Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
JAMES W. WATTS. Not all of us can succeed in more than one line of endeavor. As a rule it requires years of preparation, study and practical experience to reap more than mediocre success. It seems that James W. Watts, a well known citizen of Clay township, Greene county, is a man endowed with a versatility of talents, for he has succeeded as a farmer, stockman, veterinary surgeon, a breeder of live stock, pump salesman, harness maker and shoemaker. He has always applied himself very assiduously to whatever task he set himself to perform and, being courageous has never permitted little things to deflect him from his course, when once he decided that he was right.
Mr. Watts was born in Webster county, Missouri, September 5, 1864. He is a son of Dr. Thomas J. and Martha A. M. (Hedgepeth) Watts. The father was born in Tennessee, August 10, 1837. He came west at an early age and settled in Greene county, Missouri, on the James river. He was educated in the Ozark high school, and in early life taught school for some time. In 1859 he began the study of medicine under Doctors Robertson and Barrett. In 1861 he began the practice of his profession in Webster county, and in 1864 moved where his son, our subject, is now living, in Greene county. He was one of the well-known and successful early-day physicians of this section of the state. He became owner of four hundred acres of valuable land in this county. He married in 1863. His wife, mother of our subject, was born on December 3, 1838, in Tennessee, where she was reared, and from that state emigrated with her parents in ox wagons to Christian county, Missouri. She received a good education and taught school several years. She was a great charity worker. She was a member of the Christian church. Her death occurred on February 7, 1905, and on April 19th, of that year, she was joined in the Silent Land by her husband, they thus having run a pretty even race on the highway of life. They were useful, influential and highly esteemed in their community. To these parents only two children were born, Lula T., who died in infancy; and James W., of this sketch.
James W. Watts grew to manhood on the home farm and received his education in the local schools. He removed to the place where he now resides when he was three weeks old, and thus he has here spent his life. After attending Henderson Academy, he married, in May, 1890, Carrie K. Dixon, of Ohio. She was born August 17, 1870. When young he learned the trades of harness maker and shoemaker, but his attention has been directed principally to general farming and breeding and handling live stock on an extensive scale. He owns two hundred and eighty acres of well-improved and productive land in Clay township, all in a body, constituting one of the most desirable farms in this part of the county. He studied the science of veterinary medicine and surgery at home and is well up in such matters and maintains an office at his place and has a good practice. He is also agent for The Hayes--the leading pump--and has sold a large number. He has been very successful in whatever line he has engaged.
Mr. Watts' first wife was a daughter of Jack and Ardella Dixon, and her death occurred May 20, 1905. To this union two children were born, Arlie, May 18, 1892 and Gladys, born December 9, 1894, both at home. Mr. Watts married for his second wife, Mrs. Lillie (Gray) Dixon, widow of George B. Dixon. She was born July 6, 1875, in Douglas county, Missouri, and is a daughter of John and Artela Gray. She became the mother of two children by her first husband; they are Agnes A., born November 28, 1897, and Hallie A., born August 22, 1899, both living at home. To Mr. Watts and his second wife one child has been born, Thomas A. Watts, born December 22, 1911, who is living with his parents. Mrs. Watts is a member of the Methodist church. Politically, Mr. Watts is a Republican. Mr. Watts has been repeatedly asked to take different public offices of the county, but has always refused on account of his large varied interests which require all his time.
Springfield-Greene County Library