Biography of James P. Watson
Indiana County, PA Biographies


JAMES P. WATSON, a leading director of the Saltsburg Glass company, is one of the foremost business men and most enterprising citizens of Indiana county. He is a son of Thomas and Rebecca P. (Wilson) Watson, and was born in Young township, Indiana county, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1857. His paternal grandfather, Matthew Watson, was born in county Tyrone, Ireland, in 1763, and settled, in 1793, in the northern part of Westmoreland county. in 1800 he removed to Conemaugh township, this county, where he lived to be nearly ninety three years of age. He was a man of unsullied character, and "Watson's Ridge" was named in honor of him. His first wife died soon after his arrival in this country, and he afterwards married Margaret NeClelland, of Scotch Irish descent, and a daughter of James MeClelland, who came, in 1783, from Scotland to Conemaugh township. Mr. and Mrs. Watson were the parents of twelve children: John, Thomas, Matthew, Jr., Mary, William, Alexander, Robert, James, Jane, Isabella, Ann and Margaret. (For a fuller sketch of Matthew Watson, see sketch of M. C. Watson, of Indiana.) The second son, Thomas Watson (father), was born in 1800, on the site of Harrison City, Westmoreland county. He was a carpenter and boat builder by trade, worked on the old Pennsylvania canal for many years, and owned a fine farm of three hundred and twenty five acres of land in Young township. In 1872 he came to Saltsburg, where he died in June, 1887, when in the eighty eighth year of his age. He was a republican and a strict presbyterian, and married Rebecca P. Wilson, of Allegheny county, who was born in 1815, and is a member of the United Presbyterian church of Saltsburg, where she now resides with the subject of this sketch. Mr. and Mrs. Watson were the parents of five Sons and three daughters.

James P. Watson was reared in Young township, and received his education in the common schools and Elder's Ridge academy. Leaving school, he followed farming until 1888, when he came to Saltsburg, where, in November, 1889, he became a member of the present Saltsburg Glass company. This company purchased the plant of the old Saltsburg Glass company, and with the characteristic energy for which they are noted, immediately remodeled, enlarged and improved the works. They now manufacture fine prescription ware and bottles of all kinds. They give constant employment to seventy five men and boys, and have added largely to the business prosperity of Saltsburg. When the project of starting the old glass-works was discussed, Mr. Watson was the first to enter heartily into the matter, and was largely instrumental in forming the present company and pushing forward the enterprise until it was an assured success.

In politics Mr. Watson is a republican. In religious faith he is a United Presbyterian and a member of that church at Saltsburg. He owns a farm of one hundred and sixty acres of land in Young township, besides his business investments in Saltsburg. In financial as well as business matters he has been prominent for some years, and is now serving as a director of the First National Bank of Saltsburg. James P. Watson has contributed as largely as any other citizen of his native borough to its present prosperity. He is a respected citizen, a popular business man, who has been faithful to every trust reposed in him, and ranks high wherever he is known as a man of well-known integrity.


From:
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Philadelphia, 1891

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