Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
GILBERT RUSSELL WATSON. A fine type of the sturdy, conscientious American of today is Gilbert Russell Watson, farmer of Murray township, Greene county. He is a man who unites a high order of ability with courage, patriotism, clean morality and sound common sense, doing thoroughly and well the work he finds to do and asking praise of no man for the performance of what he conceives to be his simple duty.
Mr. Watson was born March 13, 1850 in Monroe county, Tennessee. He is a son of Spencer and Margaret (Holloway) Watson. The father was born in December, 1823, in Monroe county, Tennessee and there grew to manhood, was educated in the common schools and worked on the farm when a boy and there he married in 1845 and purchased a farm of his own of two hundred and eighty acres, which he operated until in the spring of 1852 when he came to Lawrence county, Missouri, and made a crop on Turnback creek, then came to near Ebenezer, Robberson township, Greene county where he spent the winter in a camp, cutting logs and building a cabin there. This was in the winter of 1852-3. Later he purchased two hundred acres on Robberson prairie, and moved thereto in the spring of 1853 and later entered eighty acres adjoining and there resided until 1866 when he sold out and moved to Cass township, locating on the edge of Grand prairie, owning three hundred acres there on which he spent the rest of his life, dying June 20, 1887. He was one of the leading general farmers and stock raisers in this locality, handling many horses and mules annually. He was sixty-four years old at the time of his death. His wife, Margaret Holloway, was born in Monroe county, Tennessee in the year 1820, and there she grew to womanhood and was educated in the early-day schools. She was a daughter of Mintor Holloway, also a native of Tennessee, who became an extensive tobacco raiser in that state. He married Marjorie Edmonds, a native of Tennessee, whose death occurred April 8, 1883. To Spencer Watson and wife nine children were born, namely: John T. lives at Willard; Mrs. Sarah Elizabeth Tatum is deceased; Gilbert Russell of this review; Polly Ann lives in Springfield; William R. lives in Springfield where he trades in mules, and also owns about seven hundred acres of land in the vicinity of Cave Spring, Cass township; Ruth Jane is deceased; Mrs. Susan C. Young lives in Springfield; George W. is deceased; Francis M. is farming near Willard.
Politically, Spencer Watson was a Democrat, and he and his wife belonged to the Methodist church.
Gilbert R. Watson was two years old when his parents brought him from Tennessee to Greene county, Missouri and here he grew to manhood on the home farm where he worked hard when a boy, and he received such educational advantages as the schools of that period furnished in the rural districts, and remaining a wide reader all his life he has become a well informed man. He has always followed general farming and stock raising, and besides operating his own valuable and well improved farm of one hundred and twenty acres he has charge of forty acres belonging to his sister, Polly Ann.
Mr. Watson was married October 22, 1884, to Mary L. Bond, daughter of Holbert and Corenna (Lemon) Bond. Mr. Bond was born in Tennessee, June 14, 1837, from which state he immigrated to Polk county, Missouri, when young and there engaged in farming near Morrisville until the breaking out of the Civil war when he enlisted in the Confederate army and served for some time. He was wounded in the foot in a battle at Corinth, Mississippi, which made him slightly crippled for life. In a later day he spent many years about the lumber camps in California, but finally returned to Polk county and spent the rest of his life engaged in farming, and there his death occurred June 15, 1910. Corenna Lemon was born in Polk county, Missouri, September 13, 1834, and her death occurred June 8, 1878. In Polk county also occurred the birth of Mrs. Watson and there she grew to womanhood and attended school. Holbert Bond was the father of six children, named as follows: John Henry is deceased; Mrs. Charlotte Pipkin lives at Willard; Mrs. Martha Sims lives in Texarkana, Arkansas; Mary L., wife of Mr. Watson of this sketch; Benjamin who lives on a farm just south of Morrisville, Polk county; Holbert, Jr., is deceased.
The union of Gilbert R. Watson and wife has been without issue. Politically, Mr. Watson is a Democrat, and while he is always ready to do his full share in promoting any cause for the general good of his township and county he has never been a seeker of public honors. Fraternally, he is a member of the Masonic order and the Court of Honor. He was reared in the Methodist faith, and his wife belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church, South, at Willard and takes an active part in all church work, and is president of the United Missionary Societies.
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