Tag Archives: William J Watts

Timeline Thus Far

I thought it might be neat to take some of the dates mentioned in the articles on Graham Ancestry and arrange them in chronological order along with some other significant American historical milestones.

Nineteenth Century

4 July 1819.  The Territory of Arkansas was created from a portion of the Missouri Territory.

15 June 1836.  Arkansas was admitted into the Union as a slave state.

13 December 1838.  Searcy County, Arkansas was formed from a portion of Madison County.

June 1844.  Sarah F Scott was born in Alabama, USA.

1845.  Jesse Graham was born in Alabama, USA.

11 January 1861.  Alabama declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

Civil War Began

12 April 1861.  The American Civil War began when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

6 May 1861.  Arkansas declared its secession from the Union and joined the Confederate States of America.

15 April 1865.  United States President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC.

Circa 1865.  Jesse Graham married Sarah F Scott in Alabama, Confederate States of America.

Circa 1865.  William Graham was born to Jesse and Sarah Graham in Alabama, Confederate States of America.

20 August 1866.  United States President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation affirming the end of the Civil War.

Civil War Ended

1 January 1868.  James Newton Siler Watts was born in Searcy County, Arkansas, Fourth Military District.  The Fourth Military District was made up of Arkansas and Mississippi, both former states of the Confederacy that had not yet been re-admitted into the Union.

22 June 1868.  The United States Congress restored Arkansas to the Union.

13 July 1868.  The United States Congress restored Alabama to the Union.

5 September 1868.  Eliza Ann Graham was born in Alabama, USA to Jesse and Sarah Graham.

29 July 1869.  Mary Matilda Bohannon born in Arkansas, USA.

8 May 1870.  John Henry Graham born in Texas, USA to Jesse and Sarah Graham.

1879.  Mary F Graham born to Jesse and Sarah Graham in Searcy County, Arkansas.

1 June 1880The Tenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

5 August 1886.  James Newton Siler Watts married Eliza Ann Graham in Searcy County, Arkansas.

November 1887.  Elizabeth Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

3 October 1889.  John Henry Graham married Mary Matilda Bohannon in Searcy County, Arkansas.

2 June 1890The Eleventh Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

17 September 1890.  Evisa Jane Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

2 February 1891.  James Madison Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

22 July 1892.  Jessie Cornelius Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

1 October 1892.  Emma Sarah Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

1 September 1893.  Mary Ausidine Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

18 October 1893.  Callie Dona Watts was born in Oklahoma, USA.

20 February 1894.  William Thomas Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

9 May 1894.  Virgie Viola Copeland was born in Arkansas, USA.

19 January 1896.  John Jasper Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

January 1897.  William Jessie Watts was born to James and Eliza Watts.

23 August 1897.  Silas Midaner “Danner” Copeland was born in Arkansas, USA.

21 December 1897.  Mary Adaline Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

4 March 1898.  James Newton Siler Watts died at the age of 30.

1 June 1900The Twelfth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

16 June 1900.  Sarah Rosabelle Graham was born of John and Mary Graham. She was either stillborn or died shortly thereafter.

Twentieth Century

16 February 1902.  Emma Dorothy Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

16 June 1904. Stella Viona Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

16 October 1905.  Seven-year-old Mary Adaline Graham died.

7 December 1907.  Nona Elizabeth Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

12 August 1909.  Daniel Paig Graham was born to John and Mary Graham.

15 April 1910The Thirteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

World War I Began

28 June 1914.  World War I began with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

7 January 1917.  John Jasper Graham married Silas Midaner “Danner” Copeland in Searcy County, Arkansas.

11 March 1917. Jessie Cornelius Graham married Callie Dona Watts in Searcy County, Arkansas.

United States Entered World War I

6 April 1917.  The United States Congress declared war on Germany.

5 June 1917.  Brothers Jessie Cornelius Graham, William Thomas Graham, and John Jasper Graham all registered for the World War I draft at the local board in Marshall, Arkansas.

29 October 1917.  Denver Etridge Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

4 November 1917.  William Thomas Graham married Virgie Viola Copeland in Searcy County, Arkansas.

11 March 1918. Ruby Duell Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

8 August 1918.  Erman Zebedee Graham was born to William and Virgie Graham.

11 November 1918.  World War I ended with an armistice signed at Compiègne, France.

World War I Ended

Between 1917 – 1919.  William Thomas Graham honorably discharged from the United States Army.

