Watkins - Francis M. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Watkins - Francis M.

Source: H. W. Beckwith, 1881 History of Montgomery County, Indiana (Chicago: Beers)

Francis M. Watkins, farmer and stock raiser, New Market, is a son of Daniel and Nancy (Kelsey) Watkins, who came and settled in the north part of Scott township in 1827, and was among the first of the early pioneers there. He bought a half-section of land, cleared a large part of it, and reared a family of ten children. He was one of the early Methodist preachers in this part of Montgomery County, and did much in the way of establishing and permanently building up the society in this part of the County, and having a good home it was always the home of the preachers. He died in March 1873, after a life of useful- ness and honest toil, loved and respected by all. Mrs. Watkins died in March 1878. Our subject, Francis M., the seventh of the family, was born January 29, 1837, in Scott township, and like his father was reared a farmer, and was educated in the common schools. Being in Illinois at the outbreak of the rebellion, he enlisted at Chicago in Co. G, 37th III. Vol. Int. He participated in the battle of Pea Ridge, where he was wounded in the shoulder, but not so severely but that he kept his place in the ranks till the battle was won, and had the ball extracted at night. In this memorable battle over half their regiment was lost in killed and wounded, after which they were for some time engaged in a destructive warfare with guerrillas and bush whackers. He was in the great battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, at the siege of Vicksburg, and at the capture of Yazoo City. From there he went with his regi-ment to the Rio Grande, where he remained till discharged and sent to Chicago, where he was mustered out of service after three years and three months' active soldiering for his country's flag. He at once returned to Montgomery County, Indiana, and engaged in farming on the old home farm. September 24, 1867, he married Miss Mary A. Lash- ley, who died August 20,1878. August 7, 1879, he married for his second wife Mrs. Nancy Davis, who was born in Brown township August 8, 1835, and is a daughter of Mr. Thomas Glenn. By his first wife Mr. Watkins has two children: Hattie E. and Nettie C. Mrs. Watkins has by her former husband one child, James T. Mr. Watkins is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, while Mrs. Watkins is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. -- transcribed by kbz

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