2d sess. United States. 51st Cong..

Memorial addresses on the life and character of Lewis F. Watson, a representative from Pennsylvania, delivered in the House of representatives and in the Senate, Fifty-first Congress, second session .. (Volume 2) online

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Online Library2d sess. United States. 51st Cong.Memorial addresses on the life and character of Lewis F. Watson, a representative from Pennsylvania, delivered in the House of representatives and in the Senate, Fifty-first Congress, second session .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 5)
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2d. Session. j \ No. 133.






House of Representatives and in the Senate,








Resolved by the House of Representatives {tJie Senate eoneurr lug). That
there be printed t)f tlie eulogies delivered in Congress upon the late Lewis
F. Watson, a Representative in the Fifty-first Congress from tlie State
of Pennsylvania, twelve thousand copies ; of which three thousand copies
shall be for the use of the Senate and nine thousand shall be for the use
of the House of Representatives ; and the Secretarj- t)f the Treasury be,
and he is hereby, directed to have" printed a portrait of the said Lewis
F. Watson to accompany said eulogies. That of the quota of the House
of Representatives the Public Printer shall set apart fifty copies, which he
shall have bound in full morocco, with gilt edges, the same to be delivered,
when completed, to the family of the deceased.

In the House of Representatives, agreed to February 27, 1891.

In the Senate, agreed to February 38, 1891.

AUG 6 1908



August 35, 1890.

Mr. O'Neill, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I ask con-
sideration of tlie resolutions wliicli I send to the Clerk's desk.
As I entered the House a few minutes before its meeting to-
day I was told that my colleague, Mr. Lewis F. Watson,
had died suddenly at the Shoreham this morning at 11
o'clock. This to me, Mr. Speaker, came as a shock. The
death of an associate always comes to us as a shock, and in
this instance it has peculiar force, as Mr. Watson is the
third member of the Pennsylvania delegation who has died
during this session in the city of Washington.

Mr. Watson was a gentleman who was highly esteemed
in the portion of Pennsylvania in which he resided. He
was a man of great busin^ess capacity, a man who had the
confidence and esteem of the people among whom he lived
during the whole of his busy life. He was elected to the
Forty-fifth Congress, again to the Forty-seventh, and again
to this, the Fifty-first Congress. He had been renominated,
to be elected in November, to the Fifty-second Congress.
Mr. Speaker, my colleagues and I feel this, I can assure the
House, with deep sorrow and with great sadness. At a future
time we will ask that a day be fixed on which to pronounce


4 Proceedings in the House of Representatives.

eulogies upon tlie life and character of our deceased friend
and colleague.

I move the adoption of the resolutions.

The Clerk read as follow :

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound regret the announce-
ment of the death of Hon. Lewis F. Watson, late a Representative from
the State of Pennsylvania.

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), Tliat
a select committee, consisting of seven members of tlie House and tliree
members of the Senate, be appointed to take order for superintending the
funeral, and that the necessary expenses attending the execution of this
order be paid out of the contingent fund of the House.

Resolved, Tliat tlie Sergeant-at-Arms of the House be authorized and
directed to take such steps as may be necessary for jiroperly carrying into
effect the provisions of these resolutions.

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate the foregoing resolutions to the
Senate ; and that, as a further mark of respect to the memory of the de-
ceased, the House do now adjourn.

Mr. O'Neill, of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, with great
delicacy I ask to be excused from serving upon the commit-

Tlie resolutions were unanimously adopted.

Mr. Culbertson of Pennsylvania, Mr. Mc Adoo, Mr. Craig,
Mr. Townsend of Pennsylvania, Mr. Maish, Mr. Wallace of
New York, and Mr. Kerr of Pennsylvania were appointed
as the committee to attend the funeral.

And then (at 12 o'clock and 55 minutes p. m.) the House
adjourned until 1 1 o'clock a. m. to-murrow.


