In submitting for publication this brief summary of names, dates, and events dealing with the foundation of the beautiful settlement now known as the Watson Community, it is with the conviction that it can at the best be considered only a very modest volume in the pioneer history of this great historical community.
No Work done by human minds and hands has ever been proved perfect, hence I assure you that be there any omission of the name of any homesteader, it is to be regretted, but not intentional as if though they were not worthy. It has been my sincere aim to include only all real pioneers in the Community, in this little work whether they lived long or died early; whether they were considered important or unimportant, whether they lived, in the community until their end, or they moved away after the grasshopper years, and before Watson was built.
Men like Heinrich Gippe farmed in the community fourteen years and all eighteen-sixty niners ten years before Watson was even certain to be built where it is now located. Watson never built the community but those men built up the whole community including the village of Watson. Therefore you will find enumerated in this work more than thirty names of homesteaders, our real pioneers, which have never before been published in any pioneer history whatsoever.
You will find in this work the following historical facts about the Watson Community. 1 The first church bell ever inside of Minnesota and used there was the one used at The Old Lac qui Parle Indian Mission, on the western border of Chippewa county, five miles west of Watson, Minnesota. 2 The first wool cloth ever manufactured in Minnesota was spun and woven at the Old Indian Mission five miles west of Watson. 3 The first cattle raiser in Minnesota, Joseph Renville, lived five miles west of Watson twenty-four years and died and was buried there on the western border of Chippewa county in 1846. Captain, Samuel J. Sargent, Civil War Veteran, who
lived one mile northeast of Watson was, by being appointed, the first Treasurer of Chippewa county which he helped organize. He was also the first elected Auditor of Chippewa county. He was also the leader in organizing Tunberg township, and served as its town clerk four years, but he moved to the state of Oregon before Watson was built.
- J. J. Oyen.