Transcribed by Patty Gaddis
WATSON, GEORGE TALBOTT, a successful carpenter and builder of Springfield, is a native of the city, born August 29, 1844. His father, William M. Watson, was a native of Kentucky (where his parents were also born), and located in Springfield in an early day. He was for many years a shoemaker and died there at the age of ninety years, having been born in 1809. William M. Watson married Sarah E. Talbott, who was born in Indiana, daughter of Benjamin Talbott, also a native of Indiana, and a tanner by trade.
As a boy George T. Watson attended Lincoln School, in Springfield. He was always fond of ball-games, dancing and music, and his father was a violin player of considerable local repute. The house where he was born was next the Lincoln residence, so that as a child Mr. Watson daily saw Abraham Lincoln and was a playmate of the latter's son Robert, knowing the entire family well. After leaving school he learned the trade of carpenter and during the Civil War was employed in Springfield making cartridges for the Union Army. Having spent almost his entire life in the city, he has always had its best interests at heart, and has been identified with many movements of progress. He was at one time a member of the Volunteer Fire Department. He is a man of social instincts and fraternally belongs to the Odd Fellows. He is a member of the Lutheran Church and in politics is a Republican. He has been fairly prosperous in a business way, has many friends, and is generally liked and respected.
Mr. Watson was married, in Springfield, January 14, 1849, to Miss Sarah Pletz, who was born in Yorktown, Pa., November 28, 1854, daughter of Benjamin and Barbara (Wetz) Pletz, the father born in Pennsylvania, September 14, 1830, and the mother in Amsterdam, Germany, July 21, 1828. Mr. Pletz was a carpenter by trade and moved from Pennsylvania to Illinois in 1856. He died in Springfield, January 23, 1901, and his wife died May 29, 1909. The father of Mr. Pletz was a farmer and a native of Pennsylvania, and the father of his wife was a tanner by trade and located in Harrisburg, Pa., after coming from Germany to the United States. A brother of Mrs. Watson, Andrew Pletz, served in Company I, Seventh Illinois Infantry, and was under the command of Gen. Sherman during part of his service. Two sons were born to Mr. and Mrs. Watson; William B., born in Springfield, July 23, 1874, died there September 27, 1876, and Edward, born in Springfield, February 1, 1872, was married there, November 14, 1894, to Cora G. Bell also a native of Springfield. The Bell family were early settlers in Springfield and prominent citizens. Three children were born to Edward Watson and his wife: Millard Bell, born in Springfield, died January 18, 1909; George E., born March 18, 1897, and Harold, born August 24, 1899.