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Hugh Watson

WATSON, Hugh (deceased), formerly one of the most prominent and prosperous merchants of Macomb, Ill., was born near Campbelltown, Argyleshire, Scotland, March 26, 1851, a son of Alexander and Isabella (Galbralth) Watson, natives of Scotland. Alexander Watson was a farmer by occupation, and, in 1857, came with his family to the United States. Proceeding west to Illinois, he located in the vicinity of Camp Creek, McDonough County, subsequently removing to Scotland Township, the same county, where he bought a farm and carried on agriculture until 1893. At that period he retired from active life and moved to Macomb, Ill., where he and his wife now reside.

In his boyhood Hugh Watson attended the district schools in Scotland Township, and later pursued a course of study in the Branch College, Macomb. Following this he worked for his father on the farm, and afterward he and his brother operated a threshing machine. About the year 1889 Mr. Watson bought the interest of Mr. Brooking, of the firm of Scott & Brooking, hardware and implement dealers, and was engaged in this line up to the time of his death, which occurred June 30, 1892. His untimely demise was the result of an accident which befell him while in the public service and engaged in the discharge of his official duty as Alderman of Macomb. He was a member of the Water Works Committee of the City Council, and was occupied in inspecting the construction of that system, when a scaffolding fell and struck his head, inflicting fatal injuries from which he died a few hours later. Mr. Watson was a liberal-minded and public-spirited man, was a model citizen, and took a constant and lively interest in all that pertained to the welfare of the community.

On March 29, 1882, Mr. Watson was married to Jennie S. Blazer, who was born November 3, 1854, near Table Grove, McDonough County, Ill., and in girlhood received her education in the schools in the vicinity of her home. She is a daughter of David and Nancy A. (Cavitt) Blazer, natives of Pennsylvania, where they became husband and wife. The Blazer family came west in 1853, and located in McDonough County. Dr. David Blazer, Mrs. Watson's father, enlisted at Chicago, in 1862, in the Twelfth Regiment Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, in which he served three years. He lost his health during this period, and was honorably discharged. On account of the impairment of his health, he was compelled to retire from the practice of his profession and to undertake the operation of a farm. He died March 26, 1873, and his widow now resides in Macomb. Dr. Blazer was a Presbyterian In his religious belief, and in politics, gave his support to the Republican party.

To Mr. and Mrs. Watson were born five children, namely: Alza C., a teacher in the public schools of Macomb; Florence M., a stenographer in the Illinois Manufacturing Company, of Macomb; Ruth E., who took a business-college course in Macomb; Irene A., who is a pupil in the Macomb High School; and Hugh Ivan, who died at the age of eight months. The four daughters are especially bright and intelligent young ladies, and their mother, who presides over the domestic circle in their pleasant home at No. 624 East Jackson Street, Macomb, is a most worthy and estimable woman.

In politics, Hugh Watson was an earnest Republican. Besides serving as Alderman, he held the office of Township Clerk for a number of years, and served a long period as Supervisor. While filling this office he was a member of the committee which supervised the erection of the County Poor House. Religiously, the subject of this sketch was a consistent member of the Presbyterian Church. In fraternal affiliation, he was identified with the I. O. O. F. and the M. W. A. In all the relations of life he was loyal to the highest ideals. He was a lover of home, a devoted husband and father, and the object of warm regard from hosts of friends throughout the city and county.

Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, pages 1037-1038, extracted 26 Oct 2020 by Norma Hass.

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