WEST VIRGINIA In History, Life, Literature and Industry
The Lewis Publishing Company, 1928 - Volume 4, page 62-63
CHARLES W. WATTS, president of the Watts-Ritter Dry Goods Company
of Huntington, is a successful business man who started his career with
neither capital nor influence, merely with such abilities and talents as he
possessed, which of themselves were of no ordinary merit. He has had a
career at Huntington for thirty years, and has risen from bookkeeper to
president of one of the leading wholesale houses of that city.
Mr. Watts was born at Webster, Ohio, in 1867, son of James M. and
Nancy (Collis) Watts, his father a native of Virginia and his mother of
Maryland. His father spent most of his active life in the iron industry at
Jackson, Ohio. He was a Democrat and a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Charles W. Watts was the second in a family of three children. His
schooling was consigned to the advantages of his home locality, and in 1887
he was keeping books for a firm at Point Pleasant, West Virginia. In 1888
he came to Huntington, and was for two years bookkeeper for the
Barlow-Henderson Company was succeeded by Biggs, Watts & Company, and in
1906 it became the Watts-Ritter Company, wholesale dry goods, with Mr.
Watts as president. The company has thirty traveling men covering territory
in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Kentucky, and does an immense volume
of business in dry goods, notions and holiday goods. While this is the
business to which Mr. Watts gives most of his time and energies, he has
become connected with a number of other important business organizations.
He is a director of the First National Bank of Huntington and member of the
executive committee; is president of the Blue Jay Manufacturing Company,
overall manufacturers, selling their goods all over the United States; is
vice president of the Empire Furniture Company and a director of several
other companies in Huntington.
Mr. Watts married, in 1895, Miss Elizabeth Biggs, who was born in
Kentucky and died in 1904. In 1916 he married Ouida Caldwell, daughter of
the prominent Huntington banker and capitalist, the late James L. Caldwell.
Mrs. Watts finished her education in the Mary Baldwin Seminary at Staunton,
Virginia. She is a member of the Episcopal Church, while he is a
Presbyterian. Mr. Watts is a member of the Guyandotte Club and Guyan