Anderson County Biographies
"Portrait and Biographical Record of Southeastern Kansas"
Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, 1894
PETER H. WATKINS. Of all the numerous
vocations by which men gain a livelihood,
none is more honest and independent than
that of tilling the soil. Prominent among
the farmers who successfully manage their affairs
in Washington Township, Anderson County, is
the gentleman above named, who is located on a
well cultivated tract on section 4, where he has resided since 1870. The grandfather of our subject,
whose given name was Ebenezer, was a native of
Wales, and came to this country when four years
old. He was a gallant soldier in the War of the
Revolution, and passed away in Virginia. The
paternal grandmother bore the maiden name of
Christina Marks, and was born in Loudoun County, Va. After the death of her husband, which
occurred in Floyd County, she went to Washington
County, Ind., where she spent the remainder of
her life, and died some time in the early '40s.
The father of our subject, Isaiah Watkins, was
born in Montgomery County, Va., on the 17th of
April, 1811, and was there reared to manhood.
He is a man of strict moral principles and good
character, and is liked by all who know him. In the
year 1835, he married a Miss Margaret Bierley,
who was a native of Washington County Ind.,
where she was born in March, 1818. After their
union, Mr. and Mrs. Watkins remained in Washington County for about four years, and then removed to Bartholomew County where the latter
died February 12, 1858. Mr. Watkins continued
to live there till 1882, when he came to Anderson County to live with his children. He is the
father of nine children, namely: Peter H., John B.,
George W., Jacob T., Lemuel F., Isaiah M., Luther,
Lafayette and Melissa.
Peter H. Watkins is a native of the state of
Indiana, having been born in Washington County, on the 3d of October, 1837. He was about
three years old when his parents moved to Bartholomew County, Ind., where he grew to mature
years, during which time he was constantly in that
county with the exception of about two and one-half years, which he spent in Pike County, Ill. In
the summer of 1870 he came to Anderson County,
purchased land in this township, and has ever since
made this his abiding place.
For a life-companion, our subject chose Mrs.
Rachael Vanscoyoc, who was born in Grant County, Ind., December 28, 1840. The marriage was
performed in Washington Township, October 3,
1872, at the home of the bride. Mrs. Watkins'
parents, Evan and Margaret (Scott) Benbow, were
natives of North Carolina and early settlers of
Grant County, where they died some years ago.
Of the nine children born to them, five sons and
four daughters, Mrs. Watkins was the fourth in
order of birth. She was formerly married to
Isaac Vanscoyoc, to whom she bore six children:
Clara, John, Jane, Altice, Denny and Thomas.
Mr. Vanscoyoc passed away May 18, 1870.
The union of our subject and his wife has been
blessed by the birth of two children, William
Clarence and Frank. Mr. Watkins finds time in
the midst of his extensive personal affairs to bear
an active part in the local and political transactions and in all movements which tend to the
general welfare of the community. He has been
Township Trustee and Treasurer, and has also filled
the responsible office of Town Clerk, discharging
his duties in every capacity in a trustworthy manner and to the satisfaction of the people. He is
identified with the German Baptist (or Dunkard)
Church, in which he is an active worker. Mr. Watkins has always been an industrious man and a
good manager, and has made for himself and
family a comfortable maintenance. He is now
the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of
fertile land, on which have been erected a number
of convenient and valuable buildings. Personally
he is a genial and companionable man, strictly
honorable in all his dealings, and therefore is
highly regarded by all with whom he has to do.
Anderson Co. KHHP
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