1 January 1920The Fourteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

19 January 1920. Albert John Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

30 July 1920.  Dempsey Ray Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

10 January 1921.  Most of the Eleventh Census (1890) was destroyed by a fire in the Commerce Building in Washington, DC.

7 February 1920.  Pernie Willodean Graham was born to William and Virgie Graham.

12 September 1920.  William Thomas Graham died at the age of 27.

1922.  Julus R Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

9 March 1924.  Virgie Viola (Copeland) Graham, widow of William Thomas Graham, married Grover Morley Condley.

5 January 1925.  Berlene V Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

20 August 1925.  Alvin Jesse Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

Great Depression Began

29 October 1929. The crash of the stock market marked the beginning of the Great Depression.

1 April 1930The Fifteenth Census of the United States was enumerated nationwide.

Circa 1930.  DeLois Graham was born to John and Danner Graham.

1935.  Alpha Graham was born to Jessie and Callie Graham.

World War II Began

1 September 1939.  World War II began with the German invasion of Poland and Slovakia.

Great Depression Ended / United States Entered World War II

7 December 1941.  The United States entered World War II following a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii by the Empire of Japan.

27 April 1942.  Jessie Cornelius Graham registered for the World War II draft.

21 September 1944.  Mary Matilda (Bohannon) Graham died at the age of 75.

2 September 1945.  World War II ended with the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri.

World War II Ended

24 April 1946.  John Henry Graham died at the age of 75.

3 August 1947.  Eliza Ann (Graham) Watts died at the age of 78.

27 September 1958.  Callie Dona (Watts) Graham died at the age of 64.

22 November 1963.  United States President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, USA.

10 December 1966.  Denver Etridge Graham married Opal Geeham in Morley, Missouri, USA.

20 July 1969.  The Apollo 11 mission successfully completed the first landing of humans on the Moon.

15 August 1975.  Jessie Cornelius Graham died at the age of 83.

August 1979.  John Jasper Graham died at the age of 83 in Morley, Missouri, USA.

28 January 1986.  Space Shuttle Challenger was destroyed 73 seconds after the launch of its tenth mission.  All seven crew members died.

16 February 1990.  Opal (Geeham) Graham died in Missouri, USA.

31 December 1991.  The dissolution of the USSR was completed, ending the Cold War that had existed between the USSR and the United States since the end of World War II in 1945.

11 June 1996.  Silas Midaner “Danner” (Copeland) Graham died at the age of 98 in Oran, Missouri, USA.

Twenty-First Century

11 September 2001.  Terrorists attacked the United States with hijacked jetliners, destroying the World Trade Center in New York City and damaging the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia, USA.

1 February 2003.  Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed during re-entry on its 28th mission.  All seven crew members died.

10 September 2004.  Denver Etridge Graham died at the age of 86 in Missouri, USA.

15 October 2010.  Graham Ancestry journal went online at WordPress.com.

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Eliza Ann Graham

Revised 29 September 2013.

Eliza Ann Graham was the older sister of John Henry Graham.  She was born on Saturday, 5 September 1868 somewhere in Alabama to parents Jesse and Sarah Graham.  Jesse and Sarah were apparently quite the vagabonds since by 1870 they had moved to Texas where John Henry was born, and then by 1880 they had all settled in Searcy County, Arkansas.

1880

Jesse Graham 1880 Census

1880 Census, Bear Creek Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

The 1880 census recorded the Graham family living in Bear Creek Township.  Eliza was 13 years old, living with her parents Jesse and Sarah, 15 years old brother William, 8 years old brother John Henry, and one year old sister Mary.  Everyone’s birth place was recorded as Alabama, except for John’s as Texas, and Mary’s as Arkansas.  It was indicated that Sarah and the children could neither read nor write, and that William and Eliza had not attended school during the census year.

Recorded on the census next to the Grahams was the family of William Alexander Watts, Junior.

SilerElizaWattsMarriageDetail

Marriage record for Siler Watts and Eliza Graham, 5 August 1886

On Thursday, 5 August 1886, Mister James Newton Siler Watts of Red River Township, with his father William A. Watts, Jr. as security, paid a $100 bond to the county for a license to marry Miss “Louisa A. Graham”, as her name was erroneously recorded by the county clerk, M. Dampf.  James and Eliza were married on the same day, the ceremony having been conducted by Calvin T. Cotton.

