Sunday, February 2, 2014

52 Ancestors #4: Roy Watts

Happy Birthday to ancestor #4! When February 2nd rolls around, everyone wishes Roy a Happy Birthday, even though he passed in 2006. Roy Edmund Watts was my Grandfather, affectionately knows as "Pappa". He was born in 1915 in far western Tennessee or Kentucky. His parents were: James Thomas Watts (1891-1953) and Florence Warren (1898-1923). The ambiguity behind his birthplace is due to his many years in an orphanage as a youth. His mother died of tuberculosis in 1923, and since his father was slightly handicapped, the children were placed in an orphanage in Louisville. I wrote a little more about this problem with an earlier post: Hunting Wabbits...AKA Warrens. Anyway....Roy was married to Freida Laverne Beyersdoerfer and passed away in 2006 in Paris, KY. His obituary reads:

Roy Edmund Watts, 91, of Paris, formerly of Falmouth, died Tuesday at Bourbon Community Hospital, Paris. He was a dairy farmer, a former Pendleton County magistrate and a member of First Christian Church, Paris. He worked at Cincinnati Milling Machine Co. during World War II, was a former member of the Cincinnati Milk Sales Board and donated land that became part of Kincaid Lake State Park in Pendleton County. His wife, Freida Beyersdorefer Watts, died in 1997.

Since I already know much about him, I will relate one of his stories below:
"I was run over once by a wagon. I was about 5 or 6; in the mountains of Eastern [Western] Tennessee where we lived near my father's family. Well, it was our turn to go to town for groceries. Everything was grown right there on the farm and canned, so we didn't go for much, just large quantities of a few things to last for awhile; such as coffee, flour, and sugar - bought in big sacks.

It was just me and my dad in the big wagon with the two mules hooked up to the front. Diner was on the right side - she was a mare mule and meaner than a snake. I didn't like her. She looked like part zebra. On the left was Fox. He was a bear mule and black as midnight. But he was a good old fella, and my favorite.

On the way home, I was standing just behind the horses, behind the wagon gate. It was about as tall as my chest. Well, we hit a big rock or something and I flew out of that wagon and landed under it as it moved and the wheel ran right over my chest. My dad thought I was gone because he saw it happen and thought for sure I was dead. Well, all it did was break my ribs. To get me home, he stopped at a neighbor's house and borrowed a feather bed mattress and laid it in the back of the wagon, to let me lie on it all the way home."

We all miss him, but I have lots of stories and great memories of this wonderful man....here is one of my favorite pictures of the two of us together....both napping, after he had come in from the dairy and fell asleep playing with his brand new grand-daughter. Note the strong family resemblance (bald heads). I confess to always being one of his favorites - it must have been a result of this early bonding moment. :-)

2 comments:

dustbunny8 said...

That picture is a priceless treasure!
He sounds like a good man, thank you for sharing!

Cheri Daniels said...

Thank you! He and I always were very close...so this picture fit us well. Sorry for just catching your comment - have been away and just now able to get back in the swing of things!

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