Tuesday, October 26, 2010

And the mists of time cleared

A few days ago Warren Watson seemed to be a mysterious individual who left little record of his life.

Subsequent searching by one of our readers came up with a couple of interesting snippets, courtesy of the Crocker Langley directories;


Hooyah! Shortly thereafter, in came a picture of the seed that was rumored to exist!

It was a start, a darned good start~ Still, there had to be more to the story and I was left scratching my head.

This changed abruptly when I received an email from one of his descendants. The information provided sheds considerable light on the man and his life.

"Warren Mortimer Watson"

Warren Mortimer Watson was born August 24, 1845, in Rochester, Monroe Co., NY, and died May 6, 1913, in Alameda Co., CA, at age 67. He is the son of William Watson of Ireland and Abigail Harrington of New York. Buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland, Alameda County, CA. The following names are on the same cemetery marker: Warren M. Watson: 1845 - 1913; Emma Pearl Watson: 1851 - 1880; John W. Watson: 12/3/1825 - 3/16/1896; Emily M. Watson: 1845 - 1974.

Warren M. Watson and Emma Pearl Howe were married January 5, 1869, in California. They had no children. Emma died February 29, 1880, in Brooklyn Twp., City of Oakland, Alameda Co., CA, at age 29.

After Emma died, Warren M. Watson married Margaret Elizabeth "Maggie" Watson in 1881 in Oakland, Alameda Co., CA.. "Maggie" was born November 17, 1862, on Bear River near Marysville, Yuba Co., CA. They too, had no children.

The 1880 U. S. Census taken on June 11, 1880, shows Warren Watson (age 33) born in New York to English and New York-born parents is a Cigar Maker and is living at 716 9th Street, City of Oakland, Alameda Co., CA. Living with him but with a line through the name is his wife, Emma Watson (age 30) born in Massachusetts to Massachusetts-born parents, who is Keeping House, with a note saying died Feb. Also living there: his widowed mother-in-law: Orvilla How (age 59) born in Massachusetts to Massachusetts-born parents; and Maggie Watson (age 17) born in California to Missouri and Kentucky-born parents, an unmarried Servant.


The San Francisco Call of April 22, 1900 stated;


OAKLAND. April 21. - W. M. Watson, who has been the head of the W. M. Watson Company, one of the largest wholesale liquor firms in Oakland, has turned his company into a stock concern, and left this week for the Paris Exposition and a trip around the world, accompanied by his wife. Mr. Watson has disposed of his business to a number of his employes and his nephew. Those who now control the company are: C. T. Lemmon, Mr. Watson's nephew; J. J. Carroll of the Louvre. T. W. Sigourney, who has been the head of the store for many years; L. S. Farr, who has been the head bookkeeper, and P. O'Kane, the chief outside man of the company. Mr. Watson retains only a small Interest. W. M. Watson has 'always been one of the leaders in Oakland business circles and has been at the head and front of all moves for the benefit of the city. He will be gone abroad for more than a year.


The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, Friday Evening, September 22, 1905 stated;


Warren Watson, the well-known wine man of this city, is to make another tour of the world. This will be the fourth time that he will have circled the globe. He will be accompanied by his wife. The passports, signed by Elihu Root, arrived today. Mr. and Mrs. Watson shall sail from San Francisco on the 27th of this month on the steamer Manchuria. They will visit points of interest which have heretofore not received their attention while abroad, and expect to have, as fellow passengers, Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Bryan and family.


The Oakland Tribune, Oakland, CA, Saturday Evening, September 23, 1905 noted;



Warren W. Watson, who was, for so many years, in the wine trade in this city but who has retired from business, and who now spends his winters in San Francisco and his summers at his country home near Pleasanton, in this county, received his commission today from Governor Pardee as a member of the Board of Commissioners to manage the Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Big Tree Grove. The appointment has been made to fill the vacancy occasioned on the Board by the death of the late Hon. W. W. Foote, of this city. It is a coincidence that John H. O'Brien, formerly Mr. Watson's partner in business, held the position to which the latter has been appointed, for fourteen years. Mr. Watson is pleased with his official position, more especially because his preferment takes place on the eve of his departure with his wife on his fourth trip around the world.

Warren Mortimer Watson in 1906 is listed as a Royal Arch Mason in the Alcatraz Chapter No. 8a, Oakland, Alameda Co., CA.

Warren Mortimer Watson on July 1, 1910, is listed as a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite List of Members in California.The 1910 U. S. Census taken on April 15, 1910, shows Warren M. Watson (age 64) born in New York to Irish and New York-born parents and in his first marriage is a Retired Capitalist who owns his own home free of a mortgage and is living at 1314 8th Avenue, 7th Ward, Brooklyn Twp., City of Oakland, Alameda Co., CA. Living with him is his childless wife of 29 years, Margaret E. Watson (age 48) born in California to Kentucky and Missouri-born parents and in her first marriage.

And lastly; Warren Mortimer Watson died May 6, 1913, in Alameda Co., CA, at age 67.

A special thanks to Jason P. and Leigh L. for their help in bringing Mr. Watson out of the mist~

1 comment:

Dr.Barnes said...

Great Article, That is a Killer Seed, its one of a kind? DB

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