December 12, 1890.
Mr, O'ISTeill, of Pennsylvania, by nnaninioiis consent,
submitted the following resolution; wliicli was read, con-
sidered, and agreed to:

Remlved, That Saturday, January 31, 1891, at 3 o'clock afternoon, be
set asi<le for paying tributes to the memory of Hon. Lewis F. Watson,
late a member of the House of Representatives from the State of Penn-

January 31, 1891.
The Speaker. The hour of 3 o'clock having arrived, the
Clerk will report the special order.
The Clerk read as follows:

Resolved, Tha.t Saturday, January 81, 1891. at 3 o'clock afternoon, be
set aside for paying tributes to the memory of Hon. Lewis F. Watson,
late a member of the House of Representatives from the State of Penn-


6 Address of Mr. O'Neill, of Pennsylvania, on the

Address of Mr. O'Neill, of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Speaker: On Monday, August 25, 1800, in sorrow I
announced to the House the death of my esteemed colleague
Lewis F. Watson, a Representative from the Twenty-
seventh Congressional district of the State of Pennsylvania,
of which State he was a native. He died suddenly in the
city of Washington, at about 11 o'clock in the morning of
that day, at the Shoreham, the liot(;l in which he and Mrs.
Watson were living. He had come safely downstairs, and
when about stepping into a carriage at the door he became
unconscious and fell. He breathed his last a few minutes
afterwards in a reception room of the hotel, to which he had
been carried, dying a painless death. He had not been in
robust health for some months, but was not detained from
the House by illness, excepting at intervals of a day or two
at a time, and upon the day of his death he thought he was
feeling stronger and insisted upon going to the House of
Representatives. His good wife, and oh how careful she
was of him, did not approve of his going out that morning,
but important public business called him, and death came
upon him as he was about to start to the performance of


He was devoted to duty, whether in the walks of private
life or in public official position. He liked occupation, and
was never happy withoutit. He did not deprive himself of
moderate social pleasure, and he took proper rest when he
felt that ho needed it. Thus he lived, a busy man, who
accomplished success, and amidst the anxieties of extensive
business operations he spared time to cultivate and t'lijoy
the happiness of home life; and he had a truly happy home—

Life and Character of Leun's F. Watson. 7

a devoted husband, an affectionate father, a true-hearted
friend. He was held in high esteem by his fellow-citizens;
joined them in enterprises for the advancement of the pros-
perity of his neighborhood, willingly aided in works of char-
ity, and was noted for integrity in all his dealings. He was
a man of great wealth, and was not spoiled by it. He was
easy of approach, and never lost that gentleness and hearti-
ness of manner which so endeared him to those who had
started in life with him, but who had been less fortunate
than he.

To accumulate wealth in honorable pursuits is most com-
mendable, and communities esteem the citizen who by
energy, uprightness, and perseverance realizes fortune.
Mr. Watson stood preeminent among the wealthy men of
his State, because, in the enjoyment of his more than ample
competence, he was ever ready to help to success the steady,
industrious man of small means who was striving to better
his condition by patient, uncomplaining work. The poorer
members of a community do not envy the richer because of
their wealth; but when riches create only pride, self-conceit,
disdainful treatment, and want of sympathy in their pos-
sessor, then is the man of wealth looked upon as the enemy
of progress and of the prosperity of his neighbors. No such
feelings belittled Mr. Watson's nature. He was looked
upon as a useful man, a benefactor, and a friend in the
community in which he lived.

In this Congress death has taken from the Pennsylvania
delegation three of its members. We in the last session
eulogized William D. Kelley and Samuel J. Randall, and
to-day we are paying tribute to the memory of Lewis F.
Watson, a dear colleague, to whom we were all so greatly
attached. From the Thirty-eighth Congress, in which I had
my first service, until now, the Fifty-first, no Pennsylvania

^ Address of Mr. O^ NcJIl^ of Pennsylvania^ on the

member's death occurred during the session excepting that
of Mr. Darwin A. Finney, who died "abroad" during a ses-
sion of the Fortieth Congress. The distinguished states-
man Thaddeus Stevens died in Washington after Congress
had adjourned, and the beloved William A. Duncan, of the
York, Adams, and Cumberland district, in the Forty-eighth
Congress, departed this life at his own home during the inter-
val between sessions. So death had for a long period spared
our Pennsylvania colleagues during the sessions of both the
Senate and House, saving us the grief of mourning here
over their sad departure until lie came with relentless power
into the present Congress, when three members, in the
midst of their greatness, prominence, and usefulness, yielded
up their lives.

