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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Collection Summary

Historical Note

Scope and Contents

Arrangement

Index Terms

Texas A&M University Kingsville, South Texas Archives

Watson Family Collection



Collection Summary

Creator Watson Family
Title Watson Family Collection
Dates: 1904-1960
Abstract: The Watson Family Collection is a collection from the early settlers of Kingsville, Oliver S. and Ella Watson who built and operated a boarding house on 5th Street. Their children worked on the railroad, joined the service, married and eventually moved to Houston and other places in Texas. The McAllister's, the Sell's, and the Bohanan's were all related by marriage to the Watson's.
Identification A1997-037; A2004-026; A2011-021
Collection URL http://archives.tamuk.edu/ead.php?xml=Watson%20EAD
Quantity: 2 linear foot
Location: H-21-4 Boxes 1-4 and Photo Files A1997-037; A2004-026; & A2011-021
Language: English

Historical Note

Oliver S. Watson was born January 30, 1850, Ella Watson whose maiden name was Miss Ella Byington, was born in Goliad on April 3, 1857. Ella's mother was Rachel Smith and her father was Samuel T. Byington who married October 26, 1848 at Ottawa, Illinois. Ella Byington and Oliver S. Watson were married in 1882. In 1903 they came to Kingsville with the work trains when the railroad was built and lived in a tent for the first few months. In tents pitched between the tracks and Fifth Street, Kingsville's first main street, Ella Watson, cooked and fed the railway workers. Mr. Watson was the first Justice-of-the-Peace for the new settlement which was then part of Nueces County. Eventually they built a large three story boarding house with stones that were quarried with sand from Riviera Beach. They subsequently built four other stone houses for individual family living. Mrs. Watson was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. The Watsons had three children: Olive Lynn Watson; William Alfred Watson; and Linton Wells Watson. Linton married Mabel Watson and had a daughter Dora E. Watson who married Choice James Bohanan. They had two sons and a daughter: Linton Choice Bohanan, James Wells Bohanan and Dodie Amenda Bohanan. Linton Wells Watson fought in the First World War, ran the diesel locomotive on the MoPac Passenger run between Houston and Kingsville until 1959. On December 31, 1908 Oliver S. Watson died and was laid to rest at Chamberlain Cemetery the first year it was established. He was remembered as a good Justice of the Peace, great fiddler and astute poker player. Ella Watson died November 30, 1934 in Houston where she had lived with her son and his family since 1932. She was laid to rest beside Oliver Watson in the Chamberlain Cemetery.

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Scope and Contents

The Watson Family Collection contains personal correspondence, financial papers, photographs, Kingsville newspapers, school textbooks, railroad manuals, maps and personal books. The materials date from the early 1900's to the 1960's. The black and white photographs depict a time in South Texas of growth, adventure, and hard work.

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Arrangement

The materials are arranged by format into folders: letters, financial documents, maps, and railroad memorabilia. The photographs are arranged as given in each accession.

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Index Terms

Persons
Watson, Oliver S., 1850-1908
Watson, Ella Byington, 1857-1934
Watson, Olive Lynn, 1884-1913
Watson, William Alfred, 1890-1910
Watson, Mabel Young, 1921-
Organizations
St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway
Celenese Chemical Plant
Presbyterian Church
Geographical Names
Kingsville (Tex.)
Subjects
Boardinghouses
Railroad construction workers
Frontier and pioneer life

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