On this day, 12 June 1893, Elizabeth S. (Dawson) Watts died. She was my 4th great-grandmother.
Elizabeth was born on 5 February 1810, in Warren County, Kentucky. She was one of ten children and was the first daughter of William Dawson and Mary “Polly” L Bailey, joining older brothers, George and John.
Nearly two years later, sister Hannah Scott Dawson was born on 27 December 1811, in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky. A second sister Sarah Medford Dawson was born on 12 September 1813, in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky. Two more years had passed, when a third sister, Mary Catherine Dawson, was born on 24 October 1815, in Kentucky. On 30 January 1817, sister Jane Dawson was born in Kentucky.
Sadly, on 24 October 1817, when Elizabeth was only seven years old, her elder brother John Dawson died in Kentucky. He was only nine years old.
A year later, on 15 September 1818, another sister, Nancy Dawson, was born in Simpson County, Kentucky. Brother Elisha A. Dawson was born on 24 May 1820, in Kentucky. Her final sibling, brother Enoch Asbury Dawson, was born on 14 March 1822.
In 1833, in Warren County, Kentucky, Elizabeth S. Dawson married Rumsey Shuler Watts, son of Charles Watts and Rebecca Boone. Both Elizabeth and Rumsey were 23 years old at the time of their wedding.
In August 1835, Elizabeth and Rumsey welcomed their first child, John K. Watts, who was born in Warren County, Kentucky. (John K. Watts was my 3rd great-grandfather.)
In 1838, daughter Rebecca Ann Watts was born. In 1842, son Charles W.Watts was welcomed to the family. In 1847, son Elisha Dawson Watts was born in Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri.
At some point between the birth of their eldest and youngest child, the Watts family migrated west from Kentucky to adjacent Missouri. (Many Kentuckians moved westward in the 1830s and 1840s.)
On 17 October 1850, Rumsey and Elizabeth Watts resided in Union Township, Sainte Genevieve County, Missouri, with their children John, Rebecca, Charles, and Elisha. The family was supported by Rumsey’s wages as a carpenter.
On 20 January 1854, Elizabeth’s father, William Dawson, passed away in Crawford County, Missouri.
On 12 June 1860, Rumsey and Elizabeth Watts lived on a farm in Moreau Township, Cole County, Missouri, with their son Elisha. The real estate was valued at $200, and their personal property was valued at $100.
In 1861, the South seceded from the North, and the Civil War commenced. Missouri was a hotly contested border state—a slave state that did not sever ties with the Union. As Missouri was populated by both Union and Confederate sympathizers, armies and supplies were sent to both sides, the state was represented with a star on both flags, and dual governments were established. Discord abounded; family members were pitted against family members, and neighbors fought against neighbors. About 42 percent of the early hostilities of the Civil War occurred in Missouri. In 1861, of the 157 engagements and battles listed in the Army Register, 66 happened in Missouri. In fact, Missouri saw more action than Virginia and West Virginia combined that year.
On 12 March 1862, Elizabeth’s husband Rumsey Shuler Watts answered the call to arms, joining the Missouri State Militia, 13th Regiment Cavalry. Although he claimed to be only 44 years old, he was, in fact, 51 years old when he enlisted.
A month after her husband enlisted, on 23 April 1862, Elizabeth’s mother Mary “Polly” L. (Bailey) Dawson died in Adair County, Kentucky.
In June 1862, Rumsey was sent home on disability per surgeon’s orders. After he recovered from his injury, he returned to duty.
On 2 February 1863, Rumsey’s regiment was reorganized and renamed the 5th (new) Regiment Cavalry.
As heartbreaking as the deaths of her parents must have been for Elizabeth, nothing could have been more tragic than losing a child. Sadly, on 9 July 1864, son Elisha Dawson Watts, who was a private in 12th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry, died from typhoid fever near Memphis, Tennessee. He was buried at the Memphis National Cemetery in Shelby County, Tennessee.
On 6 April 1865, Elizabeth’s husband Rumsey Shuler Watts was honorably discharged and returned home to Elizabeth in Cole County, Missouri. A few days later, on 9 April 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the Battle of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Unfortunately, Lee’s surrender did not signal cessation of the War Between the States; it took nearly a year and a half before the war would officially end—20 August 1866.
On 22 July 1870, Elizabeth and her husband Rumsey lived on their farm in Clark Township, Cole County, Missouri. The value of their property was estimated at $400, and the value of their possessions was $150.
Elizabeth and her husband Rumsey still resided on their farm in Clark Township, Cole County, Missouri on 29 June 1880. Staying with them was their 22-year old granddaughter, Mary E. Payne, daughter of Rebecca—most likely as a helper to elderly Elizabeth and Rumsey. Living next door was their grandson, Rumsey S. Watts (son of John K.), his wife, and his children.
Then, on 12 Jun 1893. Elizabeth S. (Dawson) Watts died in Russellville, Cole County, Missouri. She was 83 years old.