Our days have indeed been saddened. Our pleasant com-
panionship with these colleagues has been severed, and as in
their lives we looked to them to aid us in legislating for our
country, we have missed them as Representatives of our dear
old Commonwealth; for in their very souls each of them was
true to the nation, true to Pennsylvania. Mr. Watson had
been honored by three elections to the House of Representa-
tives. His intelligence, liabits of business, and knowledge
of affairs gave him an enviable position among his fellow-
members. In the Forty-lifth Congress he was assigned ])y
its Speaker to the Committee on Agriculture, a committee
of tlie highest importance to the interests of so many millions
of the people. In the Forty-seventh Congress his merits
gained him places in the Committees on Naval Affairs and
on Public Lands. His services in these committees were
liighly appreciated by his fellow-members who were on tliem
and by the House.

Coming to the Fifty-first Congress, his reputation as an
attentive, influential member of former Congresses had pre-

Life and Character of Lewis F. Watson. 9

ceded liim, and its Speaker realized the importance to tlie
country of placing him on the Committees on Naval Affairs
and on Public Lands, in which he had served with such use-
fulness and distinction. Our colleague, my fellow-members
from Pennsylvania, has left us an example we well may fol-
low. He was so earnest in all he undertook. He was so
ready to keep us at all times so well informed of his com-
mittee work. He was ever so anxious to have us come to
him to inft)rm him of what we desired him to do. He was
so gentle in his manners, so affable, so pleasant, so com-
municative, that we can not but miss him constantly.

He was indeed our friend. That friendship I will never
forget, and in speaking of him upon this occasion I am
bowed down with personal sorrow, and I grieve over the loss
of one who to me was ever the agreeable companion, the
constant friend. I can bring before me now his pleasant
smile, I can in imagination feel the warm clasp of his hand
when greeting him, while the softness of his voice seems to
come upon my ear as it had in life. As we stood around his
coffin, no manlier form, dead or living, had our eyes ever

Address of Mr. Vaux, of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Speaker: Pennsylvania has had cause to mourn over
the death of some of her distinguished Representatives
during the period of the Fifty-first Congress.

The capital of our country is not exempt from the visits
of the Angel of Death.

So true is it, that "Pallida mors cEquo pulsat pede pau-
periim tabernas, regumque turres."

There is a lesson in these bereavements to those wlio
survive and mourn. When in the halls of our Federal

10 Address of Mr. l^aux^ of Pennsylvania^ on tJic

Legislature the announcement is made of the death of one
of the people's Representatives it must occasion a pause in
our proceedings. Our departed colleagues, called to their
great account before the God of the whole earth and the
inhabitants thereof, awakens a sense of individual account-

The Representative has other accountabilities. He acts
and speaks for those who reposed in him their confidence.
How he performs this duty he must answer.

God judges on the moral accountability, and this infallible
judgment is unalterable and eternal. The judgment of
man is fallible. It is not permanent. It can be reversed.
The Representative has an appeal from a decision of his
constituents. It may be likened to a further hearing on an
interlocutory judgment.

The death of Mr. Lewis F. Watson, Representative from
the Twenty-seventh district of Pennsylvania, was announced
to the House on Augiist 35 last.

He was a native of that State, and was born in Crawford

The most eloquent speech of the honorable and distin-
guished gentleman who was elected to fill the vacancy
occasioned by Mr. Watson's death, Governor Stone, is
replete with interesting details of the life of his predecessor.
It would on my part partake of supererogation to add if I
could t(^ his interesting sketch of Mr. Watson's life. Gov-
ernor Stone knew him well. He was associated with him in
many relations as a citizens and in the public duties of Mr.
Watson; so that he became familiar with his character as
a prominent man in the counties which compose' the Con-
gressional district.

This biographical outline shows tlu* prominent featui-es ol'
the character of our departed colleague. He was an earnest,

Life and Character of Leivis F. JVatson. 11

persistent man in all his undertakings. He developed the
resources of his part of the State of Pennsylvania. The
opening up the country by railroad enterprise, the sub-
jugation of the forest to the demands of agricultural lalwr,
the support of the accepted means to secure the advantages
of civilization engaged Mr. Watson's earnest efforts. He
had the satisfaction to know that his services were appre-

It may not be apart from this view of his services to
mention that the development of the means to secure the
petroleum production, so remarkable in Pennsylvania, was
encouraged and assisted by the active energy and labors of
Mr. Watson.

