Search billions of records on


Watkins Family


John Watkins Family

John Watkins married Susan Favors on January 13, 1830, in St. Clair County, Alabama. They were descendants of colonial Virginia families of Welsh descent, and moved first to Rutherford District, North Carolina; Broad River, Georgia; then to Alabama.

Their children were:

William Watkins, who married Mary Elliott. His great-grandson was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II

Samuel Watkins, a Confederate soldier, married Irene Clementine. Her first husband was Dr. Zeno Stapleton, who drowned in the Indianola storm. “Sam” and “Clemmie” were married in Matagorda on January 1, 1869, by the Reverend William Baxter.

Mary Ann Watkins (1838-1886) married first, Abner McGehee, who was Sam’s father-in-law; married second, Samuel Smith; married third, Manly Sexton, married fourth, Phillip Yeamans. This fourth marriage caused her brother to comment, “As fast as the Lord takes them, so does Mary Ann!”

Charles Evans Watkins never married, very little is known about Phillip Watkins, and Joe Watkins, a Confederate soldier, was buried in the State Cemetery in Austin, Texas.

James Benjamin Watkins married Mary Lindley Lunn. She was the granddaughter of Francis Keller who received a land grant from Spain on Lavaca Bay. “Jim” and “Molly” built a large two-story house near the Colorado River about four miles from the town of Matagorda. Their children were:

Benjamin Brown Watkins, who married Lila Jessamine Savage and had four sons, Murray, Gustaves, Savage and Jack Ellerkamp

Barry Ross Watkins, who married Minnie Stevens

Wilburn Watkins, who married Lila Gottschalk

Edward Jesse Watkins, who married Bell Mills

James Watkins, who married Rose Horn

Della Duberry Watkins, who married Lucian Gilmore.

Samuel, the second son of John and Susan Watkins, and his wife Irene Clementine McGehee had the following children, all born in Matagorda County:

Evan Watkins (August 2, 1870 – June 8, 1944), who married Frances Isabell Harris on January 1, 1893

Samuel Watkins, born on June 22, 1873, who married Jesse Harris (September 17, 1873 – June 16, 1956)

James Watkins (1874 – 1880)

Alpha Watkins (1876 – 1883)

Leander Watkins (July 22, 1877 – December 21, 1942), who married first Maria Teresa Franz and second Clara Holmes and they had one son Vernon who was killed in WWII

Asa Watkins (1881 – 1887)

Philip Watkins (1885 – 1941) who married Clara Peaks

Samuel and Clementine were both buried in Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City.

Evan and Samuel Watkins married sisters, Jessie and Frances Harris, daughters of Thomas Jefferson Harris and his first wife, Charlotte Miranda Savage. Charlotte was the daughter of Norman Savage and his first wife, Mary Ann Smith. Norman was the son of Emelius Savage who received a land grant in 1831 and also fought in the army of the Republic of Texas. Mary Ann Smith was the daughter of Jacob Smith who received a land grant in Stephen F. Austin’s first colony in 1824.

Evan Watkins (August 2, 1870 – June 8, 1944), the first son of Samuel and Irene Clementine Watkins, married Frances Isabelle Harris on January 31, 1893, at her father’s home in Matagorda County. Their children were:

Mollie Irene Watkins (January 8, 1894 – August 4, 1972), who married Grover C. Horn on March 3, 1912 and had Melody and Joan

Susan Watkins (May 11, 1895 – October 6, 1896)

Charles Evan Watkins (March 29, 1897 – June 7, 1955), who married Roberta Reeves and had one child Bettie Gene, a graduate of Texas A & M University

Leslie Brooks Watkins (October 31, 1899 – May, 1942), who married Katherine Fullingim in May of 1942 and had one daughter, Anne Leslie

Dennis Irving Watkins (June 18, 1901 – October 18, 1982), who married Faye Teat and had one son Dennis Irving, Jr.