Thursday, 17 November 1887, their daughter Ola Elizabeth Watts was born.

On Wednesday, 2 October 1889, James signed as security for Eliza’s brother John Henry Graham when he purchased a license to marry Mary Matilda Bohannon.

1890

Data on James and Eliza is not available from the 1890 census, as it was destroyed in a fire in 1921.

James and Eliza’s second child, James Madison Watts was born 0n Monday, 2 February 1891.

Emma Sarah Watts, their third child, was born on Saturday, 1 October 1892.

Mary Ausidine Watts was born to the couple on Friday, 1 September 1893.

Siler Homestead

Detail from Siler’s homestead certificate

Tuesday, 28 May 1895, the land office in Harrison, Arkansas issued a land patent to Siler Watts for a parcel located at “the North West quarter of Section fourteen in Township thirteen North of range sixteen West of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Arkansas, containing one hundred and sixty acres…” Since homesteaders had to occupy their land for five years before being issued a patent, Siler and Eliza had settled this parcel sometime around 1890, perhaps even as soon as following their marriage in 1886, allowing for the inevitable governmental delays in processing paperwork.

Their last child, William Jesse Bell Watts, was born on Thursday, 7 January 1897.

On Friday, 4 March 1898, James Newton Siler Watts died at the age of 30 from a ruptured appendix.  He was buried at Rambo Cemetery, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

1900

Eliza 1900 Census

1900 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

The 1900 census recorded the widow Eliza living on the farm in Red River Township, mother of five children with five living.

Note that Sarah’s birth date was recorded as October 1891, barely eight months following James’ birth in February 1891. Other sources give her birth year as 1892, which is probably correct.

Eliza and Elizabeth could neither read nor write; it is unrecorded if the other children could do so.

Renting the farm beside Eliza’s was Robert Savage and his wife Armelta Bellzora Watts, Siler’s sister.

Around 1904, Eliza apparently settled a new homestead, also in Red River Township.

Thursday, 26 September 1907, eldest daughter Elizabeth Watts married Pearl Forest Wilkey. Signed as security was “D. P. Watts” – probably Doctor Perry Watts. He was not actually a doctor. That apparently was his full name, as documented on his draft card in 1918.

In Washington, D.C., the Ozark National Forest was established on Friday, 6 March 1908 by a proclamation from United States President Theodore Roosevelt. The forest covered parts of 18 counties in Arkansas, including Searcy County, from the land north of the Arkansas River. Eliza and her children were living on land inside the new boundaries of the forest, but pursuant to the presidential proclamation, those lands “upon which any valid settlement has been made” were excepted.

Wednesday, 4 August 1909, sixteen years old Emma Sarah Watts married thirty-one years old George Washington Thompson, Junior.

On 9 December 1909, Eliza was granted a land patent for “the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section five and the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section six in Township fifteen north and the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section thirty-two in Township sixteen north all in Range seventeen west of the Fifth Principle Meridian, Arkansas, containing one hundred twenty-seven and seventy-six-hundredths acres…”

1910

Eliza 1910 Census

1910 Census, Red River Township, Ozark National Forest Reserve, Searcy County, Arkansas

On the 1910 census, Eliza was still on the farm in Red River Township, Ozark National Forest Reserve, with three of her children: James, Ausidine, Jessie.  Her name was recorded here as “Lizan,” a conflation of Eliza Ann. It was recorded that Eliza could read but not write. Her three children could both read and write. The occupation for all four of them was “farmer.”

Residing on the farm beside Eliza’s was “Doc” Watts and his wife Callie, which supports the above suggestion regarding the identity of “D. P. Watts.”

Sunday, 24 December 1911, daughter Mary Ausidine Watts and Jasper Newton Luttrell were bound in holy matrimony on Christmas Eve by Justice of the Peace J. H. Phillips.

Sunday, 22 September 1912, James Madison Watts married Sylvannia R. Bohannon, the daughter of Patrick Bohannon and his first wife Rixey Watson, in a ceremony also conducted by Justice of the Peace Phillips.

Sunday, 9 January 1916, youngest child William Jesse Bell Watts married Zetta Mae McCutcheon of Booster, Arkansas. “W. M. Watts,” possibly William McKinley Watts (Doc’s brother, who was one year older than Jesse), signed as security on the bond. The ceremony was conducted by Justice of the Peace H. D. Barnes.

