William J. Watkins of Hinkletown

William J. Watkins was one of the charter members and organizers of the Union Horse Company in 1869, founded to protect the settlers of the area around Hinkletown in southeast Iowa County, northwest Lime Creek Township in Washington County and the northern half of Liberty Township in Keokuk County, Iowa. William Watkins was also one of the very early settlers of Hinkletown, and manufactured bricks at that place.

From  1880 Keokuk County History, Pages 594-595:Liberty Township

The township was organized in March, 1854, at the soliciation of William J. Watkins, and named by him in honor of the township from which he came in Henry county, Indiana. The settlers at that time were Thomas and James Butler, Isaac Truax, William Harding, R.McDowell, John J.Whitmore, James  Lockridge, and others who have since died or changed their location to some other part of the country.

The first election was held on the first Monday in April, 1854, at which time the following officers were elected: Clerk, Wm. Harding; Justice of the Peace,  George Disor; Trustee, Thomas Watkins; Assessor, W.J. Watkins, who took pay for his services a warrant, and traded the whole of it for a $2.50 pair of boots. This assessment was made in that same year, 1854, and the first in the township. David Brown, Jeremiah Suitor and Henry Lockridge acted as judges of the election, and Wm. J. Watkins as clerk. This township has eight school districts, and the first school-house was in district No. 3. The first death in the township was a child of William Carmichael. The first marriage was that of Louis May to Catharine Watkins, by George Disor, J.P.; the next was that of James Lockridge to  Lucy Whitmore.   [Note:  Catherine is the niece of William J. Watkins.]

Also from 1880 Keokuk Co History:

Watkins, William J. farmer, Sec. 4; P. O. Foote; born in Montgomery County, Virginia, July 22, 1822, and went to Indiana with his parents when quite young, and settled in Henry county, where he lived until he moved to Wabash county, and from there to this county and settled in this township in the fall of 1852, and since that time he has been identified with its interests; previous to his settling on his present homestead he followed brick making for about fourteen years; his farm consists of 168 acres, well improved; he was married in Randolph county Indiana, in 1845 to Miss Sarah J. Hudson, of Ross county, Ohio; they have, by this union eight children living: John N., David A., Newton F., Winfred L., Charles R., Robert D., George P., Sanford A., and four deceased; he enlisted in the Mexican war in company C, First Indian Regiment, March 18, 1846, and served two years and two months, under commander of General Taylor, and participated in nearly all the engagements of the war.

Note: Courthouse records give his date of death as August 19, 1898.  His tombstone says August 21.

Genealogical Records of William J. Watkins

Children of William J. Watkins and Sarah Jane Hudson:

1.1 Elizabeth Watkins - Birth: 1845/1846, IN

1.2 James F. WWatkins - Birth: 1846/1847, IN

1.3 John N. Watkins - Birth: May 1849, IN Occ: Farmer; In 1880 was in Valley Twp, Pottawattamie Co, IA; In 1900 was in Liberty, Twp, Keokuk Co IA

Spouse: Clara Smith (?) -Birth: Jan 1851, WV

Children: Etta (Bebe) (1874-),Lottie (1874-),Myrtle (1879-),Minnie (1881-),Charles (1888-),Bessie (1900-)

1.4 David Watkins - Birth: 1848, IN;Death: 1936

Spouse: Lucy J - Birth: 1847, IL; Death: 1936

Children: Rachel A. (1873-), Sarah B. (1874-)

1.5 Newton F. Watkins - Birth: Feb 1852, IN; In 1900 was in Wapsinonoc Tsp, Muscatine Co IA, 701 E. 6th Street, West Liberty City

Spouse: Rachael - Birth: Feb 1852, IN

1.6 Mary Watkins - Birth: 1853/1854, IA

1.7 Winfield Watkins - Birth: 1855/1856, IA

1.8 Charles Watkins - Birth: 1857/1858, IA - Occ: Brickmaker

1.9 Robert Douglas Watkins - Birth: 14 Dec 1860, Iowa - Death: 1 Nov 1891, Creighton, NE? Occ: Farmer

Spouse: Lilles M. Wetherel - Birth: 28 Oct 1863, North English, IA - Death: 21 Jul 1949

Father: Chancey Wetherel (1839-1922)

Mother: Mary Elizabeth Calvin (1845-1911)

Marr: 20 Feb 1883, Harper, Keokuk Co, IA

Children: Charles S. (1885-1885), William Earl (1886-1930)

1.10 George P. Watkins - Birth: 1863/1864, IA

1.11 Sanford A. Watkins - Birth: 1867/1868, IA

Courtesy of Ann Watkins

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