Search billions of records on


 Biographies Index  



California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



The lineage of the Watson family is traced to the nobility of England and afterward the family was established in the United States. The historical annals of Great Britain indicate that for more than thirty-five years Sir Thomas Watson, M. D., held the honored place as physician extraordinary to Queen Victoria. Dr. Watson of Sacramento is the son of William Watson, who was a brother of Sir Thomas Watson and was a man of classical education, and the highest culture, a graduate of the noted university at Cambridge, and for years connected with a Philadelphia college as instructor in higher mathematics and classics. While identified with the educational interests of that eastern city he was united in marriage with Miss Priscilla Price, who traced her ancestry to Scotland but claimed Philadelphia as her home city. Later they established a residence in Indiana for a brief period and were associated with the pioneer educational development and social development of that then frontier state; while there the birth of their son, William S., occurred in September of 1853. Inheriting from his parents a degree of intellectuality, as well as a keen ambition to acquire knowledge, his progress through the lower schools of learning was swift and while yet a mere lad he matriculated in Bellevue Hospital Medical College of New York City. At the expiration of the regular course of lectures he was graduated with the class of 1870, with the degree of M. D. Two years later he embarked in practice in Central Illinois, but his talents demanded a different field of professional labor and in pursuance of his ambitious plans to specialize in medical work he went to the Hudson river district of New York. For a long period he resided at Fishkill on Hudson and Matteawan, Dutchess county, and New York City, the changes of headquarters being made by reason of professional demands or business activities.

The achievements of Dr. Watson in the realm of medicine during his long residence in the east reflects a permanent lustre upon his professional reputation. For fourteen years he conducted as sole proprietor the River View Sanitarium near the banks of the Hudson in Dutchess county. The institution was founded and maintained for the treatment of nervous and mental troubles. Later on he associated himself with William T. Jenkins, M. D., a former health officer of New York City, in the founding of a charitable hospital for the care and treatment of those unfortunates who were ill and penniless. Such work, although not financially remunerative, had its rich reward in the consciousness of promoting a needed and beneficent philanthropy. It was during the period of his residence in Central Illinois that Dr. Watson was married and there his only son, William Martin Watson, was born. He is now engaged as a bank and corporation attorney and is one of the leading professional men of New York City, where likewise he is prominent in society and in civic affairs.

Coming to Sacramento in 1908, Dr. Watson opened an office at No. 501 K street, but later removed to the new Nicolaus building, where now he occupies a modern suite, provided with all up-to-date appliances. In the midst of a successful professional career he found leisure in the east to identify himself with progressive civic movements. Not only did he serve with the greatest efficiency as mayor of Matteawau, but twelve years later he was elected to the same position at Fish- kill on Hudson and was the incumbent of the mayor's chair at the time of selling his sanitarium, which was in 1900. He is a member of Beacon Lodge No. 283, F. & A. M., and Highland Cliapter No. 88 R. A. M. at Newburgh on Hudson. Professional associations enlist his co-operation and wise assistance. Besides being connected with the Sacramento County Medical Association and the California State Medical Association, likewise the French Society of Electro-Therapy, he is a charter member of the American Electro Therapeutic Association. For twenty years he served as examiner of lunacy for the state of New York and for four years he has acted in the same capacity for the State of California. During his many years of medical research work, he has written many articles for the medical and lay press, upon current topics, recently on the cause for the increase of the insane, treatment of the insane and educational matters, etc. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011