Early History of Mr. Watkins.
Early History of Mr. Watkins
John W. Watkins, Sr., son of Evan and Ann Watkins, one of the oldest settlers of Mower county, was born in Radnorshire, Wales, march 29, 1805. On the 26th anniversary of his birthday, he was married to Miss Mary Twiner, it being the 21st anniversary of her birthday. In deference to the wishes of his father, they remained in Wales until after his death, and set sail from Liverpool with their seven children, July 18, 1845, for New York City, where they arrived after the usual voyage of five weeks. They went as far west as Burlington, in the territory of Wisconsin. Here they endured all the vicisitudes incidental to frontier life. Two children were born there, one of whom died in early infancy.
In 1856, Mr. Watkins and family emigrated to Mower county, Minnesota, settling upon the homestead in Austin township, June 21. In June 1862, Mr. Watkins made a public profession of religion and was baptized by Rev. H. I. Parker, in to the fellowship of the Baptist church in Austin, of which church he remained a member to the time of his death. Mrs. Watkins died May 1, 1865. Since that time Mr. Watkins has made his home with his children, principally with his son David upon the old place.
He died peacefully Sunday noon, Dec. 18, leaving behind to his children and friends, the priceless legacy of a good name and noble christian example. His funeral services were held at the Cedar City school house, Wednesday, Dec. 21, Rev. W. E. Stanley, of Austin, preaching the sermon and Rev. A. Trowbridge giving a memorial address.
Father Watkins, as everybody loved to call him, left eight living children, Mrs. Mary C. Stock, Mrs. Ann Sosley, John Watkins, David Watkins, Evan Watkins, Abram Watkins, Whitteker Watkins and Mrs. Emeline Wadsworth; also 25 grand children and 3 great grand children. Nearly all of them were present at the funeral.
"The memory of the just is blessed"