Watson, William (1837–1897)

By: Claudia Hazlewood

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: August 1, 1995

William Watson, pioneer horticulturist, was born in Ireland in 1837. After his father's death in 1849, Watson went to sea, visiting Asia, Europe, and America. He settled in New York in 1853, lived for a time in Louisville, Kentucky, and worked on a boat operating between Louisville and New Orleans. In 1859 he arrived in Galveston and from there went to Washington County. During the Civil War he served in the Confederate Army but was given a physical disability discharge before the end of the war. In 1875 his efforts in the field of horticulture, centering about his work with peaches and grapes in his Rosedale Nursery 1½ miles east of Brenham, won him the vice presidency of the Texas Horticulturist Society and a place as trustee of the Pomological Association. His publications included an early article on grape culture published in the Texas Almanac of 1869. Watson married Sarah Warren, who died in 1867. His second wife's name was Carrie. He died in Brenham in 1897 and was buried in the local cemetery.

S. W. Geiser, Horticulture and Horticulturists in Early Texas (Dallas: University Press, 1945). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Texas Farm and Ranch, June 15, 1891, August 11, 1894. Judy and Nath Winfield, Jr., Cemetery Records of Washington County, 1826–1960 (MS, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, 1974).


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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Claudia Hazlewood, “Watson, William,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 03, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/watson-william.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995