He seems to have felt there were other duties devolving
on him by reason of his prominent position as a citizen of
his section of the State,

The need of an institution organized to receive and care
for the savings of those who labor and save so much of their
earnings as can be saved from the daily expenses of their
families was soon apparent. The population taken into the
country to labor in its industries were most to be benefited
by such an opportunity to deposit their savings.

Mr. Watson aided in the establishment of the Savings
Bank of Warren, a chief center of population, in Warren
County. This, too, was a great success, so that Mr. Wat-
son earned the respect and confidence of the people of Cam-
eron, McKean, and Warren Counties, which composed the
Twenty-seventh Congressional district.

The fitting outcome of the effect of Mr. Watson's serv-
ices, and the just appreciation by the people of a self-made
man with a self-made character, was his election to the
Forty-fifth, Forty-seventh, and also to the Fifty-first Con-

12 Address of Mr. Vattx^ of Pennsylvania.^ on the

During the years lie served in Congress he gained the
cordial esteem of his colleagues.

He was not a learned man. He was not even a student.
His education was the practical training for the active
duties of an active life.

His tastes were simple. Not having leisure for the culti-
vation of literature, and most probably not attracted by
studies which needed mental training to acquire or master,
he was a positive, practical, useful, valuable citizen.

His Representative duties were performed to the satisfac-
tion of his people. He neglected no act, labor, or effort
which were demanded of him by those he represented in the
Federal Congress. His reelections prove this.

His health of latter time was somewhat impaired. He
was forced during the past few months to seek recreation
from his public duties. It was my fortune to meet him
frequently while enjoying the rest he so much desired.

Our intercourse in the familiarity of social association led
me to form an opinion of Mr. Watson's character that
made me respect and esteem him.

He was conservative in his political ojiinions. Frank,
courteous, and kind, he could not fail to make an impres-
sion on those who were favored with his friendship.

Dee])ly touched by the sudden death of my late colleague,
it was a duty, the discharge of which, though so sorrowful,
was so plain, that I venture to offer this tribute to the
character and memory of Lewis F. Watson.

Life and Character of Lezuis F. Watson. 13

Address of Mr. Stone, of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Speaker: The admonitions of the nncertainty of life
and the certainty of death whicli have come to the members
of this House have been freqnent and impressive.

Eleven of the men elected to the Fifty-first Congress have
been removed by the hand of Death from participation in its
deliberations. Six did not live to take the seats to which
they were elected and five passed away during the first ses-
sion of this Congress.

Of these five, three (more than one-tenth of her entire del-
egation) were from the State of Pennsylvania. Randall,
Kelley, and Watson all died during a single session. Three
times within a few months the legislative business of this
House has been suspended to pay becoming tributes of re-
spect to the memory of Pennsylvania's dead Congressmen;
and whatever of solemnity this occasion may have for mem-
bers of other delegations, to the Representatives from Penn-
sylvania it cannot fail to be impressive and suggestive of
serious thought and reflection.

I knew Mr. Watson well. He was my neighbor for more
than a quarter of a century. Our lines of action in business
and in politics ran sometimes parallel and sometimes diver-
gent, but the contact of daily life, the amenities of social
intercourse, the intimacies of business relations, and the
means of knowledge drawn from professional employment,
sometimes in his service and often adverse, gave me a con-
ception and comprehension of his character 'and character-
istics which I can but imperfectly express or communicate
to others.

14 Address of Mr. Stone .^ of Penfisylvania^ on the

Lewis Findlay Watson was born in northwestern Penn-
sylvania, in tlie county of Crawford, on tlie 14tli day of
April, 1819.

He was of sturdy Scotcli-lrisli lineage, and inherited and
develojied many of the characteristics of his ancestry. Hia
parents were from the State of Delaware, but had early set-
tled on the frontiers of western Pennsylvania. They gave
to their son the somewhat crude educational advantages of
tliat section, until, at the age of thirteen, the necessity of
earning his own living forced him to seek employment in a
store in the village of Titusville. Thus early he began the
single-handed battle of life, wliicli he fought out with un-
flinching courage and persistence to the end. He commenced
with the advantage of poverty, the spur of necessity. His
unremitting industry and unconquerable determination over-
came all (obstacles and ultimately crowned his efforts with
a full measure of success.

