Biography of William Watts (1783-1851 )
The History of Elsberry, Missouri, 1673-1955 by Clarence Cannon, A.M., LL.B., LL.D.,  M.C.  (published in 1955 without copyright notice).

[Transcriber's Notes:]

William WATTS, born April 26, 1783; died March 2, 1851. He was born before the family moved from Albemarle County, Virginia.  He died near New Hope, now Elsberry, Missouri.  He married Nancy WOMMACK daughter of Richard WOMMACK and Catherine STREETMAN.   Nancy was born July 10, 1784; died November 4, 1851, at New Hope, Missouri.  The family was in Lincoln County, Missouri in the 1850 census.   History of Elsberry page has biography.  Copy provided to me by Sara MCBETH.


Capt. William WATTS had been born at the family homestead in Virginia but later settled at Hartsville, Tennessee where he engaged in the slave trade and was owner and captain of a Mississippi steamboat.  Hence his title of "Captain".  He eventually sold his business and, with his household effects and his domestic servants, followed the Bluff Road north in the spring of 1828 prospecting for a favorable location to establish a home where he could spend his declining years. Late one afternoon he camped on a hill on what is now a part of the Government Nursery, near the intersection of the Bluff Road with what is now Hwy 79.  Rising the next morning he looked around and located a spring and decided this was the promised land, and bought the tract from the heirs of Alexis PALMER.

This family, the William WATTS family, inherited the Nelson WATTS farm on which the city of Elsberry is built.  Through the executor, Mordecia Richard WATTS, the family sold the farm to R.T. ELSBERRY, later to become the founder of the city.

File submitted to HERITAGE PAGES of LINCOLN COUNTY, MISSOURI by Tina Wells, 24 May 2001.  Link change or update: 25 Aug 2001

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