The Valley of Heart's Delight
WILLIAM O. WATSON
Cook & Watson Insurance and Real Estate, San Jose, 1888
This gentleman, a member of the real-estate and insurance firm of Cook & Watson, of San Jose, and also a member of the County Board of Supervisors, was born near Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1834. He attended school and worked on his father's farm until about twenty years of age. He then spent two years in New York, making, during that time, a business trip to Charleston, South Carolina, for his brother, in the general commission business. After this he spent a year in business in New Boston, Massachusetts, then returned home and remained about a year. He started for California in May, 1859, and at Comanche, on the Mississippi River, with a companion fitted out a party and came across the plains, leaving the Mississippi River on the first day of May, 1859, and reaching Marysville, California, in the following October. He took a contract to build part of the Marysville & Knight's Landing Railroad, about five miles below Yuba City, at the completion of which contract he went to Oroville and engaged is selling fruit for G. G. Briggs. He spent several years at various employments, railroad building, stock speculation, etc. He removed to Santa Clara Valley in 1864, where he has ever since been engaged in farming and fruit-growing, with marked success. He is one of the most successful fruit-growers in California, and is considered an authority in all matters pertaining to horticulture. Some of the most profitable orchards and small-fruit farms in the county were made by him.
In 1880 Mr. Watson was elected a member of the Board of Supervisors, but esigned before taking office, his taste being more for private than public life. In 1882 he was re-elected and consented to serve his term. He brought to his public duties so much energy, intelligence, and business ability that his constituents demanded his re-election in 1884, and again in 1886. His present term will expire in 1890. He has served his constituents with zeal and fidelity, seeing that the people receivdistrict will convince the most casual observer of the intelligence with which its affairs are managed.
In 1869 he was married to Miss M. L. Hicks, a native of Georgia, who came to California with her mother and family in 1852, to join her father, a pioneer of 1849. They have one child living, Grace, a graduate of the Santa Clara High School.
Mr. Watson is a member of Lodge No. 52, I. O. O. F., of Santa Clara, and Protection Lodge, No. 16, A. O. U. W. He has always supported the Republican party, and believes in the fullest protection for American industries. Mr. Watson has always been an active man in each community with which he has cast his fortunes, and his success has been commensurate.
SOURCE: Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H.S.
Foote.- Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888. page 531 Transcribed by Roena Wilson
SANTA CLARA COUNTY PIONEER BIOGRAPHIES
SANTA CLARA COUNTY HISTORY The Valley of Heart's Delight