Edgar H. Watson

BARBOUR COUNTY WEST VIRGINIA
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Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
vfcrook@trellis.net
March 18, 2000
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The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 354

EDGAR H. WATSON. In a busy and purposeful life of
more than threescore and ten, Edgar H. Watson has meas-
ured up to the responsibilities of manhood whether as a
home maker, citizen or in his private industry and busi-
ness. He retired from his farm several years ago and has
since resided in Philippi, where he is well and popularly
known.

This branch of the Watson family has been in West Vir-
ginia for at least 125 years. Several generations of them
lived in Preston County, and Edgar H. Watson is a native
of that county, as was also his father, Rawley Watson, who
grew up in Valley District. Rawley Watson devoted all
his best years to his farm between Masontown and Reeds-
ville, and was never attracted into any form of public
service. He was a Methodist and a republican. Rawley
Watson, who died in 1890, survived by several years his
wife, whose maiden name was Sarah Ann Whipp. Her
father, Hezekiah Whipp, moved out of Frederick County,
Virginia, to Ohio just before the Civil war, and spent his
active life four miles from Middletown, Butler County,
Ohio. Rawley Watson and wife reared the following chil-
dren: Julia R., who married William F. Menear and died
at Kingwood; Sanford, who was a Union soldier and later
a farmer near Masontown; George, also a Union soldier,
who spent his civil life in Preston County and is buried
at Masontown; Daniel, who followed the trade of painter
and paper hanger, was a farmer, and is now president of
the Reedsville Bank at Reedsville, where he resides; Edgar
H.; Maxwell, a farmer at Masontown; Orville, a farmer
at Reedsville; and Mason, who was a merchant and post-
master of Reedsville when he died.

Edgar H. Watson was born November 30, 1849. He
was about twelve years of age when the Civil war broke
out, and consequently his education terminated about that
time. He learned the trade of blacksmith under E. J.
Miller at Terra Alta, and for fifteen years followed the
trade at Flemington. When he abandoned his shop he
bought a farm in Barbour County, on Stewarts Run, and
to this place he devoted his best energies from 1888 to
1917. In the latter year he moved to his town home at
Philippi, but he still oversees his farm and looks after
some other business interests.

Mr. Watson is a republican, and in 1872 cast his first
vote for General Grant, voted for Rutherford B. Hayes
in 1876 and for Gen. James A. Garfield in 1880, and has
voted for every republican presidential nominee since then.
While living on his farm he was president one term of
the Board of Education of Elk District.

In Taylor County, April 26, 1884, Mr. Watson married
Mrs. Julia E. Fleming, widow of Goff J. Fleming and
daughter of H. W. LaFollette, who came to Taylor County
from Eastern Virginia a few months after the outbreak
of the Civil war. He died at the home of Mrs. Watson
in Barbour County. His wife was Amy McKee. Mrs.
Watson was the oldest of four children, the others being
Felicia A., who died at Philippi, wife of James Wood-
ford; L. M. LaFollette, former state auditor of West
Virginia and a resident of Charleston; and Elery B., who
died in Lewis County, West Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Wat-
son have four children. Hazel B. is the wife of Arch Mc-
Coy, of Belington; Nellie B. lives at Philippi; Herman B.
is assistant cashier of the Citizens National Bank of Phil-
ippi; and the youngest child is Miss Mattie B.