Victor Neal Watkins (April 7, 1903 – October 19, 1982), who married Oliver Anne Krause and had two children, Bernard Neal, M. D. and Lynn Brooks

Ruby Louise Watkins, born on November 20, 1908, who married Vivian Russell Baty (June 10, 1898 – October 12, 1982) and had two children, Frances Elizabeth and Vivianne Elaine. In 1984, Ruby received the State’s highest award from Governor Mark White for thirty years of outstanding service to her community.

Samuel Watkins, the second son of Samuel and Irene Clementine Watkins, married Jessie Le Harris and their children were: Samuel Marvin, who married Livoli Toupe and had one child, Virginia;

Joel Hugh Watkins, who married first Allie Terry, and second Lucy Gavender

Manly Sexton Watkins, who married Una Roddy and had one child, Dorothy Jane

Jesse Leander Watkins, whose wife was Lucile

Theresa Mae Watkins, who married Tot Lawhon and they had two children, Shirley and Jeanette—Jeanette married Richard Bowers, District Attorney of Alpine, Texas

Davis Watkins

Edwin Murray Watkins

Lottie Irene Watkins, who married Janes Louis Duffy

Henry Clay Watkins

Mrs. Russell Baty, Historic Matagorda County Volume II, pages 551-552

Lookin’ Back

By Monty Brast

Originally published in the Wharton Journal-Spectator, Wednesday, September 11, 1985

Exciting things can happen to you on a farm, especially if you happened to have lived on one in the early 19002.

Ruby Watkins Baty was born on a farm in November of 1908, the youngest of 10 children. The farm was in what is now called Blue Creek area of Matagorda County. On the old maps of Matagorda County it was Watkins’ Lake. Ruby’s great-grandparents settled that area in 1854. Therefore, the name Watkins was given to the area until it was changed to Blue Creek.

Spectacles in the Night

Although Ruby was only about two years old when Haley’s Comet came into view in 1910, she remembers her dad waking her sometime during the night to take her outside, astride his shoulders, to see the spectacular display in the heavens.

The combination farm ranch where Ruby spent the first four years of her life holds many other memories for her.

One that is still so very vivid in her mind is of the lobo wolves that roamed the area. They could be heard howling in the night. Ruby remembers her mother’s sending her out on one occasion just before dark to close the chicken coops. As she went out, one of the lobos surprised her by darting out at her as he snarled. Frightened, she screamed and ran back to the house.

Her father then sent one of her bigger brothers out to complete the chore.

All One Big Happy Family

Living next door to Ruby’s family was her mother’s sister that had married Ruby’s dad’s brother. There were nine children in that family; making 19 double-first cousins living side by side. The children grew up hardly knowing that they weren’t all one family.

Ruby remembers the time when supper was ready and her mother sent Papa out to get the children in to eat. After they were seated at the table, her mother looked around and said, “Papa, those two belong to your brother Sammy.”

To which he replied, “You know, I thought they didn’t much look like ours!”

Summer Daze, School Haze

Ruby, who doesn’t remember when she didn’t know how to swim, claims to have learned how to swim in the Colorado River. It seems that she learned how to swim nearly by the time she learned to walk.

Once, when the river was on the rise, all those 19 double-first cousins decided to go for a swim. Ruby’s mother could hear them all whooping and hollering like they were having such a good time. She thought that she had better go down to see what was going on, so she slipped down to the river and saw what was the source of their amusement.

Ruby, about the youngest of the group, was being tossed out into the fast-flowing current by the older children. She would dog-paddle out and when she go to the bank, they would pick her up and throw her out again. A very dangerous game, she admits, but claims she sure learned how to swim well!

While they still lived on the farm, Ruby’s older brother and sisters were going to a little country school called Blue Creek School. The teacher was a young woman by the name of Laura Roades, who was being paid by Ruby’s dad and his brother.

All the children in the area were allowed to attend—all those that were close enough to walk or come by horseback, that is. Ruby remembers Miss Roades staying part of the year with them and part of the year with the aunt next door.

When Ruby was four years old, she went to school once with the older children. A group picture of the school children was taken that day, and they all wanted Ruby and her dog to be in the picture, too.

Ruby was afraid to let them take a picture “out of her dog,” because she was afraid it might kill him!