With all of her children now married, Eliza found herself with an empty nest. At some point, Eliza and her mother Sarah Graham began living together.

1920

Eliza Watts 1920 Census Detail

1920 Census, Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

In 1920, Eliza’s residence was recorded as Shady Grove Township, Searcy County, Arkansas. (It’s not yet clear to me if Eliza actually moved from Red River to Shady Grove, or if a realignment of the township boundaries took place.) Eliza’s age was recorded as 45 – she would’ve actually been 52 in 1920. Her mother Sarah Graham, 76 and widowed, was living with her.  Eliza could read, but not write, and mother Sarah could do neither.

Wednesday, 14 November 1928, Eliza’s mother Sarah Graham passed away.

1930

Eliza 1930 Census

1930 Census, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas

By 1930, Eliza had moved in with daughter Mary Ausidine and her husband Jasper Newton Luttrell, who were renting a farm in Red River Township. Here she was recorded as “Watts, Lizza A.” Her age was given as 56, but her real age was 62. Whether she was able to read and write was “no,” which contradicts the previous two census.

Jasper and Mary had five daughters if you believe this census. The first two children listed were actually twin boys Allen C. and Ellis G. Luttrell. The other children were daughters Christina, Geneva, and Jewel.

By 1935, Eliza was living with her eldest daughter Ola Elizabeth and husband Pearl Forest Wilkey, who were renting a farm in Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas.

1940

Eliza 1940 Census 1

1940 Census, Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas. Bottom of sheet 17B

Eliza 1940 Census 2

1940 Census, Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas. Top of sheet 18A

Friday, 26 April 1940, the 1940 census was enumerated in Big Lake Township, Mississippi County, Arkansas and recorded Pearl and Lizzie Wilkey living on a rented farm. With them was their son Millard Wilkey; a nephew, O. W. Hobbs; Pearl’s mother-in-law Eliza Ann Watts, here recorded as “Lisa Ann”; son Ruben Wilkey; and daughter-in-law Thelma Wilkey. Eliza’s age was given as 74, which was closer to the truth than the two previous census – she was actually 71 on this date. Her highest grade of school completed was “0.”

Wednesday, 24 April 1946, Eliza’s brother John Henry Graham passed away at his home in Red River Township. His obituary referred to her as “Elisan Watts… address unknown.” Perhaps she was still in Mississippi County.

Sunday, 3 August 1947, Eliza Ann (Graham) Watts died at the age of 78. She isn’t listed in the Arkansas Death Index, so it’s not clear where she died. She was buried beside her husband at Rambo Cemetery, Red River Township, Searcy County, Arkansas.

James S. and Elizan N. Watts

Headstone of James and Eliza Ann Watts, Rambo Cemetery, Searcy County, Arkansas, April 2010.

Variations

I’ve encountered several variations of Eliza’s name.  The 1880 census recorded her as “Graham, Eliza”; the 1900 census as “Watts, Eliza A”; her land patent as “Eliza A. Watts”; the 1910 census as “Watts, Lizan”; the 1920 census as “Watts, Eliza A”; the 1930 census as “Watts, Lizza A”; and the 1940 census as “Watts, Lisa Ann.” Her brother John Henry’s obituary called her “Elisan Watts.” Her grave marker rendered her name “Elizan N.” Eliza’s grand daughter, Corene Daniel, whom I met at the Graham Reunion in Arkansas in 2011, explicitly stated, “Grandma’s name is Eliza Ann. They called her Lizan.” So, there.

However, on Eliza’s marriage record her name was recorded by the county clerk as “Louisa A. Graham”, likely mishearing her name spoken to him. As a result of this, I have seen her in many, many other family trees as “Louisa ‘Eliza’ Ann Graham” or “Eliza ‘Louisa’ Ann Graham,” so be forewarned. To be clear, Louisa is not nor was it ever part of her name, nor was she ever called Louisa, except perhaps by a hard-of-hearing county clerk.

Variations for James include:  “Wotts, James S.” with what looks like a small N inserted above the end of James, on the 1870 census; “James S. Watts” on his own marriage documents;  “J.N.S. Watts” on the marriage documents of John Henry Graham;  “Siler Watts” on his land patent;  “Watts, James S.” on his grave marker.  Many family trees also tend to put Siler in quotation marks, possibly to indicate that he preferred to be called by that name.

Sources

A complete list of sources appears on Page 2.


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