Biography of Milton C. & E. C. Watkins
Algoma, Kent County, MI Biographies



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Hon. Milton C. Watkins, a representative citizen of Kent county, was born in Rutland, Vt., March 30, 1806. At the tender age of 15 he went to learn the carpenter and joiner's trade, which be continued to follow at intervals up to 1871. He came to Grattan in 1844 and made a farm in the woods, In 1846, at the organization of the township, he was elected its Supervisor. He served as Justice of the Peace for six years; and in 1859 was elected to the Michigan Legislature. From 1863-'67 he was a member of the Senate of that honorable body. He was also a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1867. During his two terms in the Senate he was chairman of the committee of roads and bridges, and during his latter term he was a member of the State prison inspecting committee; and while he was in the House of Representatives be was on the committee on indian affairs. In the fall of 1867 he was appointed Assistant of U. S. Revenue, and served nearly four years. In March, 1881, he removed to Rockford, where he still resides. He was married Nov. 8, 1829, to Miss Susan Joy by whom he has had five children, four living - Mary, Chas. J., Electa H. and Erwin C.

Hon. E. C. Watkins, son of the preceding, was born in Genesee county, N. Y., Jan. 15, 1839. In his early days he read and practiced law under his father, who was then a Justice of the Peace. He afterward took a regular course of law in Grand Rapids. Mr. Watkins distinguished himself during the war. His first service was a private for three months with the Valley City Guards. He then enlisted in Co. K, Lincoln Cavalry, which was the first cavalry company raised in the State of Michigan. He was promoted 1st Lieut. soon after enlistment, subsequently Captain, and in the spring of 1863 was commissioned Assistant Adjutant General from the War Department. He served on Generals Neal and Hunter's staffs as Adjutant General, and closed on General Seward's staff. He practiced law a few months after the close of the war, and then purchased mill property in Rockford, removing from Grand Rapids to Rockford in the fall of 1865. He practiced law a short time in Rockford, but his other business claiming his entire attention, he was obliged to abandon the law profession. He was elected to the Michigan Legislature in 1871, and re-elected in 1873. During the latter term he was Speaker pro tem of the House of Representatives. In 1875 Mr. Watkins was appointed General Inspector of Indian Affairs, to fill a vacancy. In 1876 he was reappointed for a full term, but resigned in 1879. in June, 1881, he was appointed Warden of the State House of Correction and Reformatory, at Ionia, Mich., and entered upon the duties of his office July 1 following. He was married in the fall of 1883 to Miss Julia S. Brown, by whom he has two children - Ella and Roy.

History of Kent County, Michigan
Chas C. Chapman & Company
Chicago 1881.

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