A Move to the City

In 1912, Ruby’s papa built a two-story house in Bay City so that the older children could go to high school. Ruby was four years old, but remembers it as being a small town with probably no more than about 100 houses. Their house was on one side of town, and the schools were on the other side.

When Ruby was six years old, she started to school. She had to walk all the way across town.

On her first day, her oldest brother walked to school with her to get her registered. That afternoon, her school let out much earlier than the high school did, so Ruby attempted to walk home alone.

After some time, Ruby realized that she had gotten lost. Scared, she stopped on the street and began to cry. A friendly man came along and asked what the matter was. She told him that she was lost, and following the instructions that she had received from her mother for such events, she told the man her name and her father’s name, also. It was then discovered that he was the county clerk and that he had been Ruby’s mother’s school teacher years before.

Ruby also remembers being at the dedication of the Confederate marker on the courthouse square in Bay City, circa 1915 [1913].

Broncs and Bulls

Riding bucking broncos and Brahman bulls is not a sport that every girl can boast of, but Ruby can. Her brothers would pool their money and enter her in the rodeos that were held frequently in Bay City. The largest pot she can remember winning was $50, which her brothers claimed their share of, since they had put up the money for her to enter.

Ruby got her rodeo training out on the farm. During the summer months, the family would stay out in the country at the old farm place. When the two sets of parents had to go into town to spend the day on business, the 19 double-first cousins would all get together for their own private rodeo; rounding up all the wildest, meanest critters on the place.

Once, when Ruby was on a yearling calf, someone looked up the road and saw the mamas and the papas coming through the gate about half a mile away. They opened the gate to the pen to let the stock out.

Ruby saw the young bull she was riding was going to catch her in the gate so she let go of the rope. When she did, the bull threw her up onto the fence, and she broke a few ribs.

Not realizing that she was hurt so badly, her brothers offered her a new rope not to tell what they had been up to. Ruby kept the secret until she developed a cough.

Her parents took her to the doctor to find out why she would grab her side every time she coughed. When the broken ribs were discovered, she had to confess. Her papa said, “Let’s not have any more of those home rodeos. You’re not set up for ‘em.”

So, according to Ruby, that took care of that. “Until they left again,” she added with a grin.

On another occasion of their private rodeo, she broke her arm, but she didn’t report that either, until about three weeks later when her arm began bothering her so badly she knew something had to be done. Her dad’s reaction to that? He said, “I admire loyalty, but let’s not be quite that loyal from now on. At least tell when you’re hurt!”

Looking back over her childhood and realizing what a rich and wonderful life it has been, Ruby says she wishes every child could have a childhood and wonderful parents as she had, “for it was such a full and happy life.”


Ruby Watkins Baty

Funeral services for Ruby Watkins Baty, 81, of Wharton will be held 11 a. m. Thursday at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Wharton with the Rev. Dick Grant officiating. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery in Wharton.

Friends may call for visitation after noon today.

Mrs. Baty was born Nov. 20, 1909, to Evan and Frances Harris Watkins in Matagorda and died Nov. 12, 1991, in a Wharton hospital following an extended illness.

She had been a resident of Wharton since 1958 and was a member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church. She was a noted Texas historian and a member of several organizations, including the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Wharton Garden Club.

She married V. R. Baty on Jan. 29, 1929 in Bay City, and he preceded her in death on Oct. 12, 1982.

Survivors include two daughters, Elizabeth Brown of Wharton and Elaine Weisheit of San Diego, Calif., and two grandchildren.

Survivors include two daughters, Elizabeth Brown of Wharton and Elaine Weisheit of San Diego, Calif., and two grandchildren.

In lieu of usual remembrances, the family requests memorials to be sent to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 207 Bob-O-Link Lane, Wharton, Texas, 77488.

Funeral services are under the direction of the Wharton Funeral Home, Wharton.

The Daily Tribune, November 13, 1991


Copyright 2011 - Present by the Watkins Family
All rights reserved

Aug. 2, 2011
Aug. 2, 2011