Biography of Alexander I. Watson

A third of a century has passed since Alexander Irwin Watson, of Grangeville, took up his abode in this section of Idaho, and for thirty-seven years he has been a resident of the state. He was born in Darke County, Ohio, June 2, 1830, a representative of one of the pioneer families there. His paternal grandfather was a native of Ireland, and on leaving that country crossed the ocean to America. He became an industrious farmer of Darke County, and served his adopted country as a soldier in the war of 1812. He was almost one hundred years of age at the time of his death. His son, Robert Watson, the father of our subject, was born in Pennsylvania, and married Miss Nancy Stanford, a native of Virginia, by whom he had six sons and two daughters, our subject being now the only survivor of the family. Late in life the parents removed to Indiana, where the father died at the age of sixty-five years, and the mother at the age of fifty-five.

Mr. Watson of this review was reared on his father’s farm and was educated in the little log schoolhouse in that then new country. He began life on his own account as a schoolteacher and farmer, and in 1858, hoping to better his financial condition on the Pacific coast; he crossed the plains with oxen to California and engaged in placer mining on the American river, in Placer County. After remaining there for about eighteen months and not meeting with the success that he had anticipated, lie removed to San Joaquin county, where he purchased a band of sheep and engaged in sheep-raising. He prospered in that industry, but at the time of the gold excitement in Idaho he sold out and made his way to the Salmon River country, where he secured a good claim and met with gratifying success in his mining ventures. Later he came to Camas prairie and obtained a farm, which was located eight miles west of Grangeville, operating that land until 1885, when he sold out and took up his abode on his present farm, two miles south of Grangeville. He owns one hundred and sixty acres of rich land, lying at the base of the foothills and overlooking the town of Grangeville and the entire Camas prairie. There he and his wife have a pleasant home of their own and are spending the evening of their life in peace and contentment.

In 1849 Mr. Watson was united in marriage to Miss Maria E. Shaul, a native of Indiana, and to them were born two daughters, but one was taken from them by death. The other, Mallinda Alice, became the wife of Cyrus Overman and resides on Camas prairie. Mrs. Watson is a valued member of the Methodist church and is a most estimable lady.

Mr. Watson has always given his political support to the Democracy and keeps well informed on the issues of the day, but has never sought office, holding no public positions save that of school trustee. The cause of education has ever found in him a warm friend, and he does all in his power to promote its interests. His life has been one of industry and integrity and he justlymerits the esteem and confidence accorded him by the residents of Idaho County.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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