Biography of Hon. James G. Watts

James G. Watts
James G. Watts

Among the practitioners of the bar of Silver City, Idaho, is James G. Watts, who is also a distinguished member of the state senate. Pennsylvania is the state of his nativity, his birth having occurred in the town of Wellsboro, July 23, 1858. His father, Daniel Watts, was a native of England, and on crossing the Atlantic to America took up his residence in New York, whence he afterward removed to the Keystone state. There he was married to Miss Harriet Goodrich, a native of Tioga county, Pennsylvania, and a representative of an old Puritan family. During the civil war the father entered the service of his country as a member of the Union army, and participated in the celebrated march to the sea. He died in a New York hospital of disease contracted in the service, leaving a widow and five children. The mother of these children died in 1890, when she had attained the age of sixty years.

James G. Watts acquired his literary education in the Mansfield (Ohio) Normal School, where he was graduated in the class of 1880. For a number of years he successfully engaged in teaching school, and then began preparation for the legal profession as a student in the law office of Hon. T. W. McNealy, of Pittsburg, Illinois. Later he attended the Union College of Law, of Chicago, and was admitted to practice April 1, 1886, in North Platte, Nebraska. He commenced practice at Ogallala, Nebraska, and continued there two years; then was in Omaha two years. In 1890 he removed to Idaho City, continuing a member of the bar of that place for three years, since which time he has made his home in Silver City. Here he has enjoyed a satisfactory clientage, and has been connected with most of the important litigation tried in the courts of his district. He has a keenly analytical mind and determines with accuracy the strong points in a suit without losing sight of the details. He is exacting in the research and care with which he prepares his cases, and in argument he is strong. His ability has drawn to him a large practice, and his success indicates his mastery of the principles of jurisprudence.

In 1889 Mr. Watts was united in marriage to Miss Pearl Stoner, a daughter of S. A. Stoner, who was engaged in merchandising in Ogallala, Nebraska. They have two children James G. and Nancy E. Mr. Watts is a member of the Episcopal Church and of the Masonic lodge of Silver City, in which he is now serving as junior warden. His political support is given the men and measures of the Democratic Party, and while in Idaho City he was elected to the second session of the state senate. In 1898 he was again elected to that position from Owyhee county, and is now serving most creditably in the upper house of the state legislature, his close study of the issues of the day and the needs of the commonwealth enabling him effectively to advocate those measures which he believes are best calculated to promote the general welfare. At the close of the fifth session of the legislature he was appointed by Governor Stuenenberg chairman of the code commission a commission created by the legislature to codify and annotate the laws of the state. He is accounted one of the leading lawyers of the state, one of its most competent officials, and is high esteemed for those social gifts and manly qualities which render him popular with all classes of society.



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

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