Watson, John B.

Born: 1800-02-10 South Carolina

Died: 1852-08-11 Sangamon County, Illinois

Flourished: 1838-03-22 Sangamon County, Illinois

Watson moved with his father to southern Illinois and in 1829, he married Mary Gillis in Kaskaskia. Soon after their marriage, the Watsons moved to Sangamon County, where they raised seven children. Watson taught school in Springfield from 1828 until 1834, when he became a surveyor and railroad engineer. Politically, Watson was a Whig. He also served as an elder of the Second Presbyterian Church in Springfield upon its organization in 1835. At the outbreak of the Gold Rush, Watson joined a company of men who traveled to California in 1849; Watson stayed there until 1852. Sometime after leaving California, he contracted cholera and died within days after returning home in Springfield.

John Carroll Power and S. A. Power, History of the Early Settlers of Sangamon County, Illinois (Springfield, IL: Edwin A. Wilson, 1876), 753; History of Sangamon County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1881), 274, 283, 585, 605; Illinois Daily Journal (Springfield), 13 August 1852, 3:1.