Western Outlaw. Born in South Carolina, he owned a sugar cane plantation in southwest Florida during the lawless years of the late 19th and early 20th century. In his youth he got into a knife fight, killed a man and fled to the Oklahoma territories, where he left a trail of murders. In 1889, he was suspected of killing the notorious female outlaw Belle Starr, was put on trial, but nothing came of it and he was acquitted. Returning to Florida 1891, he killed a man in Arcadia, over a land dispute allegedly in self-defense. In 1892, he bought a 40 acre parcel at Chatham Bend and became a successful sugar cane farmer. Noted for being ruthless to his help, he had several fugitives living on his property, which would keep order and strong arm other land owners into selling their parcels. He would hire workers for his plantation, then on payday, would gun down his entire crew and dump their bodies in the bay. After years of living in fear of Watson, the local residents of Chokoloskee gunned him down at the Smallwood Store. He also was the subject of writer Peter Matthiessen's books, "Lost Man's River" and "Killing Mister Watson".
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith
Ellen Catherine Addison Watson