The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc. Chicago and New York,
Volume III pg 39
Submitted by Gerald Bills.
JOHN B. WATSON, M. D. For over thirty years Dr. Watson was performing his
duties as a physician and surgeon, and most of that time has been a resident
of St. Marys, his native town, in which he grew up and in which he has won the
recognition of old time friends and associates, both in a professional
capacity and as a high minded citizen.
Dr. Watson was born at St. Marys May 5, 1862. His grandfather, John Watson,
was born in England in 1807 and as a young man came to America and settled on
a farm near St. Marys, where he married Rosanna Barker, a native of Pleasants
County. John Watson was a millwright, and he and his wife spent the rest of
their years in and around St. Marys, where he died in 1894. The son, Andrew J.
Watson, was born in Pleasants County in 1840 and was for a number of years
identified with merchandising at St. Marys. In 1881 he removed to East
Liverpool, Ohio, where he lived practically retired until his death in 1917.
He was a democrat, and a member of the Methodist Protestant Church. His
wife was Miss Charlotte Core, who was born in Harrison County, West Virginia,
in 1838, and died at East Liverpool, Ohio, in October, 1920. Dr. Watson
is the oldest of their large family of children; Mamie, who lives at East
Liverpool, is the widow of William Good; Joseph C. was an oil well driller and
died at East Liverpool in 1920; Mrs. Flora F. Griffin lives at Toronto, Ohio,
where her husband is foreman in a pottery plant; William A. is foreman for the
Newell Street Railway Company at East Liverpool; Iva is the wife of William
Lawson a farmer, at East Liverpool; Charles is a motorman with the Newel
Traction Company at East Liverpool; Virdie lives at East Liverpool, where her
husband is employed in one of the pottery plants; and Andrew J. is a motorman
for the Newell Traction Company.
John B. Watson spent his early life in Pleasants County and attended rural
schools up to the age of thirteen and at that time began earning his own way.
He was employed by his father in shaving staves and also worked in the timber
until he was twenty-one. He came to manhood with a vigorous constitution
but only a common school education. He began the study of medicine under his
uncle, Dr. Joseph B. Watson, at St. Marys, and subsequently entered the
College of Physicians and Surgeons at Baltimore, where he graduated in 1887.
After graduating for nine and a half years Dr. Watson practiced at Lawrence in
Upshur County, and since then has performed his professional work at St.
Marys. His offices are on Second Street. Since 1920 he has been county health
officer and is a member in good standing of the State and American Medical
Associations. Dr. Watson is a democrat, has filled all the lay offices in
the Methodist Protestant Church, and is affiliated with St. Marys Lodge No.
41, A. F. and A. M., St. Marys Camp No. 20 Knights of the Maccabees, St. Marys
Lodge No. 22, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and also belongs to the
Knights of Pythias and the Tribe of Ben Hur.
In 1889, at Friendly, West Virginia, Dr. Watson married Miss Linnie F.
Williamson. Two children were born to their marriage Sue Mary, who died at St.
Marys at the age of twenty-seven was the wife of Dr. Jed C. Wilcoxen, a St.
Marys dentist. The only son, Dr. J. Loomis Watson, graduated Doctor of Dental
Surgery from the University of Pittsburgh and was in the Student Army
Training Camp at Pittsburgh during the war. He is now practicing his
profession at Pittsburgh. Mrs. Watson is a daughter of Friend C. Williamson,
who was born in Tyler County, West Virginia, in 1842, and lived there all his
life. He had various business interests, and was an extensive dealer in fruit.
The town of Friendly in Tyler County was named for him, and he was living in
that community when he died in 1911. He was a democrat and was one of the
leading members of the Methodist Protestant Church in his vicinity. He was
also a Mason. Friend C. Williamson married Adelia Thorne, who was born in
Jackson County, West Virginia, in 1844, and is now living in Friendly. Mrs
Watson was educated in the public schools of Friendly, and before her marriage
was a milliner and dressmaker.