|Birth: ||Sep. 3, 1875|
|Death: ||Jan. 26, 1951|
BIRTH DATE ON STONE APPEARS TO BE IN ERROR. Birth date appearing on 1917-18 Draft registration card for Smith County, Mississippi shows DOB September 3, 1875 which certainly makes more sense. His age on the 1910 US Census also appears as 1875, age 35. His wife Evie was born in 1883, age 27. They were living in Raleigh, Smith County, MS at the time of the 1910 Census.
James was the husband of (1) Evelyn Ford Watson, (2) Matilda Williamson Watson, (3) Leona Rayner (widow)
The life story of James (Jim) Watson begins in Rome, Georgia, his family believed to have migrated from South Carolina. His father is said to have owned and operated a grist mill there. At the age of 16, Jim left home never to return and began his adult life in Anniston, Alabama marrying a girl by the name of Evelyn (Evie) Ford, daughter of John Henry Ford. They later moved to Bay Springs, Mississippi, then Pachuta ending up in Quitman, Clarke County, Mississippi where he was a farmer (but by all accounts not a very good one). They had five children before his wife's death in 1915 at the age of 33. The children were young and he was unable to adequately care for them. They were placed in other homes and Jim left going to Jasper County, Mississippi where he met Matilda Williamson, daughter of Solomon Williamson of Stringer, MS. They married and settled in Taylorsville, Mississippi and had six children. Matilda died about three weeks after the birth of her sixth child due to infection.
According to the 1930 US Census, Jim married a third time to Leona Rayner, widow of Andrew J. Rayner of Montrose, MS who had two of her nine children living with her; daughters, Lydie (or Liddie) Little 25 and Tressie M. Raynor 16. Jim, his third wife, six children and two step daughters were living in Jones County around Laurel, MS. I was told by his son Howard that that marriage didn't work out.
The 1940 US Census shows Jim boarding with the Jake Lewis family back in Smith County, MS. Among the Lewis family was his son Howard Watson's future wife of 59 years, Hazel Lewis who he married in 1940. Jim's three unmarried daughters at that time (Mary Lou, Marjorie, and Catherine) were boarding at the home of James Daniel Blakeney of Raleigh, MS who Catherine Watson (nicknamed Mamie) later married and who is currently buried with her son James Daniel Hair on the home site grounds. James Blakeney is buried in Beaver Dam Baptist Church Cemetery in Raleigh, MS. Mr. Blakeney was 28 years Catherine's senior.
Jim died in a Meridian, Mississippi hospital and is the second person to be buried in Mineral Springs Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery as was his request to be near his children. His son Howard mentioned that some people also called him "JW". Bio by Caretaker.
Personal Note: I am the granddaughter of his daughter Beulah Lee Watson Harris with his first wife Evie Ford Watson. In a conversation with my uncle Robert Harris, he said his grandfather would come and help out on their farm from time to time and that he could pick more cotton than anyone else and he couldn't catch up to him no matter how hard he tried. He said he would travel around the state and pick cotton during the picking season.
Matilda Williamson Watson (1888 - 1928)
Evelyn Ford Watson (1882 - 1915)*
Lena Ophelia Watson Williamson (1900 - 1932)*
Beulah Lee Watson Robinson (1903 - 1984)*
James Henry Watson (1906 - 1978)*
Eula Mae Watson Lafferty (1909 - 1989)*
Nellie Rosalee Watson Sinclair (1914 - 2001)*
Thomas Denson Watson (1917 - 1990)*
Catherine Watson Hair (1919 - 2005)*
Mary Lou Craven (1920 - 2000)*
James Howard Watson (1924 - 2001)*
Marjorie F. Watson Tew Cooley (1928 - 2011)*
Mineral Springs Missionary Baptist Cemetery
Maintained by: Caretaker
Originally Created by: Robert Bryant Jarman, Sr...
Record added: May 18, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26909076
Regards from one of your many grandchildren.|
Added: Mar. 22, 2011