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Biographies

WATTS, Benjamin Franklin


Benjamin Franklin Watts was born 14 Aug 1859 in Hardin County, Kentucky.  He was the son of John M. Watts and Matilda Howell who were married in Hardin County, 29 Mar 1847.  B. F. died 29 Mar 1941, Houston, Harris County, Texas.
 
Ben married Nellie Elizabeth Johnson, 15 Dec 1892, Lake County, Florida.  Nellie was born 8 Jan 1864 in Richmond, Indiana, daughter of Thatcher S. Johnson and Mary King.  She died 31 May 1950, also in Houston and was buried Glenwood Cemetery.
 
They had one child,  Benjamin Franklin Watts, born 6 Sep 1898, attended Princeton and later was a railroad agent.
 
The family lived in Jacksonville in 1900 - B. F. a clerk at the freight depot, in Leesburg in 1910 thru 1935.
 
B. F. came to Sumter County about 1884 with his parents.  He was an agent for Florida Railway & Navigation Co.  Mayor of Leesburg 1909-1911, and owner of Watts Hardware Co at 403 W Main by 1910.  They owned a beautiful home at 100 East Main Street.  In August 1936 they sold the property to George L Singeltary, perhaps leaving for Texas at that time.
 
B.P.O.E. Lodge 1703 built their building on the Watts site, where currently the new Leesburg Public Library sits.

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This page created September 27, 2010
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