He continued to work in different stores until 1837, when
he became a clerk in the office of the prothonotary of War-
ren County. The following year he was enabled to enter
the old Warren Academy, then under the charge of Rasse-
las Brown, who afterwards, on the bench and at the bar, at-
tained honorable eminence, and still lives loved and revered
by a large circle of attached friends. I recently asked him
if he remembered Colonel Watson as a scholar. "Yes,"
said he, " he was a quiet young man, ii good student, espe-
cially in bookkeeping and matliematics."

In a few months he had completed his school cducaiion,
and with a f;dr i)roparation fen* the sphere of labor wliicli lie
had selected ho entered actively and zealously into mercantile
|)ursuits, and the borough of Warren became his permanent
home. With different partners, and sometimes alone, he
continued extensively engaged in trade until 18G0, when he

Life and Character of Leivis F. Watson. 15

transferred liis attention and energies to the manufacture
and sale of lumber.

During these years he was rather frail in appearance, with
a tendency to lung disease, which caused him for several
winters to seek the more genial climate of the South, but
produced little or no remission in his close attention to busi-
ness. As he reached middle life he became stouter in per-
son, and his active outdoor pursuits brought to him more
than average health and vigor, and these he retained till
the last year of his life.

From 1860 he gradually extended his business operations.
He acquired large tracts of land in Pennsylvania at low
prices, and these afterwards became valuable for timber, for
oil, and gas.

The rich wheat lands of Dakota attracted his attention, and
several thousand acres in the best part of that vigorous young
Commonwealth were added to his possessions.

A trip which he made in 1883 to the Pacific coast and along
the shores of Puget Sound and back into the primeval forests
of that wonderful region led him to considerable invest-
ments in the then Territory of Washington. The trained
judgment and keen eyes of the practical lumberman com-
prehended at once the vast future possibilities of that un-
rivaled timber region, and he sought to ally himself with
its progress and development.

To the end of his life he continued engaged in the lumber
business, and prided himself on his thorough and practical
knowledge of all its features and details.

This, however, was not his only occupation. As early as
1859, soon after Colonel Drake had drilled his pioneer oil
well near Titusville, Colonel Watson leased of his brother,
who owned land in that vicinity, a single acre, and, in com-
pany with Archibald Tanner, drilled what proved to be the

16 Address of Mr. Stont\ of Peimsylvaiiia^ on tJie

first flowing oil well ever discovered, and for tliirty years
thereafter lie continued to derive more or less income from
tlie production of oil.

In the building of tlio railroad which was to connect his
home with Lake Erie on the north, and the stirring enter-
prising oil region on the soutli, he was a leading and active

He helped to organize the First National Bank of Warren,
and later the Warren Savings Bank, and was for twenty
years president of this latter institution. To all these busi-
ness enterprises in which he was interested he gave more or
less of his personal attention.

He was clear in his calculations, strict in his requirements
of others, inquisitive and watchful of every movement about
him, careful in his attention to details, tireless in his pursuit
of any enterprise he had in hand. He thus year by year
extended his operations and increased his possessions until
he became one of the wealthiest men of his section.

Until about 1870 he had taken no active part and mani-
fested no special interest in politics. Soon after that date
he began to cherish some political ambitions, which took
practical form when two or three years later he sought but
failed to obtain the Republican nomination for State senator.

In is7-t he received the Congressional recommendation of
his county, but failed in the district convention. Two years
later he was nominated and elected by an overwhelming
majority over William L. Scott, who has since served with
distinction in this body, a-nd in due time he took his seat in
the Forty-fifth Congress.

He represented an oil district, and wlion the producers, wlio
]iad long suffered from discriminations against them by the
carrying corporations from that section, determined to seek
a remedy by natiouul a-s well as State legislation, they

Life and Oiaracier of Lcici's F. Watson. 17

prepared and placed in his hands what became afterwards
known as the "Watson antidiscrimination bill." This

1 3 4 5

Online Library2d sess. United States. 51st Cong.Memorial addresses on the life and character of Lewis F. Watson, a representative from Pennsylvania, delivered in the House of representatives and in the Senate, Fifty-first Congress, second session .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 5)