W. C. WATSON, section 8, Jackson Township, Clarke County, Iowa, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, February 22, 1840. His father, Hugh Watson, was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1809, and died in Dunlap, Michigan, in 1873. His mother, whose maiden name was Isabella Chisholm, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1814, and died in her native county in 1847. W. C. was the second of a family of four children. His only brother, Alexander, was born February 2, 1838, and died while in the service of his country, at Bowling Green, Kentucky, February 7, 1863. He was a member of Company K, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry. His sister, Margaret, born in March, 1842, and Jennet, born in May, 1844, are living, the former in Iowa, and the latter in Michigan. After the death of his mother, when eight years old, he went to live with an uncle, William Chisholm, and with him came to Iowa in 1861. August 13, 1862, he enlisted in Company A, Thirty-sixth Iowa Infantry, but was unable to serve his entire term of enlistment, as he was taken sick with typhus fever, which resulted in total deafness, and he was discharged at the general hospital at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, February 27, 1863. From 1863 till 1869, he was under the care of physicians, trying to regain his health and hearing. Although not successful in the latter he has never regretted the part he took in saving his country from her enemies, and the nation’s flag from dishonor. During these years following his return from the war, he made his home with his uncle, William Chisholm, in Monroe County, Iowa. In December, 1869, he formed a partnership with Isaac Elder, of Eddyville, Wapello County, and engaged in farming, and feeding and herding cattle, Mr. Elder furnishing $25,000 worth of property, and Mr. Watson giving his experience and time to the management of the work. In April, 1873, he moved to Clarke County, Iowa, and bought ninety acres of land of Joseph Heasley, forty acres of which had been improved. To this he has added at different times until he now owns 220 acres, 200 acres being under cultivation, and twenty acres timber land. He makes a specialty of stock-raising, and claims to have as fine herds of high-grade, short-horn cattle, Berkshire hogs, and Clydesdale horses as can be found in the county. Although he has never been well since leaving the army, being totally deaf and suffering constantly with a pain in his head, he has been ambitious and has been successful beyond his most sanguine expectations. Few men in his condition physically, would think themselves able to perform manual labor, but notwithstanding the difficulties which are constantly to be encountered he has persevered, and save the small pension given him by the Government, has supported his family and acquired a good home. Mr. Watson was married December 22, 1872, to Martha E. Hamilton, daughter of Alexander and Freelove Hamilton of Monroe County, Iowa. They have five children – Hugh Alexander, William, Matilda, Charles and Jennet; aged respectively fourteen, twelve, ten, eight and six years.
SOURCE: Biographical and Historical Record of Clarke County, Iowa, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois, 1886 p. 295-6