Jeffrey V. Moy, North Jersey History and Genealogy Center
William N. Watson was born in Virginia in 1884, and married Addie Daly when he was 19 and she was 20. After the young couple moved to Morristown, William found a job as a laborer and ashman before working his way up to general contracting, real estate, and finally, owning a successful trucking business.
Not content to merely provide for his own family, Watson decided to give back to his adoptive hometown.
He became a charter member of the Union Baptist Church, member of the Chamber of Commerce, Tyrion Lodge member of the Improved Benevolent Protective Order Elks of the World, founder of the Morristown branch of the NAACP, Chair of the Booker T. Washington chapter of the YMCA, and a member of the Morris County Republican Committee.
William Watson owned a home at 47 Spring St. in Morristown, where, according to the 1930 federal census, he owned a nearby trucking business, and lived with wife Addie L. Daly Watson, and their children Clara, Nathaniel, Francis, Morton, Hazel, Gertrude, Evelyn, and Gilbert.
Addie worked as a restaurant manager, while two of their children, Clara and Gilbert, worked with their father; son Nathaniel was a law school caretaker.
At the time of William’s sudden death of a heart attack on Nov. 1, 1933, at age 49, he was widely regarded by his fellow residents as a successful entrepreneur, an upstanding citizen, and well-rounded member of the community.
People like Addie and William Watson made Morristown a prosperous community that offered those willing to work a hand up.