WHO IS ‘THE SENTINEL’
My Name is Stephen Conroy Watson but I go by Steve. That doesn’t tell you much so let me start back at the beginning. In the 1720’s a bunch of Scots Irish ‘Dissenters’ were deported from Ireland for being Christians that refused to bow to Rome or the Church of England. We know that first Watsons that settled in North Carolina probably had a son named John and we know for sure that in 1733, my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was born on this continent to that Irish immigrant family in North Carolina. The immigrant named his son John Watson. John had had two boys he named James A. Watson and Jesse Watson
The first born of the two brothers, James Alexander Watson was my 5x great grandfather born in 1750 in Richmond Co, NC. In February of 1775, he was serving as a clerk of one of the “committees” that was led by a preacher in Brunswick County, Virginia. It was one of the numerous committees that helped begin the pushback against the crown and led to the Declaration of Independence being drafted. Records show that James Alexander Watson had four daughters and three sons.
James’ second son was named Alexander Watson, my 4x great grandfather born in 1779 in Richmond County, NC. At 15, he may have been an ensign in the army infantry according to some county records from 1794.
Alexander Watson had a son he named Alexander Watson who was born in 1794 that was my 3x great grandfather. He was born in Pittsylvania, VA and ran away from home at age 14 and joined the army. The young Alexander was a drummer boy all the way through The War of 1812 and then married a Florida girl named Mary Ann Dees and they moved west and established a trading post in Alabama.
Alexander became an evangelist who ministered to the Indians as they were being driven from the states by the white settlers. Alexander Watson also became pastor of the Fort William Baptist Church in Talladega Co., Alabama for seven years beginning in 1836 till 1843. Mary Watson is buried in the old Church cemetery having died in 1842. Alexander Died in 1844 in Fayette, Talladega Co, Alabama. Pastor Watson named his son John Alexander Watson who was born in 1834 in Alabama. John Alexander Watson was married to Mary Elizabeth and was my great, great grandfather. He had 4 girls and a son they named William Watson. William was born 1860 and was my great grandfather.
William had several Sons. They were named Jesse Lee Watson, John A. Watson and his baby boy, Eugene Carroll Watson, born 1900. They ended up in East Texas near the Cleveland/Conroe area. My great uncle Johnny Watson was a circuit rider preacher that planted and preached at many churches in Liberty and San Jacinto County. He preached and taught at Center Hill Baptist Church in Oakhurst, Planted the Baptist church at Schraderville Rd in Shepherd and was Pastor to preacher Dalton Currie’s mother and Sunday school teacher to him when Dalton was a kid. Uncle Johnny lived to be almost 100 and was preaching until just before he died. It was Uncle Johnny’s grandson, William ‘Marvin’ Watson Jr. that served in President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s cabinet as arguably, the Presidents most trusted aid. His Washington Post Obituary (Marvin-Watson-Obituary) tells the story. Marvin Watson was born in Oakhurst, Texas in San Jacinto County and served in the Marines. As President Johnson’s trusted aid, Marvin Watson was instrumental in getting the Marines their own chair in the Joint Chiefs table and more rank within the Corp.
Eugene Carroll Watson, the youngest of the three brothers was my grandfather and married Millie Fain Jordan (pronounced Jerdan) who was born and raised in Camilla, San Jacinto County Texas. Millie Fain died of Leukemia when my dad was young. When Papa Gene died, he lived in Shepherd Texas. He had a son from a prior marriage named Cleve Dean Watson that ran the Standard Motors Dodge dealership in Conroe for many years and has Watson Ranch road named after him. Russell Watson, the realtor, is my cousin. Eugene Carroll Watson and Millie Fain had two sons named Norman Carroll Watson and Glen Edward Watson. My dad and his brother were raised in Cut-N-Shoot, Texas. Dad was born in a house that stood on the hill behind where the old Conroe Creosote office location was on 105 at the tracks and was a contemporary and friend of Roy Harris, the last white world heavyweight contender. They remained friends all of my life and Roy Harris taught my real estate law classes that I took getting my license.
Both my uncle and father served in the military. Uncle Norman Carroll Watson worked in the Pentagon in the Air Force military communications. When the Six day war broke out, he was the only single man in his group and was slated to deliver the enigma decoding machine to Israel but before he could get packed and get sent, those Israelis kicked butt and the war was over.
My Dad, Glen Edward Watson served in the Air force working on radar and radios in the aircraft. He served two tours in Viet Nam stationed at DaNang, did TDY in Japan, Philippines, Spain and Italy. Before he mustered out after 12 years, Dad got his real estate license while we were stationed in Alexandria, La. It was when he was stationed at the old Air Force Base in Bryan, Texas in May of 1956 that I was born. He named me Stephen Conroy Watson.