Oregon Pioneer Biographies



Vincent Watson was b. 22 Dec. 1799, Lincoln County, Kentucky. On 22 Dec. 1820, in Butler County, Ohio, he married Mary Broderick, b. 24 Feb. 1801, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of William Broderick and Mary Darby. Vincent is said to have been one of twenty-one children born to William 'Isaac' Watson and Elizabeth Jones.

Vincent and Mary Watson had ten children:


In 1847, Vincent and Mary Watson answered the siren call of the west and migrated to Oregon, where they settled first in the Waldo Hills south of Salem. Vincent and two sons made a trip into the gold fields of California, but did not stay long. In Aug. 1850, he settled Donation Land claim #4348 in the Orleans area, of Linn County, near Tangent. That year in December, their son Henry Watson settled his Land Claim #2385 northwest of his father's. On 20 July 1852, their son Perry Watson, settled his Land Claim #3350 just south of his fathers. Vincent's youngest surviving son Vincent M. Watson, acquired just over 100 acres of land west of his fathers, and when he died unmarried at the age of 36 years, left this land to his sister Minerva Jane 'Watson' Smith. This is where William James and Minerva Jane Smith, settled after their return to the valley in 1895.

Perry Watson, Vincent's oldest son contracted to build the Linn County Court House in 1862, for $35,000.00. His bid was so low, that he had lost everything by the time it was completed in 1865. Perry and his wife, Mary Jane Needham, whose father Jonathan Needham, DLC#4553, was a neighbor of the Watson's. Moved to Polk County, and then Marion County, where they prospered. In 1884, they moved to Joseph, Wallowa County, OR. They settled on a homestead and near most of their children, raised remount horses for the cavalry until his death in 1905. He is buried alongside of his wife in the Prairie Creek Cemetery, Joseph, OR.

Henry Watson, Vincent's second son, farmed on the original homestead until his death in 1900. Henry served with his neighbor and later brother-in-law William James Smith, in Company 'H' First Regiment Oregon Mounted Volunteers at the Battle of Walla Walla, during the Yakima Indian war of 1855-56. Henry is buried next to his wife of 28 years, Lovina Whitcomb, in the Orleans Cemetery, Linn County, OR.

Permelia Watson, Vincent's oldest surviving daughter, married William Circle, in Iowa before the move to Oregon. They had seven children. Both are buried in the IOOF Cemetery, The Dallas, Wasco County, OR.

Mary Elizabeth Watson, the next to youngest child, married Aaron Wilson, in Linn County, OR. They had five children. Mary is buried in the Dixie Cemetery, Dixie, WA.

Minerva Jane Watson, the youngest child, married William James Smith, in Linn County, OR. They had eleven children. Both are buried in the Riverside Cemetery, in Albany, OR. (See Michael Smith biography.)

Vincent and Mary 'Broderick' Watson, are buried in the Orleans Cemetery, Linn County, OR near their original homestead.


Submitted by Richard Smith, May 30, 1998.

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