The subject of this sketch is recognized as one of the leading citizens
of Centralia, where he is known by all as a business man of unusual ability,
a man of progressive ideas and at all times ready to do his part in
furthering any interest for the public good.
Edwin L. Watts was born in Clinton county, five miles west of Centralia, on a farm, November 11, 1873, the son of William M. and Martha (Short) Watts, both natives of Illinois, in whose family there were five children, two boys and three girls, Edwin L., our subject, being the youngest in order of birth.
Our subject received his early education in the common schools of his native community, having applied himself in a careful manner and gained a good education which has later been added to by home reading, and by coming in contact with the world. He devoted his life to farming up to 1904, having been prosperous at this line of work, laying up from year to year a competence and making a comfortable living. But believing that larger interests were to be found in Centralia, he came to this city and entered the livery business in which he was very successful for a period of two years, at the end of which he went into the implement business, having been associated with J. D. Breeze since 1906, the firm being Breeze & Watts, their well known place of business being 321 South Locust street, Centralia. They handle a full line of implements, vehicles, harness, buggies, wagons, drills, seeders, corn shellers and they deal in general stock on a large scale. Their store is always filled with customers and is one of the busiest places of its kind in Centralia. Before coming to Centralia, our subject served as Assessor of Raccoon township in a very creditable and acceptable manner for one year, during which time the interests of the township were as carefully looked after as if they had been his individual business.
Mr. Watts was united in marriage to Mary Patton, November 20, 1895. She is the daughter of T. A. and Lena (Smith) Patton, a well known and influential family of this county.
Mr. Watts' comfortable and cheerful home has been brightened by the presence of the following children: William R., Lenna F., Ruby R., all bright children and making good grades in the local schools.
Mr. Watts is a genial and most companionable gentleman and has many warm and admiring friends among the residents of his adopted city as well as in the township where he lived so long, and the high regard in which he is held not only in business but socially indicates the possession of attributes and characteristics that fully entitle him to the respect and consideration of his fellow men.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 588-589.