Biography of James Waterston
Northwestern Ohio Biographies

One of the leading and representative farmers of Bridgewater township, Williams county, is James Waterston, who is a native of Ohio, born in Belmont county, March 6, 1837.

Alexander Waterston, father of our subject, was born in Dalkeith, Scotland, March 6, 1805, and was the elder of the two children of Simon and Janet (Thornburg) Waterston. Alexander was quite young when his father died, and he was then reared by his grandfather, with whom he learned the tanner's trade. Subsequently he learned both the butcher's and baker's trades, and for two years previous to coming to the United States he followed the latter occupation. In his native land he was married, in 1829, to Miss Janet Forrest, who was born in Penicuick, Scotland.

On crossing the Atlantic in 1831, Alexander Waterston first located near Wheeling, West Virginia, whence he, in 1834, removed to Belmont county, Ohio, where he engaged in farming on rented land for a number of years, later going to Richland county, where he purchased a tract of wild land and improved a farm. In September, 1853, he came to Williams county, locating in Bridgewater township. Here he purchased four hundred acres of land, only two of which had been cleared, and near the cabin already standing thereon he built another, covering the space between, which he converted into a wide hall, thus making a double house. To the original purchase he added another tract of raw land, making in all over five hundred acres, and with a will he set to work to clear and improve the place, assisted by his sons. He always took the lead in everything, hard work never daunted him, and he became one of the most substantial farmers and prominent citizens of the township. A man of strict integrity and sterling worth, his word was ever considered as good as his bond, and it is safe to say that no man in Williams county stood higher in the esteem of his fellow citizens. As a true and loyal citizen of his adopted country, he took a deep interest in public affairs; was first a Whig and later a Republican in politics; was called upon to fill various local offices of honor and trust, and was serving as township treasurer at the time of his death, which occurred on the old homestead March 11, 1875, when he was seventy years of age. His wife survived him many years, dying on the old homestead, August 27, 1891, aged ninety one years. Thus ended two noble lives. They were reared in the Presbyterian Church, and always adhered to that faith. Of their eleven children, five are yet living. In order of birth they were as follows: Simon, a prominent citizen of Williams county, who was a member of the Thirty eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil war; Alexander, Janet and Thomas (all three deceased); James, the subject of this sketch; David and Benjamin (both deceased); William, who resides on the old homestead; Wallace (deceased); Mrs. Mary Haines; and Mrs. Elizabeth Culbertson.

James Waterston obtained his education in the public schools of this State. At the age of sixteen he came with the family to Williams county, and remained with his parents until he was twenty seven, assisting in the arduous task of clearing and improving the home farm. In 1864, after his marriage, he located upon a tract of land given him by his father, and after clearing away the heavy timber, he placed the land under cultivation, making a good farm which he sold in 1867. His present farm in Bridgewater township, comprising two hundred acres, consists of three different tracts, which at the time of purchase was an unbroken forest. Most of the land is now highly cultivated, an orchard has been set out, a commodious two story brick residence has been built, together with good outbuildings, and the place is now one of the most desirable farms in the county. Besides being a thorough and skillful farmer, Mr. Waterston is a successful stock raiser, and has upon his place a fine grade of horses, cattle, sheep and hogs.

In 1864 Mr. Waterston was married to Miss Emil Branderberry, who was born in Ashland county, Ohio, August 19, 1845, a daughter of Conrad and Jane (Malcom) Branderberry, also natives of Ohio. In 1854 her parents removed to Bridgewater township, Williams county, where her father engaged in farming for some years, but he is now living retired in Montpelier. Both he and his wife are faithful members of the United Brethren Church. Their children are Emily, Jason, Robert, Sarah, Abigail and James. To Mr. and Mrs. Waterston have been born five children, namely: Emma, who died at the age of thirteen years; Mary, wife of Dr. Virts: Gertrude, wife of W. Close; and Theodore and James R., both at home. In the United Brethren Church our subject and his wife hold membership. and in politics he is identifled with the Republican party. He always takes a deep and commendable interest in public affairs and gives his support to all enterprises calculated to advance the general welfare.

Commemorative Biographical Record of Northwestern, Ohio
Including the counties of
Defiance, Henry, Williams and Fulton
Published by: J. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois

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