Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Watson, Clarence Mitchum

Clarence Mitchum Watson

PARENTS: James Riley Watson and Zillah Mae Schooler

BIRTH: Abt. 18 Mar 1891, Mount Ephraim, Noble Co., OH
DEATH: 9 Mar 1953, New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas Co., OH
BURIAL: 12 Mar 1953, New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas Co., OH, Evergreen Cemetery

Problem:  Was the date of birth: 18 Mar 1891 or 18 Feb 1892?

OCCUPATION: RR Fireman; Taxi Driver; Lockport Hatchery; farmer

RELATIONSHIP: Clarence Mitchum Watson and Cleo Ethel Watson were 3rd cousins. Their common ancestor was Jacob Yoho.

DIVORCE: The marriage of Clarence Mitchum Watson and Audrey Mae Burgess ended in divorce.

CEMETERY: Evergreen Burial Park, New Philadelphia, OH

NEW PHILADELPHIA, [OH] -- Clarence M. Watson, 61, founder and general manager of the Lockport Hatchery here,  died at 5 P.M. Monday at the Torgler Nursing Home after six months illness.

He leaves his widow, four sons, James, Robert, Walter, and Richard, of this place; two daughters, Mrs. Paul Watkins, New Philadelphia and Mrs. Phillip Mardis, Newcomerstown; his mother, Mrs. I.V. Wilson, Byesville; two sisters, Mrs. Don Snider, Uhrichsville and Mrs. Vivan Hutton, Atlanta, Ga.; one half-sister, Mrs. Emma Donahue, Akron. Mr. Watson was twice married.

The body has been removed to the Evans Funeral Home where services will be conducted Thursday at 2 P.M. by Elder John D. Carlile. Burial will be made in Evergreen Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home Tuesday evening after 7 o'clock and on Wednesday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 P.M.
(Source: Tuesday, 10 March 1953, Cambridge Jeffersonian, Cambridge, OH - furnished by Terry Willis)

RECOLLECTIONS: Watson Bros. Construction, Inc.
In the early sixty's three brothers had that same burning desire to be in business for themselves just as their father, Clarence Watson, experienced in the late thirty's.  Robert, Walk and Dick Watson were hanging aluminum siding for a firm in Canton when Dick, who had carpentry experience, decided to build an Albee Home.  Albee was a company which sold pre-cut homes.  Upon completion it was agreed that they would be involved in the construction of the Albee homes sold in the immediate area.  During 1961 they completed two more Albees. In between homes they were involved in home construction related work.

In 1962 they began building homes at various locations on their own.  During this time they were also building a reputation for quality work.  In 1962 they purchased 7.43 acres of land from Herman Prysi located on the south side of New Philadelphia, OH. The amount of $52,600 was borrowed to cover the cost of land (Approx. $12,500) and development of streets, sewer and water lines.  The land transfer was recorded 29 Dec 1962, Volume 419, page 653, at the Tuscarawas County Courthouse.

It was at this time that the company, "Watson Bros. Construction, Inc. was formed.  Dick became president of the company, while Walt assumed the role of vice-president and Robert secretary.

During the course of construction of these homes, in collaboration with the Ohio Power Co., it soon developed into an all electric development.  The homes were known as Gold Medallion homes.

As development of the site was moving to completion (23 homes) efforts were being made to obtain more land.  As luck would have it they were able to obtain an additional 86 1/2 acres located approximately a city block south of their original purchase.  The land was obtained from Lockie Prysi and her three daughters at a cost of $100,000.  The land transfer is recorded on page 879 of Vol. 439 located in the Tuscarawas county courthouse.

Again, in conjunction with the Ohio Power Co., homes were to be all electric homes with all utilities to be installed underground.  It is believed that this was the first complete underground service development in the state of Ohio. It gained recognition through an electric ad in a national publication.  The allotment would contain 360+ homes with a recreation area in the center consisting of tennis courts, a swimming pool and green space for outdoor activities.

The home construction business was proceeding along smoothly with the first parcel of 20.2 acres being annexed to the city on 14 Apr 1975.  But as luck would have it interest rates began a slow climb and over a period of years continued to rise until it became prohibitive for the ordinary person to borrow money to purchase a new home.  Because of extremely high interest rates (nobody was purchasing new homes) the brothers in the early 1980's were forced to give up the project before its completion.

In only a few short years interest rates returned to a more normal level and homes again began to spring up and eventually (although not all electric) all lots were filled and the dream completed.  Watson Bros. were the forerunners of the many housing developments that have sprung up throughout the city and especially on the south side of New Philadelphia.
(Source: "Watson's Choice," Vol. 10, Issue 1, May 2004, p. 1-3)
12 November 2014

No comments: