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Murray B. Watson, native of Shelburne, NH, died in Auburn, Maine, Civil War vet.

Murray B. Watson

Civil War Veteran
Prominent in Masonic Circles
Dies in Auburn, Maine

Murray B. Watson image
Murray D. Watson died at 81 Highland Avenue, Auburn on Sunday afternoon, 30 March 1930, after a shot illness. He was age 86 years, 8 months and 6 days old. Murray Watson had been a resident of Auburn for more than 60 years Mr. Watson was born in Shelburne, NH on 24 July 1843, the son of William W. & Mary B. (Lary) Watson. His father, Doctor William W. Watson was a native of Waterford, Maine and his mother Mary B. Lary was a native of Shelburne, NH. When he was seven this family moved to Newport, Maine where he spent his boyhood and received his education. Murray taught a few months after he had completed him own schooling. He was a young man when he first came to Auburn, and worked on the old Eaton farm, as it was called then, near Taylor pond. A little later he was employed in the Libby bakery for many years situated of the corner of Court and Turner street in a small wooden building which was in the National Shoe and Leather bank building.

In 1864, he left worked at the bakery and enlisted in the Civil War. Murray joined the 29th. Regiment commanded by Capt Pray. His regiment was sent to the Shenandoah Valley, but he saw no active service.

On his birthday, shortly after his discharge from the army, Murray married Helen M. Blanchard of Burnham, Maine. They resided for a short time in Auburn, Maine then moved to Portland, Maine. There Mr. Watson had charge of a retail store owned by Ara Cushman, one of the leading Auburn shoe manufacturers.

Mr. Watson came back to Auburn In 1868 to be the private secretary to Mr. Cushman. He serviced that post for about 40 years as head bookkeeper at the factory. At one time was also leather buyer. Murray retained his connection with this firm until its reorganization. Next Murray became a partner in the J. P. Hutchinson Insurance Company and was actively engaged in business until about two years ago when he retired.

His first wife died in 1871. The following year he married Miss Margaret A. Foley in Portland. There home has always been in Auburn.

Mr. Watson was a member of the Elm street.Universalistchurch of Auburn, with which he became affiliated at the time the First Universalist Society was organized. He was always interested in all church festivities attended church services regularly and for 17 consecutive years was treasurer and clerk of the church and treasurer of church.

He was prominent in Masonic circles being a 32nd degree Mason. Murray held the office of treasurer of Tranquil Lodge of 25 years. He also was a past Master of his home lodge. He has held office in the Royal Arch chapter and was past illustrious master of the Council. Was past commander of the Knights Templar. For many years he was member of the Masonic library Trustees He was a member of Burnside Post G. A. R. serving the post as adjutant of Abou Ben Adhem lodge of Odd 1 Fellows and Liberty Lodge of Rebekahs. He was a member of the Auburn Light Infantry, and played a clarinet in Johnson's band, which is well remembered by many of the older residents. Besides his wife, Mr. Watson leaves two sons and a daughter, William E. Watson of Brattleboro, Vt., Murray H. Watson of Auburn. and Miss Helen E. Watson of Auburn. One son. Dr. Fred Watson died about ten years ago and another son, Edward died in 1899, while a student in high school. He. also leaves eight grandchildren: John Lawrence and Phillip Watson of Auburn, Murray H. Watson Jr. of Lisbon, NH, Robert Watson of Lynn and Edward Watson of Chicago, IL, Margaret and Arleen Watson of Rumford. There are five great grandchildren.

Mr. Watson has always been a true and good friend of all. He was an interested citizen, alert to all progress and eager to help. His manner was gentle and kindly. He was a valuable member of any organization with which he was affiliated. In all the various fraternities to which he belonged he was a regular attendant. One could always count on Mr. Watson's presences. He served in various official capacities in fraternities and was never absent, if he could possibly attend. He was a loyal Grand Army man and was esteemed for his modesty, sincerity and what may properly be called a true Christian spirit.

He was interested in all affairs of music, culture, information and instruction. WIthout including the lectures of the Witenagemot at the Y in Auburn in such a description, we may say that he never missed one, up to the moment of his final illness. He was there in his seat, attentive and appreciative. One of the remarkable things about Mr. Watson was his vigor and alertness to the last. He drove his automobile constantly when long past the age of 80. He did business to the last. He was reliable, honest Businessman, who lost no friends for any good reason.

Such a life enriched the traditions of a community. It is a portion of the fame of the founders, who in simply ways endear themselves to the community life. The writer (A. G. Staples) has known Mr. Watson for nearly fifty years and has a debt of gratitude to him for the countless courtesies he has shown him and the unfailing kindness with which everything was done to many more pleasant the days of a report's life.

[N.B. It is interesting that Mr. Staples did not mention Mr. Murray B. Watson's work with the Auburn Public Library)


In Auburn, Maine 30 March, Murray B Watson, Prayers will be said from, his late home 81 Highland Ave., Wednesday at 12:30. Funeral services from the Elm St. Universalist Church at 1:30.
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