CHARLES A. WATSON. Among the native-born citizens of Calhoun County who have become well known throughout its bounds is Charles A. Watson, of Hardin. He has made a fine record as a faithful public servant, and is popular not only in the ranks of his own party but among his political opponents. Still quite a young man, his official term has extended over a period of eight years and he has also done good work as a teacher. He adds to the book knowledge necessary to an instructor, the tact in governing and the skill in Imparting instruction to the young, which are fully as necessary as mental acquirements. He has gained the good-will and respect of his pupils and made them realize the beauty of knowledge and discipline.
Our subject is a grandson of William Watson, a Kentuckian, who was engaged in mercantile pursuits and also dealt extensively in real estate. During the early settlement of Illinois he removed hither locating in Greene County, but later becoming a resident of Calhoun County. His son James, the father of our subject, was born in the Blue Grass State, and being quite a young man when his parents made their removal grew to maturity in this State. While a single man he bought a tract of partly improved land in Gilead Precinct, upon which he made still further improvements and to which he added other lands. He made the farm his home until 1859, then bought an hotel in Hardin carrying it on until 1864. He then returned to the farm but some years later sold it and purchased another home in the same precinct. In 1869 he engaged in mercantile pursuits in Hardin, continuing thus occupied until 1872, when he retired. He breathed his last July 21, 1890, in the seventieth year of his age.
James Watson led to the hymeneal altar Miss Mary P. Church, an estimable woman, who died on the home farm when our subject was but a child. She was born in Calhoun County among the pioneers of which her father, Thomas Church, is numbered.
The gentleman whose life is the subject of these brief paragraphs was born April 10, 1853, on the farm which was for so many years the family home. He began to assist his father thereon as soon as he was large enough and likewise pursued his studies in the public schools. In 1869 he began clerking in his father's store, continuing to act in the same capacity until 1875, when he began his professional work as a teacher. He devoted himself with earnestness to his profession until 1882, when he was elected Sheriff. His coolness and determination gave him efficiency and his faithfulness during the ensuing four years led to his continuance in public service. In 1886 he was elected County Clerk for a term of four years and in 1890 was again elected for a similar length of time.
At the bride's home April 23, 1885, Mr. Watson was united in marriage with Miss Clara M. Greathouse. This lady was born in Milton, Pike County, April 13, 1865, to the Hon. Francis M. and Belle (Morris) Greathouse. She is a well-informed, attractive lady and has many friends in her new home, as she had in her old. Mr. and Mrs. Watson are the happy parents of two children — Leslie A. and Arleigh F. Mr. Watson belongs to Calhoun Lodge, No. 792, F. & A. M., having been the first member initiated in the first Masonic Lodge organized in the county. He is a Democrat in politics, has been Chairman of the County Central Committee three years, and during the past three years has been a member of the School Board and for two years was a member of the Town Board.
Extracted 13 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from Portrait and Biographical Album of Pike and Calhoun Counties, Illinois, published in 1891, pages 331-332.
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