2, 3 and 4, block 1, (original plat).

By 1900 they had sold all of their property in Harris and purchased farmland in Pipestone County, Minnesota. Their two oldest sons were young men by this time.

Sometime ago I learned from Mr. Fred Jarrat, of Ocheyedan, that Johnson Watling had built the second dwelling house in the village of Harris, and that Hannah Maria had often served as midwife in the area. I do not know his sources for this information. He did send a document showing that Johnson was serving as Justice of the Peace in October 1893.

Johnsonís brother, Mathew Watling and his wife Mary Ann, also lived in Harris during the 1890ís. Their children were: Arthur, born (1880, England), William, Maggie, Alice, Earnest and Tena (Tennie). This family apparently left Harris sometime before Johnsonís did. They moved to Missouri. I have not yet found any property records for Mathew at Harris. My motherís stories seemed to indicate that he was a lay preacher. His children do not appear to have attended school in Harris, (at least not in 1896), so perhaps they lived in the country, (or perhaps they had already moved to Missouri).

Are there any school records listing the names of children in the 1890ís? My mother, Myrtle Alice Watling, (born August 1890, Marseilles, Illinois), attended school in Harris. Among her souvenirs I find that some of her teachers were Lizzie Schreiber, Lucy McIssac, (1896), and May E. Logan (1896-7). The names of the children attending Harris school in 1896 under May Logan were:

Antone Miller
Tena Miller
Jemima Watling
Millie Watling
Myrtle Watling
Curtis Richabough
Lemuel Richabough
Maude Richabough
Delbert Scott
Ina Scott
Anna Scott
Frank Thomas
Ethel Thomas
Marion Thomas
Ada Webster
Ida Webster
Bertha Wernstrum
Sophia Wernstrum
Mildred Thomas
Sara Thomas
Daisy Wiemer
Clyde Wiemer

by Nellie Barber, Carnduff, Sask., Canada


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