Biography of J. B. Watson
Forest County, PA Biographies





J. B. WATSON, proprietor of the Watson House, Marienville, was born in Perry township, Armstrong Co., Penn., December 9, 1827, a son of Abraham and Rachel Watson, former of whom was born at Spencer creek, Centre Co., Penn., latter born in Venango county, same State. In 1804 Abraham Watson, moved with his father, Thomas Watson, to that part of Armstrong county which is now Clarion county. They settled near the Poke Furnace, engaging in farming and lumbering, and were among the first and prominent families of the county. Thomas Watson was a colonel in the war of 1812. He drilled the first salt well in Clarion county, at the mouth of Deer creek on the Clarion river. Abraham Watson was Democratic in politics, voting twice for Gen. Jackson, and was a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church. He died in January, 1876; his wife died in 1866. Their children were as follows: Clemens, in Whiteside county, Ill.; J. B.; Jane, Mrs. Harrison Elliott. in Cleveland, Ohio; Hannah, Mrs. J. R. Wick, in Rimersburg, Clarion Co., Penn.; Sarah, Mrs. Samuel Rupert. living on the homestead; Thomas, who was a member of Company A, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteers, and died near Newport News, Va.; Annie, wife of John C. Richart, of Perry township, Clarion Co., Penn.; Margaret H., who died at the age of twenty one years. J. B. Watson was reared on the homestead farm, obtaining his education mostly by studying at home. He was possessed of a fine voice, and for a number of years was engaged in teaching vocal music. His principal occupation was lumbering up to 1860, at which time he began operating in oil at Titusville. In 1869 he was elected prothonotary of Clarion county, serving six years in that capacity, after which he again resumed the oil business at Ebensburgh, continuing in same until 1881. Coming to Forest counLy December 12, 1882, Mr. Watson built his present hotel at Marienville. He married, in 1859, Miss Margaret Caroline, daughter of John and Hannah Murray, of Clarion county, and by this union they reared three children: Hannah K., who died May 18. 1888; Edwin Alexander, land agent at Springfield, Kas., and John Thomas, living at home. Mr. Watson is a stanch Democrat, and takes an active part in county politics. In 1873 he established the Jacksonion, of Clarion county, which paper he edited for some years. During the war of the Rebellion he received a captain's commission, but owing to an attack of bilious fever was unable to serve. He was appointed postmaster, at Marienville, in November. 1885, and served until July 1, 1889. He was a member of Clarion Lodge, No. 252, I. O. O. F., and passed all the chairs; is also a member of Clarion Lodge, F. & A. M. Mr. and Mrs. Watson were members of the Presbyterian Church, but lately Mr. Watson declined to act as a ruling elder for good and valid reasons, and gave his name as a member to unite with the Methodist Episcopal Church. His hotel was burned with half its contents, January 1, 1890, at about one o'clock A. M., with a loss of $3,500, and no insurance. The cause of the fire was the melting of a stove in a barber shop, through over pressure of gas. With characteristic energy and vim, in two days after the fire, Mr. Watson began to arrange for another and larger house.

From:
History of the Counties of
McKean, Elk and Forest,
Pennsylvania
With Biographical Selections.
J. H. Beers & Co., Publishers
Chicago, 1890.


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